Dr David C. F. Wright
Andrew is an extraordinary young flautist,
gifted and blessed with a sincere and genuine
disposition and not hindered by any hint of
arrogance or conceit. It is
a pleasure to be in his company. He
will ask advice and consider what you say
with a courtesy which in the musical world
is somewhat rare.
I was the sole audience in his parent's home and listened
to his performance of Debussy’s Syrinx which was nothing short of a
I have always believed that the flute and the cello
were the instruments with the most heart. Somehow there is
something very human about the flute. It seems to be the voice
of the heart and the cello, because it is so close to the body, is also
another intimate instrument. This may explain why one of my first works
was for flute and cello.
Andy graduated from Trinity College, London in 1998.
He studied with the American Ann Cherry, who is also an editor of many
works for flute, Daniel Pailthorpe, co-principal flute with the BBC
Symphony Orchestra, and the incomparable Susan Milan at the Royal College
of Music and, later, in New York with Julius Baker and Jeanne Baxtresser
then of the New York Philharmonic. This, in itself, shows Andy’s desire
to both learn and improve as well as his true and unfeigned humility.
In 1999 he released his first CD (Claudio
of music by Schubert, Pierre Sancan ( a superb
sonatina) and Prokofiev. Here are some review quotes:
A star soloist, Anson is bright, engaging and a gifted
colourist Classic FM
... superbly played ....provides an in-depth insight
..Keith Ames (Musicians Union)
...played with great confidence and panache. Very fine
playing... totally at ease Peter Lloyd-Williams (Bath Music Critic)
The playing by Andrew Anson is quite exquisite his
playing displays a sound and artistiy of the utmost sincerity and sensitivity....
Andrew Downes ( Composer
and Director of the Birmingham Conservatoire)
Anson’s performance is committed and very fine...marvellous
contrast of emotions, all of which this splendid duo capture....I recommend
this disc. David Wright (MusicWeb)
Andy was born in Brighton
and has three sisters. His mother is the novelist
Vanessa Hannam. She was a leading London journalist
specialising in social and medical issues.
In addition she studied singing with Walter
Gruner and was a singer with the Tudor and
Capricorn Singers. His father is retired and
is dedicated to his painting and writing poetry.
Andy’s godfather was the painter Paul Maze
who taught Sir Winston Churchill to paint
and who, as a boy, met Renoir. Andy’s godmother
was the distinguished soprano the late Elisabeth
Harwood. He grew up in Sussex in a house where
music was both a vital and enjoyable activity
his sisters are musical) and where musicians
, painters and poets
were regular visitors. Here he was inspired
to the arts in this cultural environment.
His maternal grandfather was a Texan
ranch owner and among Andy’s lists of his
hobbies and interests is ranching which he
expresses in a wonderful take off of Texan
speech. His other interests are horse riding,
swimming, visits to the gym, fishing, movies.
The list is endless.
He schooled at Exeter but, apparently it was on one
of his childhood visits to his cousin’s ranch in Texas that he was told
that he ought to learn the flute so that he could play the Rain Dance
to encourage the heavens to open. Later, when he had learned the flute,
he played it in Texas and a terrific storm and downpour followed!
His musical idols are Susan Milan, Anne Sophie Mutter,
Vladmir Ashkenazy and Jacqueline Du Pré. He is a diverse musician
excelling in anything from Mozart to the present day and among his likes
are Sting and the indefatigable Tina Turner.
He has recorded for the BBC and on American stations
such as King FM in Seattle. He has performed in the Royal Albert Hall
and the Queen Elizabeth Hall and at many other venues and in prestigious
festivals. From 1997 to 1999 he was principal flute with the Concilium
Chamber Orchestra touring to many places in Europe including the United
Nations Building in Paris.
Through my contacts and suggestions Andy has met some
influential musicians which has given him some wonderful opportunities
introducing him to Andrew Downes and William Blezard.
Andrew Downes wrote:
On Wednesday 13 February 2002 the flautist
Andrew Anson gave a recital preceded by a masterclass at the
Birmingham Conservatoire where I am Head of Composition and
The recital which included contemporary flute
sonatas by Jindrich Feld and myself was absolutely brilliant showing
Andrew to be one of the finest flautists of his generation both in
terms of technique and sheer musical expression.
The masterclass aimed at both student flautists
and composers involved a detailed analysis of my Sonata for
flute and piano to be performed later in the recital.
Andrew proved himself to be a natural and inspiring
communicator whose ideas and methods certainly clarified the
contents and structure of a fairly complex work without compromising
either his own or the work’s artistic integrity.
One of his expected future projects is the premiere
recording of Professor Downes’ sonatas for flute and piccolo.
As well as playing in a flute
and piano duo he has played with a guitarist
and has also formed the Anson Quartet. He
has recently performed Malcolm Arnold’s Flute
Concerto no. 1 (with those ‘cruel’ top notes)
with the English Mozart Players under Anthony
le Fleming. This tour included a sell out
concert at Dartington Hall. He often writes
for the British Flute Society Magazine Pan.
He is also guest principal flute with the
English Mozart Players.
Andrew opened Tower Records
fifteenth anniversary concert in London. He
has given masterclasses in colleges such as
the Birmingham Conservatoire. He currently
teaches in London.
2004 has been an important year for him.
He has given the London premiere of Andrew
Downes's Flute Sonata at St John's, Smith
Square which also included the premiere of
Anthony le Fleming's jazz piece, Just a Moment.
He has recently become associated with the
Grieg Society and, also in 2004, gave the
premiere of Grieg's Violin Sonata in F as
transcribed for flute and piano in a concert
at the Norwegian Embassy in London in the
presence of Princess Natayla Eromina Youssoupoff
and embassy diplomats and staff of the Norwegian,
Russian and Serbian embassies. The concert
also included music from Serbia and Russia
and a work for solo flute by the Norwegian
composer, Oistein Sommerfeld entitled Spring
Tunes, Op 44.
Andy also opened the Classical Music Festival
in Clapham with a concert for flute and eight
cellos including music by Gershwin, Bach,
James Rae, the world premiere of Encounters
for flute, piano and double bass by Anthony
le Fleming and a premiere by Bryan Kelly.
Andy also opened the Reigate Summer Festival
with a concert of poetry and flute music.
There are plans to record all the Grieg violin
sonatas on the flute, as well as the flute
and piccolo sonatas of Andrew Downes. He is
also learning Downes's Concerto for Native
American flute. There is some talk of his
touring Serbia where he has made friends in
the music world, and Norway have taken him
to their hearts.
He is booked for a concert in the Midlands
( date to be confirmed) to play Vivaldi's
Flute Concerto : La Notte and John Veale's
exquisite Elegy for flute, harp and string
This young man will go far and deserves to... .a complete
David C. F. Wright 2002/2004
This article must not be copied, downloaded or used
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For anyone who is interested in engaging Andy for
a concert or recital his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org