Andrew Battes

Picture for website

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life. Not necessarily music-related!

I am a Dundonian born and bred who has been living in the Granite city of Aberdeen for a number of years. I teach and research historical performance of stringed instruments in Aberdeen, where I have performed various works such as Alcina, L’Orfeo and Dixit Dominus.

Outwith the musical world I have a keen interest in baking. However, this interest does not mean I’m very good.

I am now in the process of looking at Masters opportunities in Historical Performance where I hope to continue my musical journey.

How did you first get into music?

Unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. My mother had said that my brother would be a better musician than I would, so, ten-year-old me had to prove her wrong. I started playing Violin until around the age of 15 when, with much persuasion, I switched to Viola and ever since then fell in love with the instrument.

What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?

Apart from the afore-discussed pettiness. It was when I finally started to make real lifelong friends and cherished memories that I realised that I did not want this to ever end. Music for me brought me out of my shell and introduced me to a world of fun and experience.

What has been your musical highlight so far?

That’s a rather tricky question, I would have to give a few examples. I would say my most nerve-racking yet amazing experience would be playing the Caird Hall organ for the Lord Provost’s dinner. It was one of my first solo performances and on an instrument as large as that I was terrified. However, I played, made mistakes, but had a heck of a time. My most surreal would be performing with MCO in the amazing Kladruby Monastery (Czech Republic). Not only was the venue just beautiful, it was a real fun challenge to try and work in an acoustic space with a nine second delay.

Who are your favourite composers/artists/musicians?

Again, a real tricky one. If I had to pick, I would say Avro Pärt, Steve Reich, Martin Luther, and Rossi. Very different in nature but all experimental in their timeline.

What do you anticipate for the Nevis Ensemble?

A real unorthodox musical experience. Never have I performed with such a fun team of musicians in random and exciting locations. Being able to share this fun-loving musical experience to a large, sometimes unsuspecting, audience will hopefully encourage people who may not have had the opportunity to take an interest in the musical world.