Composer Andy Teirstein's work is inspired by the rich and diverse folk roots of modern culture. His music has been described by The New York Times and The Village Voice as 'magical,' 'ingenious,' 'superbly crafted.' A student of Leonard Bernstein, Henry Brant, and David Del Tredici, Teirstein writes music for the concert hall, film, theater, and dance. He is the recipient of the American Composer Forum commission 'Continental Harmony' for 'Landscape Changing,' an orchestral/choral work celebrating Washington State at the millenium. Teirstein has composed several film scores, including 'Men', for BBC and 'Margaret Sanger', for PBS, and was a music consultant/composer for the critically acclaimed documentary series 'The West',Produced by Ken Burns and Insignia Films, also aired on PBS. He is currently the composer for 'Masters of Space', a BBC documentary about Chinese scroll painting. A prolific writer for the theater, Teirstein has scored, arranged, and directed a number of musical theater pieces, including 'Papushko', which won a Richard Rodgers Development Award; 'Winter Man', recipient of the NEA Opera/Musical Theater Award (1993,1991), which he scored, arranged, and co-wrote with Cheyenne poet Lance Henson and which was presented by La Mama Experimental Theater Company in February 1995, and 'Skels', which also recieved an NEA Opera/Musical Theater Award in 1994. 'The Wild', a music/theater/dance work written, composed, and directed by Teirstein, premiered at La Mama in June, 1996. In recent years, Teirstein's eclectic background - which includes acting, clown work, and performance art in addition to musical composition and performance - has led him to extremely successful collaborations with a number of choreographers. These include Donald Byrd, Stephen Petronio, Phyllis Lamhut, Liz Lerman, Sara Pearson, Nina Wiener, Patricia Nanon, and Randy Warshaw. The Village Voice has said that Teirstein's music 'seems to speak in celestial accents of some utopia whose chief industry is dancing.' His work has been heard at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, Lincoln Center, and P.S. 122, as well as abroad in France, Italy, Holland and Belgium. His recent score for Liz Lerman/The Dance Exchange, commissioned by The University of Arizona, was a polychoral work with recorded and live musicians, and premiered in March, 2000 at Centennial Hall in Tucson. Teirstein received a BA in music from Bennington College, where he studied composition with Henry Brant. In 1984 he received an MFA as a member of the first class of the New York University Musical Theater Program, where he studied with Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents and others. He has expanded his musical background and instrumental expertise by learning Irish fiddle tunes in the pubs of Ireland; traveling around the United States and Mexico, studying with Hopi and Cheyenne Indians, performing as a musical clown with a Mexican circus; and journeying to Rumania and Bulgaria on an Artslink Fellowship to collect traditional music. Teirstein's first orchestral work, 'Scarecrow', was performed in Bennington, Vermont by the Sage City Symphony. His CD 'Mannahatta', a collection of chamber works and music for dance, was released in August 1992, and is regularly featured on National Public Radio's 'New Sounds' program. His viola concerto, 'Maramusres', recorded by the Czech Radio Symphony in Prague with soloist Karen Dreyfus, was released by Masterworks Recordings in February, 1999. Teirstein has received numerous grants, awards and honors, including a Meet the Composer Choreographer/Composer Commission; three NEA Opera/Musical Theater Awards; Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Awards; a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship; a MacDowell Fellowship; and numerous ASCAP awards. He is currently teaching in the dance department of Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and is Music Director for the Marymount Manhattan College Dance Department. What the Critics Say... 'It all works, reminding us that political heat placed beneath art can sometimes burn it to a crisp. 'Winter Man' employs the cool hand of technique. Audience members leave the theater moved and troubled precisely because they have been made to see clearly.' Bernard Holland THE NEW YORK TIMES '...rhythmically hypnotic, richly melodic...Teirstein's almost singable Quartet for Strings and Marimba is one of the finest pieces of music for dance I've heard...' Burt Supree THE VILLAGE VOICE 'Teirstein did well in merging music, movement and text into a sensate whole. The sense of inner discovery was heightened with each increment of performance.' -OFF-OFF BROADWAY REVIEW 'The jazz rhythms of Mr. Teirstein's magically atmospheric score...' Anna Kisselgoff THE NEW YORK TIMES 'Andy Teirstein's vivid score is first rate...' Jennifer Dunning THE NEW YORK TIMES '...seems to speak in celestial accents of some utopia whose chief industry is dancing.' Deborah Jowitt THE VILLAGE VOICE Mr. Petronio is as lucky in his composer, Andy Teirstein, as he is in his dancers. Much of the satisfyingly thick texture of the group section of 'Drawn That Way'comes from the blend of string music and the shifts from dark, earthy urgency to the floating purity of the voices.' Jennifer Dunning THE NEW YORK TIMES 'The score [for Donald Byrd's 'The Beast' is often touching. The musical feel is mostly early Kurt Weill or Paul Dessau as played by the band at any Viennese café.' Octavio Roca SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 'Andy Teirstein's score is an effective anthology that begins with cantorial pronouncements, skims through Eastern European klezmer intonations and even takes a detour into a little scat singing...' Debra Cash THE BOSTON GLOBE 'In Andy Teirstein's splendid score mingle the principal currents of Australian culture: subtly altered British Isles folk gives way to the sounds of the aboriginal didgeridoo. Sometimes your ear gets signals of city life; sometimes barking and howling pierces through a shimmer of music to carry us to the vastness of the bush.' Deborah Jowitt THE VILLAGE VOICE '...glimmering, restless score..Faust's concentration paralleled the sudden quiet and edgy undercurrent of Teirstein's aural environment.' Robert Sandla THE NATIVE '...a tumultuously exhuberant score by Andy Teirstein' Jennifer Dunning THE NEW YORK TIMES.