Andrew Carwood is one of the most versatile musicians of his generation, having had an illustrious career as a singer before focusing attention on conducting and choral direction. He trained as a choral scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge, a lay clerk at Christ Church, Oxford and Westminster Cathedral, London, before holding the post of Director of Music at the Brompton Oratory in London. In 1989 he established his own early music ensemble The Cardinall’s Musick and was appointed Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral in 2007.
As a conductor his reputation was established with The Cardinall’s Musick and together they continue to perform throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Renowned for their emotional directness and vocal colour, the group has won five Gramophone Awards as well as many other European plaudits. Andrew has become a widely acknowledged expert on music of the 16th and 17th centuries and is also known for the scholarly and entertaining way in which he introduces and narrates concerts, breaking down barriers between audience and performers and allowing the music to speak in an even more eloquent way. Recording exclusively with Hyperion records they have made over 40 recordings of Renaissance music, including several significant series devoted to the sacred music of Thomas Tallis, Robert Fayrfax, Nicholas Ludford and William Byrd.
As a singer he was particularly known for his performances of the English repertoire, from consort songs by William Byrd to the role of the Male Chorus in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia and for larger-scale works by Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Tippett. He has performed throughout the world with virtually all of the major British ensembles both on disc and on the concert platform, including The Tallis Scholars (as a regular member for seven years). He has undertaken solo roles for Andrew Manze, Sir Roger Norrington, Joshua Rifkin, Harry Christophers, Richard Hickox, Paul McCreesh, Phillipe Herreweghe and Christopher Hogwood; his discography includes works by Hassler, Vivaldi, Haydn, Warlock, Howells, Poulenc, Janacek and Christopher Headington.
In 2007 he was appointed Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral (the first non-organist to hold such a post since the 12th century) and trains the world famous choir of men and boys for the daily liturgies of the Cathedral, special services of national importance, recordings, tours and concert appearances. Most recently he directed the music at HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the funeral of Baroness Thatcher in 2013 and HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday Service in 2016. The choir toured the USA in 2015 and is set to do so again in 2018. They have recorded discs of Mozart and other music with Hyperion Records and are currently working with Decca, producing most recently a disc of carols which sold 30,000 copies in one month.
He has received five Gramophone Awards including in 2010 not only the Gramophone Award for Early Music but also the coveted Record of the Year Award.