Andrew Crust, conductor
Andrew Crust has developed a versatile international career as a conductor of orchestral, opera, ballet and pops programs. Currently serving as the Associate Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony in Canada, Andrew conducts a large number of subscription, pops, educational and contemporary concerts with the VSO each season. Andrew is the newly-appointed Music Director of the Lima Symphony Orchestra beginning in the 20/21, where he programs and conducts the Grand Classics, Pops and Educational series, featuring such soloists as Awadagin Pratt, Amit Peled and Kathrine Jolly.
In the current and upcoming seasons Andrew will debut with the Arkansas and Vermont Symphonies as Music Director finalist, and with the San Diego Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic as a guest conductor. Other recent engagements include performances with the Winnipeg Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Bozeman Symphony and l’Orchestre de la Francophonie in Québec.
Andrew is a 2020 winner of the Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Award. In 2017 he was awarded first prize at the Accademia Chigiana by Daniele Gatti, receiving a scholarship and an invitation to guest conduct the Orchestra di Sanremo in Italy. He was a semi-finalist for the Nestlé/Salzburg Festival’s Young Conductors Award competition, and was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic as a winner of the Ansbacher Fellowship, with full access to all rehearsals and performances of the Salzburg Festival.
Andrew is equally at ease in the pit, having conducted ballet with Ballet Memphis and the New Ballet Ensemble, and opera with Opera McGill, College Light Opera Company, Boulder Opera Company, and others. As a Pops conductor, Andrew has collaborated with such artists as Rufus Wainwright, Steven Page, Michael Bolton, Cirque de la Symphonie, and the United States Jazz Ambassadors. Andrew has also established himself as a conductor of films with orchestra.
Andrew served as Assistant Conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra from 2017-2019 where he conducted around forty concerts each season. He stepped in last minute for a successful subscription performance featuring Bernstein’s Serenade with violinist Charles Yang. Andrew also served as Conductor of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program. As the Assistant Conductor of the Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine from 2016-2018, he conducted a variety of concert series, helped coordinate the orchestra’s extensive educational programs, and helped lead a program for concertgoers under 40 called “Symphony and Spirits”.
Crust was the Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA (NYO-USA) in the summers of 2017 and 2018, assisting Michael Tilson Thomas on an Asian tour, as well as Giancarlo Guerrero, Marin Alsop and James Ross at Carnegie Hall and in a side-by-side performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also served as Cover Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Nashville Symphony, Assistant/Cover Conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic and Assistant Conductor of Opera McGill.
Abroad, he has led concerts with the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana in Italy, Hamburger Symphoniker at the Mendelssohn Festival in Germany, the Moravian Philharmonic in the Czech Republic and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile in Santiago.
As an arranger/orchestrator, Andrew is currently working with Schirmer to make orchestrations of a set of Florence Price’s art songs, has orchestrated works by Alma Mahler and Prokofiev, as well as many pops and educational selections.
Andrew is dedicated to exploring new ways of bringing the classical music experience into the 21st century through innovative programming and marketing, creating community-oriented and socially-sensitive concert experiences, and utilizing social media and unique venues. Andrew is a firm believer in meaningful music education, having produced and written a number of original educational programs with orchestras.
Van Django -
Cameron Wilson, violin
Budge Schachte, guitar
Finn Manniche, guitar & cello
Brent Gubbels, bass
Van Django's music is well-rooted in the gypsy jazz of 1930's Paris France, but beyond that, it's all pure blue-skying; flights of dazzling fancy, driving rhythms, and boundless creativity, featuring original compositions and arrangements including humorous mash-ups wearing their eclectic influences in full regalia. Inspired by the music Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, the Vancouver quartet was formed in 1998 and has toured extensively in Canada as well as international forays to the US, Europe, and China.
The group has had repeat performances at Djangofest Northwest (DFNW) in 2008-2016 sharing the stage with gypsy jazz luminaries such as the John Jorgenson Quintet, the legendary gypsy jazz guitarist Romane and many others.
Van Django has released 4 CDs "Tiptoe Trip”, “Waltz in the Shape of a Tree", “Hotel Europe” and a Christmas CD with special guests titled, “Cool Yule”. The recordings have been well received and played on many radio stations including CBC, RDI, Espace Musique, NPR and Lyric FM in Ireland CD.
Perhaps Nick Lehr, former director of Djangofest Northwest, summed it up best describing Van Django when he said, "In an increasingly crowded niche, Van Django is a standout act. With a clever mix of contemporary standards, classical ditties, rock homages, and solid originals they effortlessly whip the audience into a joyful frenzy. Attending a Van Django concert is the most fun you can have sitting down with your clothes on."