|| Andrew Jefferson Bennett
|Date of Birth:
||December 21, 1985
||Music Director & Conductor
"Life without music is unthinkable.
Music without life is academic.
That is why my contact with music is a total embrace."
~ Leonard Bernstein
Andrew Jefferon Bennett is the newly appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Fallcoast Symphony. In addition, this fall he is beginning as a Professor at St. John's University teaching Orchestral Conducting, Music History, and is the Conductor of the University Orchestra.
Andrew “Drew” Jefferson Bennett was born in Covina, CA on December 21, 1985 to Americans Robert and Susan Bennett. His middle name was given to him due to his supposed lineage and relationship to Thomas Jefferson, but this has never been proven, nor disproved either. There are Jeffersons on his father’s side of the family, but there has been some genealogy gap from around the 1820s. Drew’s parents met in the 70s while attending college at UCLA. His father was a Biology major and mother was a German major. When she became pregnant in 1978 with Drew’s oldest sibling, Ashley, his mother dropped out of school. Andrew has 5 other siblings – Jennifer, born 1981, Benjamin, born 1984, Kelly, born 1987, Joseph, born 1990 and Grant, born 1992. Upon graduation, Robert took up a job as a zookeeper at the San Diego Zoo. He had worked there until after Jennifer was born, as he and Susan decided they needed more money in order to raise two children. So he took up a job as an operator at AT&T. In 1985, he was promoted to a first level manager and was transferred to the Chicago area. This is where Andrew’s musical journey would begin.
Growing up, Andrew had always been envious of the things his older brother, Benjamin would do – academically, musically, and socially. He was a leach to his older brother and wanted what he had. In 1990, Benjamin began piano lessons, and just like his brother, Andrew had to follow suit and take lessons as well. He was very competitive, and what Benjamin did, he felt he could do, and better, just like the song. Benjamin had more talent than Andrew, but Andrew worked harder and hard more drive. It was not long before Andrew began to pass his older brother in piano method books and started appearing in contests, winning 1st place. Classical music became Andrew’s life, and he would immerse himself in learning about the well-known composers like Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, but strived to learn of the lesser known as well. By 1995, Benjamin had taken up music composition, and it wasn’t long before Andrew had to do the same.
At the age of 10, Andrew began percussion lessons in addition to piano. He was quickly advancing his studies, as the five years of piano foundation helped to strengthen his percussion skills. His favorite instrument in the percussion family was the timpani, and he would practice at home with the timpani part to orchestral pieces while playing along with a recording, pretending he was performing. Interest quickly began to focus more on percussion and composition and less on piano. While a member of a youth orchestra, he arranged a piano work for his ensemble. His brother was impressed with his orchestration on the work and ability to hear the instruments. He wrote his first symphony at the age of 13 and it performed by the local community orchestra and was given well praise. His private instructor felt that Andrew’s musical abilities was surpassing what he could learn at his public school system and sent him off to attend the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy.
Andrew was given a full scholarship as a double major in Percussion and Music Composition at Interlochen at the age of 14. He was surrounded by like-minded artists and musicians and was thriving in his musical element. He performed orchestral works by the greats and lesser known. The orchestra at Interlochen and chamber groups preformed his compositions. Guest conductors and solo musicians took note of his abilities, and his sophomore year he took up conducting lessons. By this point, his had discovered that orchestral conducting was his true calling. He wanted to quit percussion and composition, but there was no major as conducting. Working with the Dean of Students and Head of the Music Department, they created an Orchestral Conducting curriculum for him for his Junior and Senior year, but he had to continue taking percussion lessons and performing with the orchestra. In addition, he was required to compose a symphony, and conduct his own work for his senior project. During his final year, he auditioned on conducting at the New England Conservatory of Music, Peabody Conservatory, and the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. He got into all four, but chose to attend the Royal Academy of Music for the culture opportunity.
Andrew’s time at RAM-London was incredible. He conducted the orchestra at the Academy, and guest conducted the London Symphony on 2 occasions. Upon graduating, he attended The Juilliard School for his Masters in Orchestral Conducting, before attending the Peabody Conservatory for his D.M.A. in Orchestral Conducting. While getting his D.M.A, he was appointed as Associate Conductor with the Baltimore Symphony. He has composed over a dozen orchestral works that have been performed by orchestras all over the world, and he has guest conducted for the L.A. Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was just appointed as Music Director and Conductor for the Fallcoast Symphony, and Professor of Orchestral Conducting, Music History and Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra at St. John’s University.
| RP Hooks
- University ~ If you are a student or professor, the University would be a great place to connect.
- Cultural Arts ~ Into the music or arts scene? We could have some fun there.
- Lavish Parties ~ Andrew will throw lavish parties for the wealthy elite and well-to-do at his home.
| The Litany of Musical Achievements
List of Compositions
By Opus Number (Fame rating is among classical music genre)
- Op. 1: Three Little Pieces for Piano (1995) (Fame-0)
- Op. 2: March for Snare Drum (1996) (Fame-0)
- Op. 3: Diversions by Norman Dello Joio arranged for Orchestra (1997) (Fame-1)
- Op. 4: Symphony No. 1 (1998) (Fame-1)
- Op. 5: Grandiose for Marimba and Piano (1999) (Fame-0)
- Op. 6: Piano Sonata No. 1 (2000) (Fame-1)
- Op. 7: Piano Trio (2000) (Fame-1)
- Op. 8: Illusions for Percussion Quartet (2001) (Fame-0)
- Op. 9: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra (2002) (Fame-1)
- Op. 10: Symphony No. 2 (2003) (Fame-1)
- Op. 11: Scientific Notations for Percussion Sextet (2003) (Fame-0)
- Op. 12: The Elysium Cycles for Orchestra and Choir (2004) (Fame-3-high school senior project)
- Op. 13: Symphony No. 3 (2005-2006) (Fame-2)
- Op. 14: Piano Sonata No. 2 (2006) (Fame-2)
- Op. 15: "Heliotrope" Ballet in Two Acts (2006-2007) NYC Ballet Premier 2008 (Fame-3-Particularly in ballet genre)
- Op. 15a: Suite from Heliotrope" for Orchestra (2007) (Fame-1)
- Op. 16: The Planets, by Gustav Holst, arranged for Percussion Ensemble (2009) (Fame-0)
- Op. 17: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2010) (Fame-1)
- Op. 18: Symphony No 4 (2009-2011) (Fame-2)
- Op. 19: Concerto for Orchestra (2012) (Fame-2)
- Op. 20: "When the Dead Awaken" Opera in Three Acts - Based off of the play by Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen (2009-2012) New York Metropolitan Opera Commission (Fame-3-Particularly in opera genre, also garnered some mainstream publicity)
- Op. 20a: Suite from "When the Dead Awaken" for Orchestra (2012) (Fame-2)
- Op. 21: Symphony No. 5 (2014-2016) Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Commission (Fame-3-Biggest and most well-known symphony in classical music genre to date)
The Elysium Cycles for Orchestra and Choir
St. Louis Symphony
Andrew Jefferson Bennett, Conductor
Label: Naxos, 2013
'Heliotrope" Ballet in Two Acts
Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor
Label: EMI, 2014
"When the Dead Awaken" Opera in Three Acts
New York Metropolitan Opera
James Levine, Conductor
Label: Deutsche Grammophon, 2014
Symphony No. 5
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Jefferson Bennett, Conductor
Label: EMI, 2016
| Fallcoast Symphony
Fallcoast Symphony 2016-2017 Season
- September 23 & 24, 2016 - CLASSIC SERIES- Opening Weekend
PISTON The Incredible Flautist
HOLST The Planets
BARTOK Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
- October 7 & 8, 2016 - Dutilleux's' 100th Birthday - CLASSIC SERIES
DUTILLEUX L'arbre des songes
DUTILLEUX The Shadows of Time
DUTILLEUX Symphony No. 2 "Le double"
DUTILLEUX Mystere de l'instant
- October 21 & 22, 2016 - A Night with Beethoven - CLASSIC SERIES
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major
BEETHOVEN Egmont Overture
- October 29, 2016 - Halloween Spooktacular! - POPS SERIES
BACH/STOKOWSKI Toaccata and Fugue in D Minor
MUSSORGSKY Night on Bald Mountain
SAINT-SAENS Dance Macabre
PROKOFIEV Midnight from "Cinderella"
BARBER Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance
ROUSE Bump from "Phantasmata"
DUKAS The Sorcerer's Apprentice
WAGNER The Ride of the Valkyries
GRIEG In the Hall of the Mountain King from "Peer Gynt Suite No. 1"
STRAVINSKY Infernal Dance from "The Firebird"
HOLST Mars, The Bringer of War from "The Planets"
CARPENTER Main Theme from "Halloween"
RACHMANINOFF/STOKOWSKI Prelude in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 3
MUSSORGSKY/RAVEL Catacombs from "Pictures At An Exhibition"
BERLIOZ Dream of a Witches Sabbath from "Symphony Fantastique"
OFFENBACH Overture to "Orpheus in the Underworld"
- November 4 & 5, 2016 - 20th Century Appreciations - CLASSIC SERIES
SCHNITTKE Cello Concerto No. 2
LUTOSLAWSKI Symphony No. 1
IVES The Unanswered Question
HINDEMITH Symphonic Metamorphosis
HOVHANESS Mysterious Mountain
- November 11 & 12, 2016 - A Night on Broadway - POPS SERIES
With Broadway Sensation Moira Dennington
“Getting to Know You” from The King and I
“How Lovely to Be a Woman” From Bye Bye Birdie
“Think of Me” From Phantom of the Opera
“Adelaides Lament” From Guys & Dolls
“The History of Wrong Guys” From Kinky Boots
“I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” From South Pacific
“I Could Have Danced All Night” From My Fair Lady
“One Boy” From Bye Bye Birdie
“Something Wonderful” From The King and I
“So In Love” From Kiss Me Kate
“Here Alone “ From Little Women
“I’m Not the Girl” From Wicked
“Raining In My Heart” From Dames at Sea
“Take Back Your Mink” From Guys & Dolls
“I Hate Men” From Kiss Me Kate
“There’s a Fine, Fine Line” From Avenue Q
“The Fire Within Me” From Little Women
“Without You” From My Fair Lady
“Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” From Phantom of the Opera
“Defying Gravity” From Wicked
- November 18 & 19, 2016 - CLASSIC SERIES
COPLAND Clarinet Concerto
DVORAK Symphony No. 9 "From the New World"
GROFE Grand Canyon Suite
- December 2 & 3, 2016 - CLASSIC SERIES
LUTOSLAWSKI Piano Concerto
BERLIOZ Symphony Fantastique
ROUSE Prospero's Rooms
- December 9 & 10, 2016 - with the Fallcoast Chorus - POPS SERIES
Christmas Carol Sing-a-long
- December 16 & 17, 2016- with the Fallcoast Ballet - CLASSICS SERIES
TCHAIKOVSKY The Nutcracker
- January 13 & 14, 2017 - A Night with Bartok - CLASSICS SERIES
BARTOK Piano Concerto No. 2
BARTOK The Miraculous Mandarin
BARTOK Concerto for Orchestra
BARTOK Two Tone Pictures
- January 27 & 28, 2017 - A Night with Stravinsky - with Fallcoast Chorus and Ballet - CLASSICS SERIES
STRAVINSKY Les Noces
STRAVINSKY The Soldier's Tale
STRAVINSKY Ebony Concerto
- February 10 & 11, 2017 - Valentine's Concert - POPS SERIES
PROKOFIEV Suites No. 1 & 2 from "Romeo and Juliet"
Other works TBA
TCHAIKOVSKY Overture to "Romeo and Juliet"
- February 24 & 25, 2017 - with Fallcoast Chorus - CLASSICS SERIES
BRITTEN Sinfonia de Requiem
WALTON Belsehzaar's Feast
- March 10 & 11, 2017 - Another Night with Stravinsky - CLASSICS SERIES
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring
STRAVINSKY The Firebird
- March 24 & 25, 2017 - Movie Night! - CLASSICS SERIES
ZIMMER Selections from "Inception"
SILVESTRI Selections from "Predator"
ELFMAN Selections from "Batman"
HORNER Selections from "Aliens"
WILLIAMS Selections from "Star Wars"
- April 7 & 8, 2017 - CLASSICS SERIES
DE FALLA El Armor Brujo
- April 21 & 22, 2017 - with Fallcoast Chorus - CLASSICS SERIES
RAVEL Daphnes & Chloe Suites No. 1 & 2
ORFF Carmina Burana
ADAMS Chairman Dances from "Nixon in China"
- May 5 & 6, 2017 - A Night with Prokofiev - CLASSICS SERIES
PROKOFIEV Scythian Suite from "Ala and Lolly"
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 5
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 5
PROKOFIEV Suite from "Love for Three Oranges"
- May 19 & 20, 2017 - POPS SERIES
ADAMS Short Ride in a Fast Machine
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Procession of the Nobles
WALTON Crown Imperial March
COPLAND A Lincoln Portrait
BRITTEN Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
PROKOFIEV Peter and the Wolf
GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue
COPLAND Fanfare for the Common Man
- June 2 & 3, 2017 - Season Finale with Fallcoast Chorus - CLASSICS SERIES
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 "The Resurrection"
- Executive Assistant, Fallcoast Symphony - Vacant.
- Personnel Manager, Fallcoast Symphony - Vacant.
- Librarian, Fallcoast Symphony - Vacant.
- Administrative Assistant, St. John's University Music Department - Vacant.
- Calliope - Such a dear friend, and perhaps one of the closest in Fallcoast. So happy for you and Mr. Strand.
- Lisbeth - Coffee. It was delicious.
- Sofia - You lost. But did you?
- Hesper - It all began with a Haydn Symphony, and ended when the music stopped.