George Andoniadis


George Andoniadis
Mixed Choir + Soprano
March 2005
God’s World

George Andoniadis was born in Montreal, and grew up in the Chicago area where he began playing and composing music. He studied at Northwestern University and the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Andoniadis has composed numerous theater scores and much vocal music, both solo and choral, and has received world premiere performances from the Gregg Smith Singers, the Bowdoin College Chamber Choir, the University of Southern Maine Chamber Singers, and the Choral Art Society of Portland, Maine. His music has also been featured on concerts of the Ohio University Chamber Singers and the Lancaster Chorale.

Mr. Andoniadis is a member of ASCAP, Chorus America, and the Society of Composers and Lyricists. He has been a grant recipient from Meet the Composer, Inc., and was a winner of the Composition Competition of the Festival of Contemporary Choral Music in America sponsored by Bowdoin College. His work has been included in the Bates College New American Music Festival and has also been featured on Maine Public Radio. His choral setting of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 56 received its world premiere by the South Bend Chamber Singers, and Hymn to St. Xenia, based on a Greek text, was commissioned by the Metropolitan Greek Chorale and premiered by that group in New York. Mr. Andoniadis recently composed and performed music for two new theater pieces, Wait for Me at the Bottom of the Pool, at the Here Arts Center, and I Look Divine at Dixon Place, both in New York. His choral work, Psalm 142, was commissioned and premiered by the Choral Art Society of Portland, Maine. He has composed music for a film logo and scored a series of short films called Hyperactive: Radical Sports for CineMuse, Inc. in NYC and has recently completed two scores for the Portland Stage Company productions of Proof and Women and the Sea. He recently composed a new musical called Home, written with librettist and lyricist Sofia L. Geier, and conducted a Concert/Reading of the show directed by Ms. Geier at the Blue Heron Arts Center in NYC. With God’s World, Mr. Andoniadis has now completed two commissions for the Manhattan Choral Ensemble, the first having been a work entitled Birds, set to a poem by Hallie Geier and performed in the 2005 season.

“When Tom Cunningham and I first met to discuss this commission, he mentioned that the choir was interested in being more involved in the process. I loved that idea, even thought I didn’t really know what it meant! But as we have moved forward, it has developed into a wonderful and very rewarding experience with at least two unique aspects. The first involved the selection of the text. As I had not already selected one, Tom suggested that I come up with a few possibilities and then come to a gathering of interested choir members to discuss them. This meeting occurred back in late November over dinner and was a lot of fun, as everything is with this bunch. I had brought three text choices and passed them out and as we began to look them over and talk about them, it became VERY clear which one hit home with the group. Tom reiterated that it was my choice, and we all went our separate ways. Sometime later, Tom asked which text I had chosen, and I said ‘God’s World, of course.’ How could I not since it had been the poem that had so moved the choir at that dinner. I was delighted since it had, after all, been one of my choices anyway. But the process was something special, and unique.

“The second thing involved the actual music. We had determined at that first meeting that I would bring in a short bit of music fairly early in the process so the choir could sing through it and get an idea of how the piece was developing and offer thoughts and comments. This session happened in February. I had about half the piece composed but I brought in somewhat less and the group read through it and had a lot of interesting ideas and questions. I had never given a piece to a group at this stage of completion (or non-completion) and I had NEVER given music that was in this state in terms of notation. The score had no markings of any kind yet. Absolutely bare. Notes and only notes. It was truly a joy to hear this terrific group go through those notes, led by their marvelous director to find things in that bare music, and especially to wonder out loud as to what might follow. Again, a special and unique evening.

“The result of this interesting and adventurous process is the music I have composed and that the Manhattan Choral Ensemble with the superb soloist Kiera Duffy will sing to this spectacularly expressive poem which reaches to sky and the stars and delves so deeply into the soul.”
George Andoniadis, Birds (mp3)

Mr. Andoniadis has composed numerous theater scores and much vocal music, both solo and choral, and has received world premiere performances from the Gregg Smith Singers, the Bowdoin College Chamber Choir, the University of Southern Maine Chamber Singers, and the Choral Art Society of Portland, Maine. His music has also been featured on concerts of the Ohio University Chamber Singers and the Lancaster Chorale. For more information, visit: http://www.imaginationsound.com/

Birds is a composition born of sadness but living as an expression of joy and hope. The words were written by Andoniadis’s 11-year old niece, Hallie Geier, who died last year in a car accident. “She lived an amazingly full life for her short time here with us and this poem is an example of her fertile and powerful imagination,” Mr. Andoniadis said. “The words create striking images and then express a yearning that we all have felt as we see the miraculous flight of birds in the sky. As a composer, I simply tried to paint the poem with notes and in so doing to communicate Hallie’s spirit and perhaps speak with her soul.” Birds is dedicated to Hallie’s sister, MJ.