Composer and Artistic Director
Of Cree descent, Winnipeg based composer Andrew Balfour is an innovative composer/conductor/singer/sound designer with a large body of choral, instrumental, electro-acoustic and orchestral works, including; Take the Indian (A Vocal reflection on Missing Children), Notinikew (Going to War), Empire Étrange: The Death of Louis Riel, Migiis: A Whiteshell Soundscape, Bawajigaywin (Vision Quest), Gregorioʼs Nightmare, Wa Wa Tey Wak (Northern Lights), Fantasia on a Poem by Rumi, Missa Brevis and Medieval Inuit, Quamaniq, Manitou Sky-An orchestral tone poem. His new Indigenous Opera, Mishaboozʼs Realm was recently premiered in Montreal and Halliburton, Ontario, commissioned by LʼAtelier Lyrique de Opéra de Montréal and Highlands Opera Workshop. He has also been commissioned by the Winnipeg, Regina and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, Ensemble Caprice, Groundswell, the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, the Winnipeg Singers, the Kingston Chamber Choir and Camerata Nova, among many others. His works have been performed and/or broadcast locally, nationally and internationally.
His 2019 season includes commissions for Roomful of Teeth, Tafelmusik, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Andrew is also the founder and Artistic Director of the innovative, 14-member vocal group Camerata Nova, now in its 22nd year of offering a concert series in Winnipeg. With Camerata Nova, Andrew specializes in creating “concept concerts”, many with indigenous subject matter (Wa Wa Tey Wak (Northern Lights), Medieval Inuit, Chant!). These innovative offerings explore a theme through an eclectic array of music, including new works, arrangements and innovative inter-genre and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Andrew has become increasingly passionate about music education and outreach, particularly on northern reserves and inner city Winnipeg schools where he has worked on behalf of the National Arts Centre, Camerata Nova, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and various Winnipeg school divisions for the past eight years.
Andrew was Curator and Composer-in-Residence of the WSO’s Indigenous Festivals in 2009 and 2010 and in 2007 received the Mayor of Winnipeg’s Making a Mark Award, sponsored by the Winnipeg Arts Council to recognize the most promising midcareer artist in the City. In 2017, he was awarded a Gold Medal by the Senate of Canada for his contribution to Canada’s indigenous and music communities.