MS 9549

Papers of Andrew Ford (1957– )

Scope and Content Note

Creator: Andrew Ford (1957–)

Title: Papers

Date range: 1978–2000

Reference number: MS 9549

Extent: 1.05m (1 box, 2 folio boxes, and 6 map drawer items)

Administrative Information

Access: Restricted until access determined.

Provenance: The collection was donated to the Library by Andrew Ford under the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme in February 2001.

The collection consists of three main categories: correspondence, Ford's autograph scores and interviews with composers conducted by Ford.

The correspondence has primarily two concerns: Ford's compositions and his book of interviews with composers, Composer to composer, published in 1993. The scores make up the bulk of the collection, but represent only about half of his output to date. The date range is 1981–2000, the greatest number occurring in 1991, 1993–94 and 1999. The set of interviews is also incomplete.

Most of the material dates from the 1980s and 1990s.


The collection has been organised into 10 series by the Library.

The series containing scores are based on categories established in The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians, 2nd edn. Any system for categorising works will involve some overlap and blurring, particularly when dealing with the music of twentieth-century composers, in which genre distinctions tend to be less clear. Here, for example, there is overlap between solo vocal and stage works; and the distinction between orchestral and ensemble works is also unclear at times.


Within series 1–8 and 10 the order of the papers has been imposed by the Library. Within series 9 original order has been maintained.

In the description for series 2–9, the author of texts/libretti is indicated in parentheses and additional information given on scores re dedications, commissions, etc. has been included in square brackets. Occasionally other notes are given if the material is other than a complete score. For list of abbreviations, see Appendix 1.

Related Material

The Library also holds monographs and many published scores by Ford. See catalogue for details.

Biographical Note

Andrew Ford was born in 1957 in Liverpool, England and is a composer, broadcaster and writer. Ford studied composition with Edward Cowie and John Butler at the University of Lancaster. He was a fellow in Music, University of Bradford, from 1978 until 1982, during which time he gained considerable experience conducting campus choirs and orchestras. In 1982 his Portraits for piano won the Yorkshire Young Arts Composers' Award.

Ford came to Australia in 1983, and was on staff of the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong for the next 12 years. He was composer in residence at the Sydney Opera House in 1985, with Evos, WA, in 1991, and with the Australian Chamber Orchestra from 1992 to 1994; and was the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Fellow in Composition from 1998 to 2000. Ford has also appeared as a conductor of contemporary ensembles.

Ford has composed for specific performers, such as tenor Gerald English and pianist Lisa Moore, and has received many commissions for works, both within Australia and internationally. He writes in a wide range of genres for concert hall, theatre and radio. Unusual in his output are his operas for young performers (The world knot, 1987–88 and The piper's promise (1986–87).

Ford's music has been performed in Australia, North and South America, Southeast Asia and Europe and has featured at international festivals in Aspen, Houston, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Huddersfield, Ferrara, Istanbul, Seoul and Salzburg. In 1998 he won the Marienberg-Sydney Spring award for the most outstanding original work of that year's Sydney Spring Festival of New Music, and more than 30 of his works have been commercially recorded.

In 1995, Ford left his academic post to pursue broadcasting with the ABC. His 10-part series Illegal harmonies was broadcast in 1997 by ABC Classic FM and later on Radio National. The book Illegal harmonies: music in the 20th century (1997) resulted from the series. Dots on the landscape was jointly commissioned by ABC Classic FM and Radio National and was broadcast in 2001. Ford won Sounds Australia Awards for his broadcasts on music in 1989 and 1990.

Ford has reviewed CDs for 24 hours since 1990 and his book Composer to composer: conversations about contemporary music was published in 1993. In 1998 he won the Geraldine Pascall prize for critical writing.


McCallum, Peter, 'Ford, Andrew', The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians, Stanley Sadie (ed.), 2nd edn., vol. 9, p. 86.

'Ford, Andrew', The Oxford companion to Australian music, edited by Warren Bebbington, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 225.

Andrew Ford Home Page <>

Series List

Series / Title

1 Correspondence, 1978–2000

2 Stage works, 1987–1999

3 Orchestral works, 1990–1999

4 Ensemble works, 1991–1998

5 2–4 instrument works, 1985–2000

6 Solo instrument works, 1981–1995

7 Choral works, 1991–1992

8 Solo vocal works, 1984–1997

9 Sketches, 1982–2000 [mostly undated]

10 Interviews with composers, ca 1992–1993

Series Description

Series 1 Correspondence, 1978–2000

All correspondence has been left in original order, although there does not appear to be any particular sequence to the letters. The order of folders was imposed by the Library. The form of correspondence varies, including cards, postcards, letters and faxes.

A large proportion of the letters in folders 1 and 2 are in connection with Andrew Ford's book of interviews with composers, Composer to composer: conversations about contemporary music, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1993. Thus the majority of letters are in the early 1990s. Major correspondents include: Leanne Bear, Elliott Carter, Brian Ferneyhough (also letter to Ferneyhough from Ford), Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen, Vincent Plush, Paul Robinson and Peter Sculthorpe.

The remainder of the correspondence includes letters from performers, composers, poets, recording and broadcasting firms and covers subjects such as copyright, commissions, and performances as well as books and broadcasts by Ford. Most of the letters are written to Ford, but there are also about a dozen from Ford. Although the date range is 1978–1998, the bulk of the correspondence is in the 1980s. Major correspondents include: Sebastian Barker, Henri Bok, Adrian Jack (Institute of Contemporary Arts), Lisa Moore, Stephen Plaistow (BBC), Craig Raine (Faber and Faber), Christopher Reid and Harry Sparnaay.


1-2 Letters from composers, 1981-2000

3 Correspondence, 1978-1998

4 Letters from Maria Blakey to Andrew Ford, 1991

Series 2 Stage works, 1987–1999


1 The world knot, (children's opera, Devlin), 1987-88 [stage directions, chorus text, few lines of script], 2 pgs

2 Whispers, (music theatre, Rodney Hall), 1990 [score and text]

3 Casanova confined, (Margaret Morgan), B, tape, 1995

4 Night and dreams – the death of Sigmund Freud, (Margaret Morgan), T, tape, 1999

Series 3 Orchestral works, 1990–1999

This series includes works for chamber and string orchestra. Pieces 4–7 were brought together by Ford to form the movements of Manhattan epiphanes as follows:

i Motherwell at the Guggenheim

ii Rothko I

iii Utopia parkway: 13 cornell boxes

iv Rothko II

v Blue poles (the score of which is not included in the collection)

Rothko I, Rothko II and Utopia parkway were earlier performed individually (1994) and all movements may be performed separately. The scores are listed here according to the titles and dates on the manuscripts themselves.


1 Imaginings, solo pf, concertino group (vib, cel, hp, elec org), orch, 1990-91 [sketch]

2 The widening gyre, 2 vn, vc, chbr orch, 1993

3 The great memory, vc, orch, 1994 [dedicated to Sue-Ellen Paulsen]

4 Rothko I, 17 solo str, 1994 [to Ross Edwards, for his 50th birthday]

5 Rothko II, 17 solo str, 1994 [to Roger Smalley, for his 50th birthday]

6 Utopia parkway: 13 cornell boxes, 2 vn, va, vc, db, 1994 [for Leigh Middenway and Robert Durie]

7 Manhattan epiphanes: 1. Motherwell at the Guggenheim, solo vn, str orch, 1999 [to Richard Tognetti]

8 The furry dance, 1999 [to Leanne Bear and Tor Fromyhr]

Series 4 Ensemble works, 1991–1998


1 Pastoral, to Marcia Doheny and Nick Chapman, Commissioned by the Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players with funds from the Australia Council, 3 vn, 2 va, 2 vc, db, 1991 [score and sketches]

2 Dance maze, ens, 1996

3 The unquiet grave, va, ens, 1997-98 [to Patricia Pollett]

4 Icarus drowning, 2 cl, hp, perc, str qt, 1998 [to Penny Lomax and Maureen Cooney]

5 Tattoo, 12 timp, 4 pf, 1998 [to Carl Vine]

Series 5 2–4 instrument works, 1985–2000


1 String quartet, 1985 [foil only, by Southern Printing Services]

2 Alchemy, perc qt, 1991 [written for the members of Synergy Percussion, 'to Margaret on our 7th wedding anniversary']

3 Aubade for Alice, fl, vib, 1993

4 Getting blue, a sax, vib, 1993 [for Cesca]

5 Jouissance, 2 trpt, vib, 1993 [to Geny, at 40]

6 Mondriaan, fl, 3 perc, 1993 [for Kathleen Gallagher and Sue Dennis] [mvts I, III, IV]

7 Four winds, sax qt, [sketch] [1984, revised 1999]

8 Estampie, (anon. 13th century English, arr. A. Ford), cl, drum, 1999

9 Hymn to the sun, cl, celesta, hp, 1999 [in memoriam Peggy Glanville-Hicks / after Mesamedes of Crete (c.A.D. 130)]

10 Winterreise, 4 sleigh bells, 2000 [to Peter Neville]

Series 6 Solo instrument works, 1981–1995


1 Composition in blue, gray and pink, solo perc version of 2nd mvt from Mondriaan, for Sue Dennis, 19?

2 Portraits, pf, 1981 [I – to George and Topsy Preen; II – to Janet; III – to Linda] [foils only, no title page]

3 Like Icarus ascending, vn, 1984

4 Clarion, a cl, 1990 [to Harry Sparnaay]

5 At a slight angle ..., b cl, 1991 [for Bronwen to Margaret]

6 ... les débris d'un rêve, pic, 1993

7 Becalmed, b fl, 1993 [to Laura Chislett]

8 Memorial, vc, 1994 [to Belinda Webster]

9 Rough magic, hp, 1996 [In memoriam Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)]

10 Dark side, db, 1995, rev. 1998 [to Nigel Butterley, on his 60th birthday] [photocopy of original version, other version, sketches, all three undated, date from The new Grove]

Series 7 Choral works , 1991–1992


1 A mermaid [text], 2 pgs [Maria Blakey's writing on front, [part?] of libretto for The laughter of mermaids, (M. Blakey), SSATBarB, 1991]

2 Laughter of mermaids, (M. Blakey), SSATBarB, 1991

3 In somnia, T, SATB, ens, 1992 [to Richard Meale, at 60] [Commissioned by Sydney Philharmonia with financial assistance from Performing Arts Board of Australia Council]

Series 8 Solo vocal works, 1984–1997

See also Series 2 for stage works.


1 A terrible whiteness, Mez, pf, 1984 [to Elizabeth Smart]

2 Epithalamium, (W. Shakespeare), T, vn, bell, 1991 [to Susie and Richard]

3 Epithalamium, (W. Shakespeare), Mez, str qt, 1998 [for Anne Sofie von Otter and the Brodsky Quartet]

4 Harbour, song cycle, (Margaret Morgan), T, 17 solo str, tubular bell, 1992

5 A salt girl, (Onakatomi no Yoshinobu, trans. Kenneth Rexroth), high v, pf, 1994

6 Dutch Uncle, (Christopher Reid), T, hp, Oct 1995 [no.6 of ?]

7 The past, Ct, fl, str, didgeridoo, 1997

Series 9 Sketches, 1982–2000

Where sketches were together with complete scores, they have been kept with the scores. The sketches have been kept in original order, even when there is a complete score for a work in another series. Thus there are two packets of sketches and three individual sketches.

Pieces within the two packets have not been individually numbered. Most sketches are undated.


1 Dark side
[two unlabelled pages]
The very end of harvest, 2000
[1 unlabelled page]
Gloucestershire wassail
This endris night [reverse of Gloucestershire wassail]
[unlabelled pages, numbered 47–48, 51–52]
[2 unlabelled pages]
Ringing the changes
, 2nd movt.
Joseph Lieber (The song of the cub)
The boar's head carol, 1989 [reverse of Joseph Lieber]
Seven Australian birds discover the music of the twentieth century
Season Song II [reverse of Seven Australian birds]
Corpus Christi carol
[reverse of Corpus Christi carol]
The laughter of mermaids
In the bleak mid-winter
The furry dance

2 III. Female nude
Dark side
Four winds
Composition in blue, grey and pink

3 Season song, SATBarB,1982 [sketch]

4 Volition, voices, bs cl, wd blks, marimba [sketch]

5 [sketch numbered 1-6], 2 pgs, 1 Feb 1994

Series 10 Interviews with composers, ca 1992–1993

This series consists of interviews with composers conducted by Andrew Ford, primarily for his book, Composer to composer: conversations about contemporary music, (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1993). Seventeen of the composers interviewed appear in the book, which includes 30 composers (Knussen and Kueris are not included). Since they were not intended for broadcast, the interviews are often informal in style and most of them simply start without any preamble, title or date information. Unless otherwise stated, interviews are on 90 minute cassettes (although they may not use the whole tape). The sound quality of the recordings is good.

See also series 1/1–2 for correspondence with composers concerning the book.


1 Bennett, Richard Rodney (1)

2 Boulez, Pierre (1) and (2) [60 min. cassette]

3 Boulez, Pierre (3) [60 min. cassette. Side B is a recording of something else, perhaps a panel discussion. Speakers have not been identified.]

4 Butterley, Nigel (3)

5 Cage, John

6 Carter, Elliott

7 Conyngham, Barry

8 Donatoni, Franco

9 Goehr, Alexander

10 Henderson, Moya

11 Knussen, Oliver (1)

12 Knussen, Oliver (2)

13 Kueris, [?]

14 Lim, Liza

15 Nyman, Michael

16 Reich, Steve

17 Ruders, Poul

18 Saariaho, Kaija

19 Sculthorpe, Peter [interview for Mainstream]

20 Stockhausen, Karlheinz

21 Tavener, John

Appendix 1


a alto [instrument]

A alto [voice]

arr. arranged

b bass [instrument]

B bass [voice]

Bar baritone [voice]

chbr chamber

cel celeste

cl clarinet

Ct counter tenor

db double bass

elec electric

ens ensemble

fl flute

hp harp

Mez mezzo soprano [voice]

orch orchestra

org organ

perc percussion

pf piano(forte)

pic piccolo

qt quartet

S soprano

sax saxophone

str string

T tenor [voice]

timp timpani

trans. translated

trpt trumpet

v voice

va viola

vc violoncello

vib vibraphone

vn violin

Box List

Box Series Folder/Item
1 1 folders 1–4
  10 cassettes 1–21

Folio Box List

Box Series Piece/Packet
1 2 1–4
  3 1–2, 4–7
  4 1–2, 4–5
  5 1–10
  6 1–2, 4–10
2 7 1–3
  8 1–7
  9 1–2, 5

Map Drawer Items

Series Piece
3 3
3 8
4 3
6 3
9 3
9 4
June 2001