Andrew Schultz, an Australian composer who is currently teaching music at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, studied music at the Universities of Queensland and Pennsylvania and at King’s College London, where he’s received awards and fellowships. In addition to Falling Man/Dancing Man, featured on Navona Records‘ most recent compilation album WINTER’S WARMTH, Schultz’s work Magnificat appeared on a past Navona Records compilation called FOUNDATIONS. The Music Trust declared that his piece “would sit well beside Bach.” Today, Schultz is our next featured artist for “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists.
When did you realize that you wanted to be a composer?
I started improvising at the piano at an early age – say 7 or 8. It was something I loved to do for my own enjoyment – call it ‘play’ I guess. By my mid-teens, I was writing music and had totally caught the bug. Listening, improvising, filling books of music manuscript – it was highly addictive and completely absorbing. All aspects of the creative composing process fascinated me then and still do. It rarely feels like work.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate! In my house there are no rules when it comes to chocolate: All’s fair in love and war and chocolate is my motto.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why?
I’m very happy in my studio at home in Sydney and have it well set up to allow me to compose without interruption or technical hitches. But new places, cycling, and skiing really help to keep the creative juices flowing. So a ski-in-ski-out studio on top of a mountain in the Swiss alps would also be OK!
What would you say to an artist performing your work that nobody else knows?
As little as possible – it’s all in the score and hopefully, the music will communicate itself.
What was your favorite musical moment on the album?
The passion and energy that Karel Martinek (organ soloist), the Moravian Philharmonic and Petr Vronský (conductor) brought to the second movement of my work, Deep Crossing. There was no need to explain it to them – all the players picked it up straight away and played from the heart. The final moments of that movement with off-stage clarinets playing like distant sirens were powerful for me. I hope listeners can connect with the musical symbolism in this movement.
What does this album mean to you personally?
Works for solo organ and orchestra are rare so finding a way to see the work reach a wider public outside Australia was important to me. I hope that people will listen with open ears and minds and find enjoyment and some connection to the artistic ideals of expressive communication and technical delight that drive my work.
The compilation album WINTER’S WARMTH, featuring contemporary works for orchestra has been released on Navona Records and is now available to purchase on Amazon, iTunes, ArkivMusic, and is streaming on Spotify.