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Andrew Griffiths

Orchestra of the Swan, April 2018

And what a success Wednesday's guest proved to be, Andrew Griffiths stepping into the shoes of his popular predecessor, and creating a gust of enchanting fresh air as he inspired these empathetic performers to exhilarating heights of precision and blends of colour... the results he drew orchestrally were hugely exciting on both sides of the footlights. Caplet's orchestration of Debussy's Children's Corner and Busser's of the same composer's Petite Suite, persuasive and convincing both, provided gorgeous vehicles for OOTS' wind soloists and silky strings... Finally came the Symphony in C by the 17-year-old Bizet, again, too prolix for its ideas, but given with enthusiasm by the rejuvenated OOTS under the remarkable Griffiths, of whom I hope to hear a whole lot more.
Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post


Reviews for Londinium's debut recording, The Gluepot Connection, 2018

Over time I have got used to the very high quality of Somm's engineering, presentation, programming and performances. But even by those high standards, this is a very fine disc indeed, possibly one of their finest... Griffiths achieves a quite superb rich blend and balance across all the parts... Another factor is that Griffiths is very attuned to how the choir are alert to the detail of the text. I like the way they engage with the words without any mannered over-pointing or the fussy musical phrasing that some choir conductors seem to mistake as being "musical". Griffiths allows the musical lines to flow and quite literally breathe... The extended liner essay by Andrew Griffiths is insightful, affectionate and informative... Hopefully, the first of a series of collaborations between label and artists.
Nick Barnard, MusicWeb International

Andrew Griffiths has put together a generous and varied a cappella sequence, as nourishing as it is technically challenging, nowhere more so than in Arnold Bax'ss towering Mater ora filium, which receives a reading of impressive accomplishment and no mean flair... How perceptively Griffiths and his responsive group quarry the depths of both John Ireland's The Hills and Walton's sublime setting of John Masefield's Where does the uttered music go?.

Particularly welcome are the premiere recordings of Alan Rawsthorne's Four Seasonal Songs, and Alan Bush's Lidice and Like Rivers Flowing. Elsewhere, Peter Warlock's The Full Heart mesmerises in its penetrating harmonic resourcefulness, as indeed does Delius's lovely On Craig Ddu. Elisabeth Lutyens's sensuous Verses of Love enjoys superbly controlled advocacy; and it's always a treat to encounter Moeran's enchanting Songs of Springtime when they receive such ardent and fresh-faced treatment as here.

Excellently engineered by David Hinitt within the helpful surroundings of All Hallows, Gospel Oak, and knowledgeably annotated by Andrew Griffiths, this enterprising and imaginative Somm anthology strikes me as well worth seeking out.
Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone

Andrew Griffiths... had the bright idea of bringing together some of the little-known choral works of those "Gluepot" composers. And what an interesting and varied bunch they are... It's a brave undertaking for Griffiths and his Londinium chamber choir. They relish the dreamy harmonies of Lutyens's Verses of Love; they produce a thrillingly intense tone on Alan Rawsthorne's Four Seasonal Songs; and they're not intidimated by the cruelly high notes in Bax's Mater Ora Filium... It's a dream of old England, which in the best of the pieces, such as Warlock's The Full Heart, attains a beauty and intensity that goes far beyond nostalgia.
Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph

A rapt performance of Peter Warlock's The Full Heart opens it, the discomfiting harmonies and eerie suspensions evocatively registered... the choir's expressive instincts are confirmed in a blithe, breezy account of Moeran's Songs of Springtime, with supple, neatly pointed direction by conductor Andrew Griffiths.
Terry Blain, BBC Music Magazine

A creative programming coup... Andrew Griffiths... brings considerable expertise and intellect to this ambitious undertaking... Alan Rawsthorne's Four Seasonal Songs are another album highlight, and the choir delivers the composer's imitative polyphony with precision and sensitivity... Walton's characteristically dark, sinuous harmonies gradually build to a swirling climax that showcases the range of Londinium's 40 singers, as arching upper sopranos give way to lustrous low chords in the other three voices... The ensemble's debut effort, under Griffiths's expert direction, is a notable achievement - and one expects to hear even greater accomplishments from Londinium in the future.
Krishan Oberoi, American Record Guide

Very varied it is too, from card-carrying communist Alan Bush's passionate threnody for the victims of Lidice (the little Czech town obliterated by the Nazis) to that knight of the Celtic twilight Arnold Bax's lush setting of the medieval carol I sing of a Maiden that is makeless. E.J. Moeran and Peter Warlock - renowned for drinking all comers under the table - are at their pastoral sweetest in Songs of Springtime and The Full Heart, and works by Ireland, Walton, Delius, Rawsthorne and Lutyens complete the disc. Under Andrew Griffiths the choir reveals stylistic versatility, clarity and passionate singing.
Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post

This whole collection is of a very high standard, the choice of pieces inspired, the singing articulate, voices disciplined and finely tuned to shape and line and sensitively coloured to the atmosphere and character of every song... I could rhapsodise further, but enough... No doubt it will figure in my Recordings of the Year choice.
Ian Lace, MusicWeb International

Beautifully balanced singing... keeps the texture clear and clean. Warlock's The Full Heart is a stand out, on its own worth the price of the CD... Andrew Griffiths' erudite booklet notes give extensive detail on other habitués of the "Gluepot", with so many cross-references that one could probably draw up a flowchart... It's as if a stained glass window were bursting into song!
Classical Iconoclast

I have to admit that this CD was my introduction to the Londinium Chamber Choir, but I was extremely impressed and will be looking out for more of their work. They have evidently established a reputation for imaginative and eclectic programming, though specialising in lesser-known works of the twentieth century. They are led by musical director Andrew Griffiths, whose background is in opera as well as broadcasting. He produces an authentic and at times thrilling sound on this CD, and is to be congratulated in making a highly appropriate selection from the rich heritage of the English choral repertoire... This would be a welcome addition to anyone's record library and is highly recommended.
Richard Packer, Delius Society Journal


Songs for Nancy, Bampton Classical Opera, 2018

Both singers were ably supported by Andrew Griffiths at the piano or as conductor of a very accomplished chamber ensemble, CHROMA, who accompanied the singing idiomatically. There was sensitive solo woodwind, neat and fine-toned strings and a playful flute came to the fore during a light, stylish and airy account of Haydn's 83rd Symphony... The concert was a joy from beginning to end.
Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International

Tightly-focused concerts like this are always fun because you learn so much about the historical context as well as the music, and I was glad to see Nancy Storace rising again from the shadows. I was very impressed by Chroma and by Andrew Griffiths's spirited conducting - he was clearly having a wonderful time bouncing along to Haydn's Hen...
The Idle Woman


Londinium in Alsace, 2016

English chamber choir Londinium, directed by Andrew Griffiths, made the narthex walls of the old abbey tremble with its extraordinary power and with a most surprising a cappella repertoire. The audience may not have expected such a breeze of fresh air in the middle of a heat wave - the freshness of a spectacular vocal performance with seemingly limitless vocal textures. From basses to sopranos, all were keen to offer the full extent of the range to the music lovers who rejoiced at the choir members' delivery.
DNA Colmar Edition


Orlando, Welsh National Opera, 2015

The generously-sized WNO Orchestra provided essentially weighty support on modern instruments, but with a generally brisk and vigorous lead from Andrew Griffiths, informed by 'period' practice, which resulted in a sensible compromise between the two approaches to the realisation of Baroque music. Particularly, with sturdy continuo grounding, it was reminiscent of Charles Mackerras's interpretations of Handel.
Curtis Rogers, Classical Source

The conductor, the youthful looking Andrew Griffiths who obviously relished every note, created pure joy with his enthusiasm and clear direction, musically resulting in style, elegance and forward motion - all essential in Handel's music.
Vanessa Woodward, The Daily Info

WNO's production... was imbued with a spirit of fun, with cast, orchestra, and conductor clearly relishing the performance.
Alexia Kirk, The Oxford Culture Review

Andrew Griffiths was so clearly in love with Handel's score for Orlando that it was almost as much fun watching him dance and sing his way through the show as it was watching the stage; and the orchestra responded to him with clear pleasure and baroque energy that invigorated the music even further.
Mel Cooper, playstosee.com

Some fine playing from the orchestra under conductor Andrew Griffiths also helped to make this a very worthy account of this rarely performed work.
Jerald Smith, nativemonster.com

The slick orchestra is led by conductor Andrew Griffiths, who in his mastery has the power to manipulate the audience's mind by sudden changes of atmosphere and emotion in the music, just as the story demands.
Elizabeth Halpin, behindthearras.com


Voices of the North, Londinium, 2015

Both Sibelius and Nielsen were multi-faceted composers and the chamber choir Londinium sang representative a cappella works by both Nordic masters alongside pieces by other regional composers. Rakastava can lay claim to be Sibelius's most perfect composition; it is an early work (1894) but a completely original one. Nielsen's Tre Motetter (1929), on the other hand, comes at the end of his career and made a much better impression at this concert than they did at the recent Prom where the polyphonic harmonies were largely lost in the Albert Hall acoustic. Londinium, conducted with great style by Andrew Griffiths, has the twin merits of balance and clarity in its projection of each work.
Edward Clark, UK Sibelius Society


The Wanton Sublime, Inside Intelligence / Orpheus Sinfonia / Grimeborn Festival 2015

Superb playing by the Orpheus Sinfonia conducted by Andrew Griffiths and Hai-Ting Chinn's utterly committed performance deliver the highest degree of excellence.
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph

Fine playing from the Orpheus Sinfonia under Andrew Griffiths.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian


Dalibor, BBC Singers / BBC Symphony Orchestra, 2015

(Andrew was chorus-master with the BBC Singers)

With superb work from the BBC Singers, this was an evening of pure joy.
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph

The BBC Singers (expertly prepared by Andrew Griffiths) proved as rousing or as foreboding as the scenic context required in what is by no means a 'chorus opera' in the accepted sense.
Richard Whitehouse, classicalsource.com

Superb choral work, too, from the BBC Singers, small in number (it's a professional body, so they need paying) but disproportionately voluminous in sound.
Stephen Jay-Taylor, Opera Britannia

The BBC Singers gave a splendid, polished performance, providing more power than their number might suggest.
Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack

Without much to contribute apart from some impassioned cries of 'Dalibor! Dalibor!' and some drunken soldiers antics the enthusiastic BBC Singers were clearly well-schooled and wonderfully committed.
Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International

The BBC Singers handled the chorus part well, especially the basses, who are called on to represent the judges condemning Dalibor in the first act and the monks commending his soul in the last.
Gavin Dixon, The Arts Desk


Messiah, Early Opera Company, Wigmore Hall, 2014

Andrew Griffiths (who replaced EOC's founder Christian Curnyn, who is unwell) directed from the harpsichord - he is a formidable continuo player - losing nothing of the Curnyn style of high drama. His Messiah was very much at the opera end of the oratorio spectrum, often deliriously so. Griffiths's tempos were nippy without being breathless, and the momentum was such that the arias and recitatives had a reciprocal energising arrangement with the choruses that gave Handel's and Jennens's scheme a remarkable pliancy and cohesion... Griffiths judged the big sound of "Hallelujah" and "Worthy is the Lamb" (in both of which the four soloists beefed up the chorus) to fill the acoustic without a hint of distortion... Handel's extraordinary sequence of prophetic expectation, revelation and redemption was celebrated in great style.
Peter Reed, classicalsource.com


Gawain, BBC Singers / BBC Symphony Orchestra, 2014

(Andrew conducted the offstage BBC Singers)

Masterfully marshalled by Brabbins (and, for the off-stage BBC Singers, Andrew Griffiths)...
Nick Breckenfield, classicalsource.com

Martyn Brabbins led a superlative performance from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the splendid BBC Singers (conducted offstage with equal excellence by Andrew Griffiths).
Mark Berry, boulezian.blogspot.com


Chansonnerie, Londinium, 2014

London amateur chamber choir Londinium with conductor Andrew Griffiths are known for their quality performances and this foray into French music at St. Sepulchre without Newgate did not disappoint... This choir is definitely one to watch.
Hilary Glover, planethugill.com


La finta semplice, Bampton Classical Opera, 2013

The evening in St John's proved to be one of rare musical enchantment, as Andrew Griffiths led the CHROMA ensemble through young Mozart's dazzling explorations of tempo and timbre.
Andrew Porter, Opera Magazine

A punchy if not period orchestra under a top-drawer young conductor, Andrew Griffiths... an uplifting and energised evening - all in the best traditions of Bampton.
Roderick Dunnett, Opera Now

Conductor Andrew Griffiths demonstrated a keen sense of style and dramatic momentum, drawing superb, stylish playing from the eighteen musicians of CHROMA... It was in the act finales - where the characters enter in rather jerky succession compared with the smooth accumulation of texture and tempo of the later operas - that Griffiths most particularly showed his dramatic acumen, managing the abrupt changes of style, tempo and time signature with impressive control, forming an effective chain of contrasting sections.
Claire Seymour, Opera Today

Bampton Opera is marking its 20th birthday this year by doing what it does best - unearthing a little-known opera and making a case for its acceptance into the mainstream operatic repertoire... The ever-reliable Bampton orchestra played impeccably under the baton of Andrew Griffiths.
Nicola Lisle, Oxford Times

Seven talented young singers give lively performances: Aoife O'Sullivan sparkles as the lady feigning stupidity in order to get her way, and Caryl Hughes, Robert Anthony Gardiner and Gavan Ring (an Irish baritone clearly going places) also shine as brightly as their music permits. Andrew Griffiths conducts the Chroma ensemble, which played neatly.
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph

On a damp September evening, Bampton Classical Opera brought the warmth and romance of Italian sunshine to a corner of Westminster... BCO and CHROMA orchestra delivered this uplifting, playfully engaging production of Mozart's first full-length opera with superb timing, both comically and musically. A sparkling, witty delight!
Prasanthi Matharu, British Society for Eighteen-Century Studies

Andrew Griffiths was able as conductor to show a far keener appreciation of the score, pacing it well, offering both contrast and, especially during the second and third acts, a proper sense, even at this stage in Mozart's career, of dramatic development. Griffiths yielded where appropriate, without succumbing in any sense, to the mannerisms that so bedevil present performances of eighteenth-century repertoire. If there were occasions when one missed the sound of a full orchestra, the CHROMA ensemble offered for the most part finely honed, sensitive playing: stylish without affectation.
Mark Berry, boulezian.blogspot.com


Cosi fan tutte, Opera Theatre Company, 2012-13

Among Mozart's late operas, Cosi fan tutte is especially amenable to the kind of trimmed-down, touring production that Opera Theatre Company premiered here... More challenging is the possible loss of impact when rearranging such a sumptuous orchestral score. All these issues, and more, are persuasively addressed... Musically, this is an effective production. Andrew Griffiths directed from the piano with quietly virtuosic flair... a memorable and very enjoyable evening's entertainment.
Martin Adams, The Irish Times

...an extremely lean band, here provided by an energetic wind quintet plus piano, played with lively virtuosity by young music director Andrew Griffiths. This kind of slimmed texture inevitably loses much in the way of contrast but also reveals a good deal of detail, and some lovely sinuous playing highlighted the way Mozart switches between hymny, solemn chordal music and the jaunty piquancy of pithy comments and lightning interjections.
Robert Thicknesse, Opera Magazine

Andrew Griffiths directs a graceful, elegant account of the music from the piano, setting excellent, clearly thought-through tempos for his team of singers... thoroughly entertaining.
Terry Blain, Opera Britannia

Sensitively directed by English pianist/conductor Andrew Griffiths, [the orchestra] provides abundant variety in supporting the singers and Griffiths' recitative accompaniments are brilliantly incisive.
Pat O'Kelly, Irish Independent

The principals do justice to Mozart's supremely beautiful arias and the minimal orchestra, conducted by Andrew Griffiths, is excellent both in its interpretation and in timing, allowing for slight variations of pace and pauses for audience laughter.
Jo Kerrigan, Irish Examiner

As alluring as it is refreshing... The well-assembled cast of six are witty and agile in their performances, guided by Andrew Griffiths.
Gillian Hopper, entertainment.ie


Britten in America, Londinium, 2013

A.M.D.G. is, however, a terrific piece if taken on its own terms and one which gives the choir a chance to shine, which Londinium did quite brilliantly. Their performance of the whole work was a tour de force, and it was presented with a confidence, firmness and vividness which was altogether admirable.
Robert Hugill, planethugill.com


French Double Bill, Bampton Classical Opera, 2012

This delightful opéra-comique double bill of Philidor and Grétry respectively was both enjoyable and instructive... Musical standards were first-class: the company orchestra played quite beautifully for Andrew Griffiths in music that may look simple on the page (it isn't) but which offers many opportunities for imaginative players and conductor.
Rodney Milnes, Opera Magazine

Seated behind the performers, the musicians of Chroma performed with grace and lightness, conductor Andrew Griffiths thoughtfully highlighting the musical details in a manner which complemented the character and form of the vocal lines. Griffiths clearly appreciates the composers' melodic inventiveness and the overall musico-dramatic structure of these works. The orchestral tone was pleasing, the intonation excellent, and the ensemble between band and singers consistent and secure.
Claire Seymour, Opera Today

The double bill of two short works by Philidor and Grétry were a glimpse into what kept ancien régime aristos entertained before they lost their heads... This was a cast of young singers at the forefront of their generation, a perennial credit to Bampton's casting; Andrew Griffiths kept the thing moving - and band and singers together in what is not the easiest layout - and Jeremy Gray delivered a trademark staging of pleasantly zany silliness and inspiration.
Robert Thicknesse, Oxford Times

We got some spirited and promising individual performances... the small orchestra under Andrew Griffiths's direction played immaculately.
Michael Church, The Independent

As the orchestra was placed behind the stage, it must have been quite tricky for conductor Andrew Griffiths to keep the singers and orchestra together, but the playing was crisp and lively and there were some lovely wind solos... an entertaining insight into the forgotten genre of French opéra comique.
Nahako Gotoh, Bachtrack

The Orchestra of Bampton Classical Opera was under the able leadership of the young Andrew Griffiths.
Stefaan Feet, Place de l'Opera


Smetana: The Bartered Bride (CD HMC902119/20), 2012

(Andrew acted as chorus-master with the BBC Singers)

The BBC Singers bring muscle and sinew to the choruses.
Disc of the Week, BBC Radio 3 CD Review


Perpetual Light (wp), Old Vic Tunnels, 2011

A fusion of live choir, film and installation, Perpetual Light featured the Londinium choir, conducted by Andrew Griffiths... Perpetual Light was a dark, tormented piece, punctuated by moments of brightness. It was these moments that radiated hope, the emotional thread that tied the whole piece together. From start to finish, Londinium perfectly captured this delicate emotion, without ever losing the provocative torment that defined Curry's work.
Kay Kempin, Bachtrack


La Cenerentola, Iford Festival Opera, 2010

Happier times in Iford's enchanted Somerset cloister, where Rossini's Cinderella, directed by Bill Bankes-Jones, turns out to be more than summer fluff. The score is reduced to eleven instruments, sounds rather Schubertian, and comes across with great verve, clarity and elegance in Andrew Griffiths's conducting of the Chroma ensemble... Griffiths paces things brilliantly, not afraid to draw out a yearning strain that is often lost in the welter of Rossinian ebullience, but equally driving the ensembles along with scary speed.
Robert Thicknesse, The Tablet

Cenerentola's final showcase aria can be a stumbling-block not just for the singer but for the whole opera, yet Caryl Hughes blossomed at just the right time, without any feeling of having stinted on the way. The conductor Andrew Griffiths managed Rossini's overall crescendo to this peak with similar control and flair, ensuring a wholly satisfying end to the evening. It was a reminder that there is almost nothing to beat the magic of Iford at its intimate best.
Rian Evans, Opera Magazine

Supported by vivacious playing from the ensemble Chroma under Andrew Griffiths, Caryl Hughes sang warmly as an endearing Cenerentola... Cenerentola will never be my favourite Rossini opera, but in Iford's Italianate cloister, it shone with gentle charm.
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph

Caryl Hughes gave a feisty account of the title role, fluent in her colatura with her small frame packing a big punch. The Chroma ensemble, under Andrew Griffiths, provided effervescent accompaniment that made the show fizz along nicely.
Ashutosh Khandekar, Opera Now


Il barbiere di Siviglia, Iford Festival Opera, 2009

Iford Arts' opera summer season has kicked off with a lively take on Rossini's ever-green comic masterpiece... Andrew Griffiths - a graduate of the Royal Opera's Young Artist Programme - managed to keep things together with a sure hand, produced some seductive Rossinian rubato and elicited a great deal of characterful playing from the ten-piece orchestra, CHROMA.
Hugo Shirley, Musical Criticism

Chroma, a ten-piece band conducted by Andrew Griffiths, played this wonderful score with the elegance of a spirited Schubert.
Robert Thicknesse, Opera Now

Iford Opera's 'Barber of Seville' is in full swing - and well worth catching for Andre Heller-Lopes' adroit, energetic (if sometimes fidgety) production, Andrew Griffiths' nippy musical pacing, and a zestful cast.
Venue Magazine


Hansel and Gretel, Opera North, 2008

Opera North did it with a six-piece band, and an audience of squirming 9-year-olds. The Royal Opera production was all about luxury casting and a sublime orchestral sound. Yet it was Opera North that won hands down... if I had to go and see one of those productions again, I'd pick Opera North's. Bigger, it turns out, doesn't always mean better.
Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian


Jette Parker Summer Concert, Royal Opera House, 2008

Richard Farnes and Andrew Griffiths conducted the Orchestra of Opera North... 'Deh, vieni' was perfectly passed and all three composers' ensembles generated exuberant theatrical momentum.
Opera Magazine


Le nozze di Figaro, Iford Festival Opera, 2008

Conductor Andrew Griffiths kept the drama moving at a good pace... without losing a delicateness that suited the singers, Mozart's music and the setting very well."
Early Music Today

Andrew Griffiths' brisk musical direction, meanwhile, ensures plenty of musical snap, crackle and pop throughout.
Venue Magazine

I doubt very much that you will find a more magical performance that this... Iford Festival Opera's own production with young, beautiful voices, and players on period instruments, all under the youthful but ever watchful eye of Andrew Griffiths.
Bach Chronicle


Rita, Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre, 2007

A musical triumph... conductor Andrew Griffiths draws from his orchestra (the Southbank Sinfonia) a rhythmically incisive, instrumentally detailed reading of Donizetti's compelling score.
MusicOMH

Young Artist Andrew Griffiths conducted an excellent account of the score, inspiring the Southbank Sinfonia to give of their all. Both the balance of the instruments and the tempi were well handled, and the accompaniment was sensitive to all three singers.
Musical Criticism


Jette Parker Summer Concert, Royal Opera House, 2007

Griffiths conducted one of the evening's particular highlights, Liora Grodnikaite's assumption of Charlotte in Massenet's Werther.
The Opera Critic

Young Artist Andrew Griffiths took the baton for the Mascagni, bringing out many details of the composer's lush orchestral palette and engaging well with the singers.
MusicOMH


La serva padrona, ROH Linbury Theatre, 2007

Andrew Griffiths leads his small ensemble in a suitably lively performance of the score.
MusicOMH

Links

Opera Magazine
www.opera.co.uk

Opera Now
www.rhinegold.co.uk

The Opera Critic
www.theoperacritic.com

Musical Criticism
www.musicalcriticism.com

MusicOMH
www.musicomh.com

Bachtrack
www.bachtrack.com

Place de l'Opera
www.operamagazine.nl