Of Cree descent, Andrew Balfour has written a body of more than 30 choral, instrumental and orchestral works, including Take the Indian, Empire Étrange: The Death of Louis Riel, Migiis: A Whiteshell Soundscape, Bawajigaywin, Gregorio’s Nightmare, Wa Wa Tey Wak (Northern Lights), Fantasia on a Poem by Rumi, Missa Brevis and Medieval Inuit. He has been commissioned by the Winnipeg, Regina and Toronto symphony orchestras, Ensemble Caprice, 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.
Andrew is also founder and Artistic Director of the innovative vocal group Camerata Nova. Founded in 1996, the Winnipeg-based singers present an annual concert series, perform at new and early music festivals, have five recordings and a variety of broadcasts. With Camerata Nova, Andrew specializes in creating “concept concerts” (Wa Wa Tey Wak (Northern Lights), Medieval Inuit, Chant!, Tricksters and Troubadours) exploring a theme through an eclectic array of music, including new works, arrangements and innovative inter-genre and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Andrew is passionate about music education and outreach, particularly in schools located in low-income areas of Winnipeg and northern communities. Since 2008 he has worked on behalf of organizations such as the National Arts Centre, Camerata Nova, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and various Manitoba school divisions, offering young students empowering sessions in the joy and freedom of self-expression through music.
Andrew was Curator and Composer-in-Residence of the WSO’s Indigenous Festival 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.