Andrew Lewis, choral
Lecturer/ Interim Director of Choirs & The Vocal Studies
“An erudite musician, … [Lewis] impresses.”
— John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
“Lewis is not only a first-class conductor, but was an engaging host for the proceedings, offering musical insights and anecdotes that were as entertaining as they were informative.”
— Dennis Polkow, New City
“The inspiring conductor, scholar, and educator.”
— John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
Recently profiled in the Chicago Tribune as the classical musician to watch, Maestro Andrew Lewis is artistic director of Bella Voce; founder and conductor of the Bella Voce Sinfonia, a period-instrument orchestra comprising some of the nation’s finest performance practice experts; music director of the Elgin Master Chorale; choirmaster at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Evanston; interim director of choirs and vocal studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago;. and assistant conductor for the Chicago Symphony Chorus, where he has helped prepare the chorus for such maestros as Matthew Halls, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, and Riccardo Muti. Lewis has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship as a regular conductor with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and has been a guest conductor with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus.His performances have been broadcast live on WFMT 98.7.
In 2019 Maestro Lewis and his professional choir, Bella Voce, released Johannes Brahms: A German Requiem (1871 London version) on Naxos Records to great critical acclaim. The American Record Guide exclaimed, “Their strong, expressive voices are good for Brahms...Trust me: You can hunt down any number of full-strength German Requiems and hear more voices doing far less with the music.” And Fanfare Magazine observed, “Bella Voce’s Artistic Director, Andrew Lewis, leads a performance that never dawdles, but also doesn’t rush matters, sustaining a compelling flexibility of phrasing and ebb and flow throughout. It is all beautifully executed.”
An avid proponent of new music, Lewis commissioned new works and given world premieres from some of the world’s leading composers, including Gabriel Jackson, Ed Frazier Davis, and Caroline Shaw, sometimes partnering with international institutions Carnegie Hall and The Three Choirs Festival (UK), and the ensembles Bella Voce, The Choir of St. Luke’s Evanston, Elgin Master Chorale, Ars Nova (Copenhagen), and the Chamber Choir of Ireland.
Mr. Lewis attended Northwestern University, receiving his Bachelor of Music degree in music theory. While still a student at Northwestern, he received a scholarship to observe the rehearsals of Daniel Barenboim and Asher Fisch at the Staatsoper-Unter-den-Linden, Berlin. After college he moved to California, worked as a church musician, and was an original member of the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale of San Francisco, having sung with Baroque specialists Nicholas McGegan and John Butt. He then attended the Eastman School of Music to study choral and orchestral conducting with William Weinert and orchestral conducting with David Effron, receiving his Master of Music degree in 1998.
He has also studied with conductors Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Robert Spano, James Paul, Gustav Meier, Stephen Cleobury, Duain Wolfe, and Dale Warland in the United States and Michel Tapachnik in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Mr. Lewis is married to singer and conductor Kirsten Hedegaard. He and Kirsten have three sons, all of whom sing with their dad at St. Luke’s.