Andy Teirstein

Andy Tierstein Composer

Andy Teirstein composes for the concert hall, film, theater, and dance. His music theater works include The Vagabonds, A Blessing on the Moon, Secrets of the North, Papushko (Richard Rodgers Award), The Wild, Winter Man (NEA Award) and Skels (NEA Award). Teirstein studied composition with Henry Brant at Bennington College, with Tania Leon, Bruce Saylor, and David del Tredici at the Graduate Center (Ph.D, 2010), and with Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents at NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. He has expanded his musical background by learning fiddle tunes in Ireland, performing as a musical clown with a Mexican circus, and collecting traditional music in Romania and Bulgaria. His CD, Open Crossings (2009), draws inspiration from Balkan, Appalachian and Jewish influences, the music of Bartók, and the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish and Robert Service. Teirstein’s eclectic background has led him to successful collaborations with choreographers including Liz Lerman, Donald Byrd, Stephen Petronio, and Phyllis Lamhut. The Village Voice has said that his music “seems to speak in celestial accents of some utopia whose chief industry is dancing.” His work has been heard at BAM, The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, as well as abroad. Film scores include Men for the BBC and Margaret Sanger for PBS. He was a music consultant/composer for the critically acclaimed documentary series The West. Other film scores include A Little Tour of Manhattan, directed by Alister Sanderson, The Mind’s Journey, directed by Peter Way, and Welcome to Willieworld, directed by Scott Saunders. Teirstein's music is recorded by the Alaria Ensemble, the Cassatt Quartet, the Kiev Philharmonic, the Cygnus Ensemble, and others. His CDs Open Crossings and Mannahatta have been featured on National Public Radio’s “New Sounds” program. A collaborative CD, Welcome to Willieworld, is a musical landscape which accompanies the poetry/memoir of Maggie Dubris, a Manhattan paramedic. As an actor, he was an original cast member of the Broadway hit show Barnum and appeared in the TV series Search for Tomorrow and the film Sophie’s Choice. Most recently, he plays a number of roles in Woody Sez Off-Broadway at the Irish Repertory Theater, and previously at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End, the A.R.T. in Cambridge, MA, and in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Berlin, and Belfast. He is a member of the touring folk and modern dance/music troupe The Vanaver Caravan. Teirstein has received awards from Meet the Composer, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and ASCAP.  He is currently an Arts Professor at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and Director of the Global Institute for Advanced Study Working Group Translucent Borders, which explores the role of dance and music at cultural and geographic borders.