WAILES, ANDREW, B.A. (Hons.) Conductor
Widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading conductors specialising in symphonic choral repertoire, Andrew Wailes enjoys a busy performing and teaching schedule both in Australia, and increasingly overseas. One of Australia’s busiest conductors, Andrew Wailes became Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra at the end of 1998, making him one of the youngest persons to hold that position in over 150 years.
Andrew has been Principal Conductor of the Melbourne University Choral Society since 1992, and Artistic Director and Music Director of The Australian Children’s Choir (since 1999), and Music Director of the Box Hill Chorale (since 1995). For over ten years he was the Director of the Australian Catholic University’s Melbourne Choir (2000 -2011), and in 2010 he accepted an invitation to become a ‘Visiting guest Maestro’ at Spain’s ‘Escuela de Direccion de Orquesta y Banda’ .
Andrew is a former Principal Guest Conductor of the Australian Classical Players Orchestra, and for three years directed the award-winning Symphony Orchestra program at Blackburn High School. He has taught or conducted ensembles at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Music, the School of Music at Monash University, the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music, and the Victorian College of the Arts. He has also lectured in conducting, and directed choral studies at the Australian Catholic University (Melbourne) and Monash University, and has also lectured in Music History at the Australian School of Sound Engineering.
Andrew has conducted an impressive number of major works, across a wide range of repertoire styles, including many Australian and world premieres. He has also directed choirs for many major televised events, including six AFL Grand Finals, the opening of Stadium Australia in Sydney, the opening of Federation Square in Melbourne, two Australian Film Industry Awards concerts, five International Comedy Festival Gala Concerts, the opening ceremony of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the President’s Cup Gala, and at the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Other events he has conducted choirs at include the Prime Minister’s Olympic Gala, the Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance, and the Melbourne Awards.
In 1999 Andrew was the inaugural winner of the prestigious Australasian International Choral Conducting Competition in Brisbane, and appeared with the Candomino Chamber Choir from Helsinki, Finland. He has also appeared with major choirs from the USA, Sweden, England, South Africa, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand as guest conductor. Andrew made his international conducting debut with the Christchurch Sinfonia (New Zealand) in 2001 and since then has been guest conductor of ensembles such as the, Camerata Academica Freiburg and Choir and Orchester der Universitat Stuttgart (Germany), Yale Glee Club (USA), the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (USA), and local ensembles such as Orchestra Victoria, VCA Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Youth Orchestra, Melbourne Sinfonia, Stonnington Symphony and the New Monash Chamber Orchestra. He has been engaged as both chorus-master and conductor for Australian Intervarsity Choral Festivals in all Australian capitals, and also for groups such as the Australian Youth Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Festival, Perth International Festival and most of Australia’s professional orchestras. Andrew has undertaken a large number of international tours with various Australian ensembles, and has appeared as guest conductor in the UK, Germany Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand and China (where he has conducted upwards of 50 concerts in over 20 cities.
Andrew also has extensive experience as a professional singer, having performed with ensembles including Opera Australia, IHOS Opera, the Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, Past Echoes Early Music Group, the National Youth Choir of Australia as well as numerous professional recording ensembles and liturgical choirs. He is a regular soloist in concert and oratorio performances, and is frequently engaged as a speaker and teacher at summer schools and festivals, and as an adjudicator of competitions around the country. He is listed in the inaugural edition of the Who’s Who in Victoria and is registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching as a Secondary and Primary School Music Teacher.