Music Director

Music Director Andrew Taylor during the general rehearsal for APO’s January 2016 concert

Born in Reading, Andrew started his musical training at the age of 7 as a chorister of Earley St. Peter’s Church under the direction of the late Gary Turner. Other early musical influences were his wonderful piano teacher, Anne Nunn, and the late Roger Johnson at Reading Blue Coat School, who encouraged Andrew to learn the oboe. Under the guidance of Hazel Todd and Sophia McKenna this became Andrew’s main instrument, but while reading music at Cardif University he also began to learn the art of conducting with Huw Gareth Williams.

In 2002, Andrew returned to Reading and set up the Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra (APO) with some like-minded friends. He was chairman of APO until 2005 and remains its music director, having conducted over 50 concerts, with repertoire ranging from Albinoni and Vivaldi (directed from the oboe and harpsichord, respectively) through to directing nearly 150 performers for Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony. He is committed to promoting young musicians and new music, overseeing the commissioning of 28 pieces by APO Young Composers Award winners in 16 years, conducting the world premiere of 24 of them.

Away from APO, Andrew has made three appearances with Tewkesbury Camerata. In 2017 he made his debut with the University of Reading’s Festival Sinfonia, returning in 2018 and 2019. He is an active supporter of the local arts scene, supporting Reading Youth Orchestra and promoting international collaboration as a committee member of the Reading-Düsseldorf Association. He earns his crust developing training for train drivers and can still occasionally be seen at the controls of the green machines of Great Western Railway. In November 2019, Andrew was presented with a Pride of Reading award for his cultural contribution to his home town.