Musical Biography of Andrew Byrne
Australian Performer
of  Lutes, theorboes, guitars and related instruments.

Andrew was the first person to enter an Australian music conservatorium and complete an entire performance degree with the lute as principal study, majoring in performance. He studied lute performance with Tommie Andersson and graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with the 3-year Diploma of Music Performance in 2001, having specialised at that time on the 13-course baroque lute, and the 14-course theorbo.

In 2002  he was awarded the borsa di studio of Fondazione Marco Fodella for further study at the Istituto di Musica Antica at Villa Simonetta, Milano, Italy. He also took private lessons and masterclasses with Eduardo Egüez, Hopkinson Smith, & Paul O’Dette.  He was invited as guest alumno of the 34 Cursos Internacionales Manuel de Falla at the Universidad de Cartuja in Granada, for a performance with Ensemble Elyma, directed by Gabriel Garrido, in the 52 Festival de  Música y Danza de Granada, and appears with them on their acclaimed CD of Mexican Baroque music: "Musique à la  Cathédrale d'Oaxaca" (K617).

Andrew’s ensemble performances as voice accompanist, soloist and basso continuo are increasingly recognised for their trademark rhetorical dynamism, musicality, sensitivity and presence. In this capacity he has performed
in Australia with Victorian Opera, The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, The Adelaide Chamber Singers, The Sydney Philharmonia Baroque Band,  Australian Baroque Brass,  The Choir of St. James' King Street, The Choir of St. Mary's Cathedral, The Orchestra of the Antipodes,  Convivio, Melbourne Collegium, The Willoughby Symphony Orchestra (as soloist), A Mid-Summer Opera, Salut! Baroque,  Academia Arcadia, Camerata Antica, The Parsons Affayre, The Sydney French Choir, and many other groups. He also performed in Italy with various ensembles, including in Rome with the Roman musica da chiesa seicentesca ensemble Concerto Romano , directed by Alessandro Quarta.

Andrew has been featured as guest solo artist at the Festival Mediceo at the Medici Villa "La Ferdinanda" near Artimino in Tuscany presenting a recital of lute music from the early Italian seicento. As sole representative for the Accademia Internazionale della music di Milano, his recital interpretation of the lute music of François Dufault was honoured by the acclaim of the Directeur Général of the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, Mr. Vincent Berthier de Lioncourt.

In 2013 he was invited to perform on tiorbino (a rare octave theorbo) with award-winning Italian early music group Ensemble La Chimera directed by Eduardo Egüez for their La Voce di Orfeo project (about Francesco Rasi, the first opera star), featuring renowned Roman baritone Furio Zanasi.

Not content with replicating the existing format of post-industrial revolution  "early music" revival concerts, in 2009 Andrew  formed a revolutionary concept among modern recensions of ancient music : Consort Astræa, whose début project: "Harmonious Revolutions: Galileo & The Music of the Spheres", he created in celebration of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy, during which it saw four highly acclaimed performances in such venues as The State Library of New South Wales for the Sydney Italian Festival, The National Press Club of Australia (for the Inaugural Higher Education Conference for Universities Australia sponsored by the National Academies Forum), Clubbe Hall at Frensham and Elizabeth Bay House (Men of Science).   It presents a dramatised, immersive multimedia programme of music from the Galilei family & their associates in the Florentine Camerata, scripted tableaux in the form of Socratic dialogue from writings of the Galilei circle, all synchronised with projection of spectacular astro-photography by David Malin, discoverer and namesake of two galaxies. It was made possible with generous and forward-looking sponsorship from the National Academies Forum and The Royal Society of New South Wales, and various other distinguished organisations. NB. - Harmonious Revolutions was conceived independently of Tafelmusik's similarly-named and rather different "Galileo Project", and our debut performance occurred first, on March 4th 2009. 

From 2008 Andrew tutored in historic Lute performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, with outstanding results.

From 2016, Andrew teaches all types of lute and early plucked strings at the Early Music Studio, Victorian College of the Arts / Melbourne Conservatorium of Music faculty of Melbourne University, Australia's premier institution for early music studies. He is in great demand as an independent private tutor and ensemble workshop organiser, with pupils from far afield. 

He was a regular performer and tutor at the three Tasmanian Festivals of the Lute with Hopkinson Smith between 2007 and 2014, performing acclaimed recitals of J.S. Bach's music, and music of Terzi and De Visee, tutoring and leading ensemble workshops.

He performed in an independent freelance capacity for over two decades
, taking particular pleasure in voice accompaniment and solo repertoire for all varieties of lute and guitar. 

In 2015 he presented seven monumental solo baroque lute recitals of the instrument's glorious 18th century solo repertoire, beginning with the music of the greatest lutenist of all time - S.L. Weiss, and his pal J.S. Bach (featuring Andrew's original transcription for lute of BWV1004).

Over 2016 and 2017 he focussed on getting right back to the heart of the lute and its ideal environment, using all-natural gut strings exclusively for a series of nine solo baroque lute recitals
of the music of S.L. Weiss in three states.