Composer Andy Teirstein’s work has been described by The New York Times and The Village Voice as “magical,” “ingenious,” and “superbly crafted.” His music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, Lincoln Center, and abroad. Teirstein’s eclectic background—which also includes acting and writing—has led him to successful collaborations across a variety of genres.He 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, also aired on PBS. In pursuit of new concepts of dramatic music, Teirstein has written and scored the award-winning musical theater pieces, Papushko, Winter Man, Skels, and The Wild. The Village Voice has said that Teirstein’s music “seems to speak in celestial accents of some utopia whose chief industry is dancing,” and he has worked with many renowned choreographers, including Stephen Petronio, Liz Lerman, Donald Byrd, and Phyllis Lamhut. As an actor, he was an original cast member of the Broadway hit show, Barnum, and appeared in the TV series, Search for Tomorrow and the film, Sophie’s Choice. Most recently, he plays a number of rôles in Woody Sez, currently headed to London’s West End.
Teirstein studied composition with Henry Brant at Bennington College, with Tania Leon, Bruce Saylor, and David del Tredici at the Graduate Center, and with Leonard Bernstein at New York University’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, where he also studied with Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents. He has expanded his musical background and instrumental expertise by learning fiddle tunes in the pubs of Ireland, performing with a Mexican circus, and journeying to Romania and Bulgaria on an Artslink Fellowship to collect traditional music. Previous CDs of his music include Mannahatta, a collection of chamber works and music for dance, and Welcome to Willieworld, a musical landscape which accompanies the poetry/memoir of Maggie Dubris, a longtime paramedic in mid-town Manhattan.
Teirstein has received numerous awards from organizations including Meet the Composer, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and ASCAP. He is currently an Associate Arts Professor in the dance department of Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.