The English tenor and conductor, Andrew Carwood, was educated at The John Lyon School, Harrow and was a choral scholar in the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge under the eminent George Guest, a lay clerk at Christ Church in Oxford and Westminster Cathedral in London before holding the post of Director of Music at the London Oratory Church in London for five years.
As a singer Andrew Carwood is particularly known for his performances of the English repertoire, from consort songs by William Byrd to the role of the Male Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and for music of the Baroque. Gramophone Magazine called his voice magnificent. He is a highly regarded solo and consort singer and has performed with many of the leading British ensembles both on disc and on the concert platform throughout the world, including The Tallis Scholars (Director: Peter Phillips), Orlando Consort, Oxford Camerata (Director: Jeremy Summerley), Gabrieli Consort, The Sixteen, Finzi Singers, Parley of Instruments, and Pro Cantione Antiqua, as well as La Chapelle Royale, and has undertaken solo roles for George Guest, Sir Roger Norrington, Joshua Rifkin, Harry Christophers, Richard Hickox, Paul McCreesh, Stephen Darlington, Philippe Herreweghe, Robert King and Christopher Hogwood.
Andrew Carwood has recorded as a singer British music by Purcell, Michael Tippett, Herbert Howells, Warlock, Percy Grainger, and made the first recording of The Healing Fountain by Christopher Headington with Nicholas Cleobury and the Britten Sinfonia. In addition, he has recorded music of the Baroque masters Hans Leo Hassler and Antonio Vivaldi, as well as Haydn, Janáček, and the 20th century French composer Francis Poulenc.
In 1989, while Andrew Carwood was a lay clerk at Christ Church, he and David Skinner, an American musicologist who was also a lay clerk, founded the Cardinall's Musick, an early music vocal ensemble specializing most in pre-Reformation church music. Under his direction (while Skinner essentially provides the musicological research and prepares the performing editions of their music), the Cardinall's Musick has appeared widely in the UK and France and made an acclaimed series of made over thirty recordings of renaissance music on the ASV Gaudeamus label and now on Hyperion Records. This has included complete music of Nicholas Ludford, a series of music by Robert Fayrfax, and an ongoing project to record the complete music of William Byrd. This will be the first integral recording of the complete music of a major Renaissance composer. Renowned for their emotional directness and vocal colour, his recordings with the Cardinall's Musick have won five Gramophone Awards for Early Music, as well as many other European plaudits, including the French Diapason d'Or, the German Schallplattenkritik Preis, and the Schallplatten Echo Award. He and the Cardinall's Musick commissioned and premiered Palm-Sunday, by Michael Finnissy, and he is also well known for the group's performance reconstruction of a mass from the time of Henry VIII in Hampton Court.
Andrew Carwood has become a widely acknowledged expert on music of the 16th and 17th centuries and is also known for the scholarly and entertaining way in which he introduces and narrates concerts, breaking down barriers between audience and performers and allowing the music to speak in an even more eloquent way. Carwood has also worked as guest conductor with The Sixteen, The King’s Consort and the BBC Singers. He also works frequently with the Exon Singers and is in demand for giving master-classes in the UK and the USA. Later efforts included Taverner: Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas (2007), Michael Praetorius: Magnificats & Motets (2008), and Byrd: Assumpta est Maria (2009).
Andrew Carwood was the Music Advisor for the National Theatre’s 2001 production of Luther by John Osborne, and in 1995, 2006 and 2007 he won the Gramophone Early Music Award. He is Director of the Schola Cantorum at the annual Edington Festival and was made an Associate of the Royal School of Church Music in 2005. In 2007 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers. In 2010 he once again won the Gramophone Award for Early Music and the Gramophone Record of the Year Award.
Andrew Carwood was appointed to succeed Malcolm Archer as Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral, London, taking up the post in September 2007, the first non-organist to hold the post since the 12th century. At St Paul’s he directs the world famous choir of men and boys for the daily liturgies of the Cathedral, special services of national importance, recordings, tours and concert appearances. The foundation is lavish with thirty choristers and twelve professional singers and they perform a wide range of music, encompassing everything from Renaissance music to contemporary and including repertoire with orchestra. Carwood has recently appeared with the City of London Sinfonia, the London Mozart Players and the BBC Concert Orchestra.