Andrew Perkins was born in Warkworth, New Zealand. He attended Mahurangi College from 1974-79 during which time he performed in school chamber groups, the school orchestra led by Mr Trevor Campbell, who also taugh him the violin. As violinist and harpsichordist, Andrew performed with a private chamber group that met in Puhoi every two weeks - the group specialised in the performance of Baroque music and regularly performed Baroque-styled compositions Andrew composed for them; Andrew was also a member of the Rodney Music Club. After his Bursary year at Mahurangi College, Andrew Perkins attended Auckland University, graduating with a Bachelor of Music 1983, and Master of Music 1985.
In 1985 Andrew Perkins’ Requiem for Peace was performed by mezzo-soprano Anthea Moller, the Auckland University Singers, and members of the Auckland Philharmonia conducted by Juan Matteucci. The text set included Hone Tuwhare’s No Ordinary Sun – Hone Tuwhare attended the concert; later in 1985, Andrew invited Hone Tuwhare to recite his poetry to students at Mahurangi College.
During 1986 he was elected to represent New Zealand at Art Unesco’s 11th General Assembly held in Baghdad, Iraq. In Andrew’s address he explained the importance of the Maori culture and people in New Zealand, and the growing multiculturalism in NZ.
Andrew became a fully certificated teacher in 1987 and taught briefly at Epsom Girls’ Grammar as a relieving HOD Music, then at St Bede’s School in Eastbourne, England during 1989 – 1991.
On his return from England in 1991, Andrew was appointed Auckland Philharmonia’s third Composer In Residence (1991-92), composing Symphony Der Bote for mezzo soprano and orchestra, and Ways of Light and Life ((poetry by Martin Andrew) for baritone and chamber group (both recorded by RNZ).
Andrew Perkins was appointed HOD Music at Senior College of New Zealand (1995-2004), and Baradene College of the Sacred Heart (2005 – 2008).
From 2008 until 2017 Andrew resided in Australia. He was employed as a lecturer and tutor at the Conservatorium of Music, Melbourne University where he completed his PhD (Music Composition), graduating in 2013.
Andrew now resides with his partner in Dunedin, New Zealand where he works as a private teacher and composer.
Andrew Perkins’ compositions has been performed in many countries around the world, including Australia and New Zealand.
Other major performances of Perkins’ works include:
Waltz-Fantasia performed and recorded by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (2010) and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (2012).
During 2012, the Bach Musica choir and orchestra, with solo soprano Gina Sanders conducted by Rita Paczian, performed and recorded Christchurch Vespers: Vespers for the Feast of Pentecost which received a standing ovation from a capacity audience.
The Radish and the Shoe, for narrator and orchestra (story by French-Canadian artist Louise Jalbert) was recorded by New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (2014).
Perkins’ Concerto Grosso for flute, harpsichord, and strings was premiered during 2016 by Adrianna Lis, Rosemary Barnes, and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra conducted by Peter Scholes.
During 2018 Perkins’ Three Spanish Songs were recorded in Wellington by aclaimed mezzo-soprano Sally-Anne Russell with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marc Taddei.
Later in 2018 Perkins’ “Parade of the Birds” from his Singspiel The Birds will be performed and recorded as part of the SOUNZ Westlake Community Project.