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Ian McAndrew
 Biography

Ian McAndrew was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1958. Early training in Highland dancing and the bagpipes made way for piano and music theory studies in his teens. As well, he gained choral singing experience in his church and the Vancouver Bach Choirs, and began acting in school plays and musicals.

This led naturally to Mr. McAndrew’s attending the University of British Columbia as an opera major, studying voice and stagecraft with Prof. French Tickner and composition with Dr. Stephen Chatman. During his university years he continued to perform in choirs and with local amateur theatre companies.

After working for Pacific Opera Victoria as Production and Acting General Manager, in 1981 Mr. McAndrew moved to Toronto, Ontario where he performed frequently with Toronto Operetta Theatre, St. Anne’s Music and Drama Society, and was a founding member of The Victoria Scholars Male Vocal Ensemble in 1993. During this time he also wrote two full-length stage plays, I’ll Go Where Hugo and Going Down Under, as well as several short plays and musicals for elementary school production, and was a member of the Tarragon Theatre’s Six Playwright’s Unit in 1983-1984.

In 1998, Mr. McAndrew began to turn his attention to composition. In addition to writing several short vocal, choral and chamber pieces, he composed his first opera, Benjamin Brown, a one-act chamber work for young audiences, in 1999 and recorded it in 2000. His full-length chamber opera based on the story of the Trojan princess and prophetess, Cassandra, with a libretto by Gordon Portman, received its world premiere on 25 May 2003; an original cast recording was released in May 2010. Messrs. McAndrew and Portman have two more operas in development.

In December 2010 Mr. McAndrew returned to his native Vancouver where he has formed both a personal and professional collaboration with singer/songwriter Meryn Cadell. He continues to perform, having acted in several shorts and indie feature films.

His compositions have been commissioned and/or performed across Canada by such ensembles as The Victoria Scholars, the Exultate Singers, the Annex and Penderecki string quartets, the Classical Music Consort and the Aradia Ensemble. His orchestral tone poem, Carpe Diem, was workshopped by the Victoria Symphony Orchestra in April 2012.

Visit Ian McAndrew's Website.

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