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Andrew Toovey. Photo by Charles Mutter
Andrew Toovey. Photo by Charles Mutter

29 November 2021 Comments Off on Andrew Toovey Joins Composers Views: 456 CE News

Andrew Toovey Joins Composers

We are absolutely delighted to welcome the uniquely creative English composer Andrew Toovey to the Composers Edition family. Astonishingly productive, Toovey’s approach has always been oblique to convention no matter whether composing for symphony orchestra, crack instrumentalist or amateur ensemble. Incessantly curious, his work takes inspiration from myriad musical, artistic and literary reference points (he has a particular passion for 20th-century art) and kaleidoscopically refracts musical material in ways that both delight and provoke audiences.

His 120+ works to date have been composed for and performed by musicians, ensembles, choirs and orchestras across the world. He has a particular affinity with many fine pianists including Stephen Gutman, Michael Finnissy, Thalia Myers, Jonathan Powell, Antony Gray and James Clapperton who have long championed his music. Also a good number of works performed by his ensemble IXION. In addition to a great many works composed for particular musicians, commissions for larger scale works have come from BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, De Ereprijs, English Touring Opera, CoMA and Banff Centre Canada where he was composer-in-residence for four years. On joining Composers Edition, Toovey says;

I am delighted to be joining the family of composers collectively represented by Composers Edition. It comes at the perfect time for me, helping make my music both more visible and accessible, especially when next February I will reach the age of 60. Also having just last month had a new percussion quartet, Yunomi (2020) on a CD performed by the Bremer Schlagzeugensemble and toured around Europe is very exciting. I have just completed a solo oboe piece for the Royal Academy of Music 200 Anniversary series of commissions, and a choral work, as and when (2021) settings of poems by Paul Driver, commissioned by CoMA as part of their part-song project. I look forward to enjoying all the possibilities that being part of Composers Edition presents. I hope you will all find the time to explore my music: opera, orchestral, ensemble, chamber, solo pieces – whatever catches your ears and eyes.

Composers Edition are very happy to present an initial selection of works by Andrew Toovey with more to follow in the coming months. We very much look forward to working with Andrew to broaden knowledge and performance of his work.


for piano solo

For Armando Alemdar. First performance: 5th March 2014. Huw Watkins. The Forge, Camden, London.


Broken Union

for clarinet, soprano saxophone, percussion and trombone

First performance April 2020 by UTAS Ensemble, Hobart, Tasmania.


Collected Piano Pieces

24 pieces for piano

A selection of 24 piano pieces, written between 1989 and 2020. This collection features works for solo piano, piano duet and harpsichord. Works range in duration from 1 to 20 minutes.


Collected Songs

11 songs for voice and varied accompaniment (violin, viola, vibraphone, piano and accordion)

A selection of 11 songs, written between 1989 and 2020. This collection features works for voice and various accompaniment (violin, viola, vibraphone, piano and accordion). Works range in duration from 6 to 20 minutes.


Ja Ja Ja Ja Ja, Nee Nee Nee Nee Nee

for four voices and mixed ensemble

Dedicated to IXION on its 4th birthday. First performance: 12th June 1991, British Information Centre, London – IXION.

Vocal text is taken from the title of a Beuys work (which involves layers of felt) made in 1968. 4 voices (at least one vocal: parts not vocalised can be played on any instruments available). 2 pianos (left hands only) and/or bass clarinet and other bass instrument.


Lament, Strathspey, Reel

for violin solo

For Sharleen Harshenin.

First performance: 20th May 1989, Brighton Festival, Sharleen Harshenin.


Red Icon

for symphony orchestra

For Michael Finnissy’s 50th birthday.

First performance: 23 February 1996, BBC Maida Vale Studios, London – conducted by David Porcelijn.

Commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Symphony Orchestra.



for violin and piano

For Howard Skempton.


The Juniper Tree

a chamber opera in one act

For Keith Turnbull & John Hess. First performance: 17 July 1993, Broomhill Festival. Libretto by Dic Edwards from a tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.

“Toovey concentrated on achieving a fluent narration, moving in and out of actuality and dreamlike sequences with sureness and conviction. From the opening viola solo to the final song of the bird, his score was rich in reference to folk music the opera was well made and striking.” – The Guardian


Techno Stomp

for piano (with or without pedal bass drum)

For Lynda Stone.

First performance: August 1997, Dartington Summer School. Stephen Gutman.

Commissioned by Stephen Gutman and the Dartington Trust/Arts Council.


The Trumpet in My Life

for solo trumpet

For Dani Blanco Albert.

First performance: 4th February 23rd May 2016, Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire by Dani Blanco Albert.


Ubu’s Journey

for orchestra

For Andrew Smith.

First performance: 7th May 2011. BBCSSO conducted by Ivan Volkov. Old Fruit Market, Glasgow.


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