Composer/ Director /Spanish Guitarist
One of Australia’s finest Spanish Guitarists, Andrew Veivers draws on a wide range of musical influences to evoke the sensual and mesmerising sounds of the Spanish guitar in all of its guises.
From the beginning, Andrew combined the traditional study of flamenco with the formal training of the classical guitar. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music in 1993 from the University of Queensland (St. Lucia) Andrew spent 3 years studying, teaching and performing in London, Madrid and Amsterdam.
At venues ranging from Blenheim Palace (UK) to The Dillington Classical Guitar Festival (UK) to chamber music series’ in Amsterdam to concerts at many of Australia’s leading festivals, Andrew has appeared as a soloist as well as with his various groups (Flamenco Fire, The Saruzu Quartet, Jaleos Flamenco) to great critical acclaim.
Alongside his performance schedule Andrew has continued his dedication to the teaching of the Spanish Guitar. After being on the teaching staff for many years at the Classical Guitar School in Brisbane and The Spanish Guitar Centre in London, Andrew opened The Spanish Guitar Studio in Brisbane in 1997. Andrew launched his teaching manual and DVD – The Rhythm Method: An Introduction to Flamenco Guitar in December 2010 at the Woodford Folk Festival.
Andrew’s solo debut recording – Jaleos – was awarded Best Album (Folk, Ethnic and Other) at the Queensland Recording Association’s Sunnie Awards. In 2006, one of Andrew’s compositions – Guarijas – was a finalist in the Queensland Song Awards World and Folk category.
Andrew’s current ensembles include Australia’s only national flamenco touring company – Flamenco Fire and flamenco-tango-jazz band – The Saruzu Quartet. Andrew has also been a special guest guitarist in the Doch Gypsy Orchestra since 2002.
Andrew created the Flamenco Fire concept in 1999 and has continued to focus on the creative development of the production since its inception. Andrew’s vision for Flamenco Fire has been instrumental in the creative growth of the production. With the support of the Australia Council for the Arts, Flamenco Fire’s 2010 production – Al-Andaluz – was his first commissioned work.
Andrew’s recent commissioned compositional credits include – ‘Al-Andaluz’ (Flamenco Fire 2010), a new translation of Garcia Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’ (Sydney Theatre Company 2011), major orchestral works for the Woodford Folk Festival (2001/12 & 2012/13), Gypsy Pathways’ (Flamenco Fire 2012) and the Floating Land Festival (2013).
In 2011/12, Andrew relaunched his solo performance career with an extensive tour of the east coast, regional NSW and Tasmania. In 2012, Andrew toured regional and remote Queensland with the support of the Arts Queensland Flexible Touring Program. In 2012, he also played a major role in the Portrait of Spain:Masterpieces from the Prado exhibition at Queensland Art Gallery performing extensively both as a soloist and with his production Flamenco Fire for all major public events associated with the exhibition as well as presenting an author talk as part of the Prado Up Late program.
For the past decade Veivers has been developing a very personal and clearly identifiable compositional style. His passion for both the classical and flamenco worlds of music, song, and dance have resulted in compositions that stylistically draw inspiration from greats as diverse as Manolo Sanlucar, Steve Reich, and Manuel de Falla while retaining a clearly individual lilt. Deeply rhythmical, harmonically adventurous, and unashamedly lyrical, the architecture of Veivers’ compositions reflects his ability to seamlessly join the rigorous research of a topic with the emotive goal and direction of a lyric or melody. Departures is a reflection on the people, places, and projects that have been pivotal in Veivers’ development as a musician and composer over the past 20 years.
Veivers is a musician, teacher, director and composer of the highest calibre – touring, recording, composing, and arranging extensively for solo projects, his groups Flamenco Fire and The Saruzu Quartet as well as for great Australian artistic institutions such as The Sydney Theatre Company and Woodford Folk Festival. He was also recently engaged to compose for the Sunshine Coast’s premiere green arts event – Floating Land – with his work “Stillness and the Moving” recorded for promotional ads and performed by a community based orchestra at the opening and closing ceremonies.
CD review by Graham Blackley
Acclaimed master of the Spanish guitar Andrew Veivers allows his eclectic musical tastes to inform and shape this excellent instrumental album which features nine of his original compositions.
As he writes on the revealing liner notes, “This project has afforded me the perfect opportunity to infuse elements of…beautiful musical traditions” such as “waltzes, movie scores, lullabies, theatre music, Brazilian jazz, as well as flamenco” into the work.
Considering Veivers’ pedigree as both a solo performer and as a member of the groups Flamenco Fire and The Saruzu Quartet, it is not surprising that he combines these elements seamlessly and with aplomb.
Highlights of this cohesive and warm album include the quiet drama of Here Me Are (Max’s Lullaby) and the haunting and filmic atmosphere of The Knife.