Andrew Gant was a choral scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge under the late Dr George Guest. He subsequently sang with most of the UK’s leading ensembles, including The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, The Monteverdi Choir, and the Cambridge Singers. He was musical director and first tenor of the Light Blues male-voice sextet, for whom he wrote many arrangements and with whom he toured all over the world.
His degree at Cambridge in Music and English included the Arthur Quiller-Couch prize for best creative work for the libretto of his opera, Blake. He later studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music with Paul Patterson, gaining his MMus and two of the Academy’s composition prizes. In 2002 he was awarded a PhD in composition and contemporary music by Goldsmith’s College, University of London, where he studied with Dr Sadie Harrison.
He sang with all the professional church choirs in London including a two-year period as a Lay Clerk at Westminster Abbey and in the early 1990s moved from singing to directing, holding posts as conductor at Selwyn College, Cambridge, The Royal Military Chapel (The Guards Chapel), Wellington Barracks, London, Worcester College, Oxford, and for 12 years the post of Organist, Choirmaster, and Composer at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal. He is currently Stipendiary Lecturer in Music at St Peter’s College and St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford. Gant is a regular recipient of commissions for a variety of musical genres. Significant commissions include a Requiem for SATB choir and three violas, premièred in 2007 by the choir of Worcester College, Oxford, a setting for contralto and organ of O sacrum convivium, for the Chapel at Techny, Illinois, in 2007, a SATB arrangement of his carol, What child is this?, performed by The Crossing and Donald Nally in Philadelphia, and wedding music for organ, first performed by the composer in Rome. One of his most substantial works to date is the jazz-inspired oratorio based upon the colourful medieval English text, The Vision of Piers Plowman. The recipient of the Elgar Commission from the 2002 Worcester Three Choirs Festival, The Times hailed the oratorio as “ingenious…effective…[and] fun”. Highly regarded as an operatic composer, his writing in the a cappella five-voice opera, May we borrow your husband? commissioned for the 1999 Lichfield Festival was highlighted as being “excellent” (The Independent), “very skilful” (Opera), and “dramatically just right” (Festival Music Matters, BBC Radio 3) at its première. Most recently he has completed Tod, a youth opera for Cromarty Youth Opera. In an eclectic catalogue, he also has a selection of cantatas for children’s choir and ensemble. His music appears in the catalogues of Oxford University Press, Ricordi (London), and Kevin Mayhew. As an author two of his acclaimed books are Christmas Carols from Village Green to Church Choir and O Sing unto the Lord.