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Last updated: 15 April 2014


Virginia Woolf's suicide note (extract) Sappho and Maurice Chevalier.

Last Words in Adelaide, Ballarat, Melbourne and Sydney

March 2014. Andrew Ford's new song cycle Last Words will receive more performances as part of a short Australian east-coast tour by soprano Jane Sheldon and the Seraphim Trio at the end of March.

First performed by the same performers in an all-Ford concert at the 2013 Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, Last Words sets to music the final utterances of Goethe, Sappho, Emily Dickinson and Maurice Chevalier alongside final poems (Robert Louis Stevenson, Emily Brontë, Dorothy Porter), letters (Major Sullivan Balou writing to his wife before the battle of Bull Run in the American Civil War, Virginia Woolf's final letter to her husband) and diary entries (Captain Scott). The work reaches its climax in a breathless setting of a passage from the end of Tim Winton's celebrated novel Cloudstreet.

> Read the text and a program note of Last Words
> Performances of Andrew Ford's music in 2014


Video/audio online

Watch a 2-part documentary about Elegy in a Country Graveyard: Part 1; Part 2 (Four Donkey Films)

Watch ANAM musicians, conducted by Brett Dean, perform Andrew Ford's Symphony (Youtube)

Watch Catherine McCorkill play Ford's Snatches of Old Lauds in Abercrombie Caves (YouTube)

Watch Ensamble 3 performing Ford's Ringing the Changes (YouTube)

Listen to Dance Maze performed by the Sydney Alpha Ensemble. (classic/amp)

Latest additions
to work list

Slow Air, for trumpet, trombone and guitar
To My Excellent Lucasia, on Our Friendship, for soprano, mezzo-soprano, bass clarinet and vibes
Once upon a time there were two brothers..., for solo flute
Last Words, for soprano, violin, cello and piano
for 11 trombones
and four bass drums
String Quartet No. 5
Australian Aphorisms for six solo voices
On Reflection for two pianos
String Quartet No. 4
for medium voice and piano
Three Northumbrian Songs for soprano, harp and string quartet
Cradle Song for string quartet
String Quartet No. 3
Cradle Song for violin and piano
The First Hundred for brass band
Blitz for orchestra and prerecorded voices
Waiting for the Barbarians for large chorus
You Must Sleep, but I Must Dance
for viola and percussion
The Scattering of Light
for violin, viola, cello and piano

Free sheet music

Thin Air for solo piano (pdf 188 KB)
Broadway Boogie Woogie
(pdf 150 KB)
for solo piano
Fear no more . . . (pdf 155 KB)
for solo piano


High resolution promotional photographs for use in concert programs and other non-commercial contexts are now available on the biography subpage.


The Music Show website

ABC Radio National - The Music Show

James Cuddeford with his violin in the concert poster of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta

Learning to Howl
- a new CD from ABC Classics

April 2013. ABC Classics has released a recording of Andrew Ford's double award-winning song cycle, Learning to Howl, sung by the soprano Jane Sheldon. The piece sets words by Lorrie Moore, Sappho, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Emily Brontë, Queen Elizabeth I, Ann Timoney Jenkin and Elizabeth Smart (among others) and represents a woman's life from childhood to old age. The CD also includes the 'single' version of a song from the cycle, the Rossetti setting 'The Birthday of My Life', together with Snatches of Old Lauds, for bass clarinet and drone, and Sounds and sweet airs, for flute and clarinet. The other major work on the disc is the Prix Italia runner-up Elegy in a Country Graveyard,.

> Buy the CD from ABC Shop


Where to find tracks and books online

November 2012. Andrew Ford's latest book Try Whistling This (Black Inc.) has been receiving strong reviews in the Australian press. It is available from any good book shop in Australia and New Zealand, and elsewhere from It is also available as an ebook from Readings, and (UK residents only). You can also download Try Whistling This, The Sound of Pictures, and the new edition of Illegal Harmonies from iTunes.

Also at iTunes are Ford's four Tall Poppies albums (Whispers, Harbour, Icarus and The Waltz Book), together with individual pieces from Tall Poppies and ABC Classics and international releases including d'amore and The Tears of Geertje Dircx.

You can buy CDs and individual MP3 tracks of Andrew Ford's music through the Australian Music Centre. A wide selection of CDs with music by Ford is available from the Buywell online CD store. For a full list of CDs, please see also the CD subpage.



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Ford in the USA: Boston, Juilliard, Yale

March 2014. This April Andrew Ford will be in the United States, presenting lectures at Boston Conservatory (Wednesday 9 April), The Juilliard School (Thursday 10 April) and Yale University (Tuesday 15 - Thursday 17 April). At Yale, as Poynter Fellow in Journalism, Ford will give a lecture entitled 'The Composer as Critic' and his music will be featured in a concert at Morse Recital Hall on 17 April at which New Music New Haven will perform the US premieres of the violin and percussion duo War and Peace (2004) and On Winter's Traces (2009) for piccolo, bass clarinet, piano and string quartet.


_blankGondwana Voices recording their part of Untuning the Sky (click for a larger image).

Untuning the Sky

February 2014. You can now download a free podcast of Untuning the Sky, last year's collaboration between composer Andrew Ford, Genevieve Lacey (recorders), Phil Slater (trumpet), a dozen musicians from the Australian National Academy of Music, 71 members of Gondwana Voices, sound engineer/producer Jim Atkins and the painter John Olsen, who reads Dryden's great ode 'A Song for St Cecilia's Day'. Additionally, you can hear Andrew Ford talking about the piece to ABC Classic FM's Stephen Adams.


Listen to radio
programs online

Illegal Harmonies is a ten-part history of music in the 20th century.

Music and Fashion casts a far wider net, the programs ranging from the 12th-century composers of Notre Dame to Cyndi Lauper, from Andrea Bocelli to Elvis Presley, and from electronica to the Elizabethan volta.

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