Andy Bliss is a solo artist, conductor, curator, and educator who maintains a dynamic career of musical collaboration. Residing in Knoxville, TN, his performances have been heard locally at the Tennessee Theatre and the Knoxville Museum of Art, and abroad in locations such as the Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music (Germany), the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), the Patagonia Percussion Festival (Argentina), the LiveWire Festival in Baltimore, and Stanford’s Cantor Center for Visual Arts.
His repertoire ranges from 20th-century masterworks by John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, and Steve Reich, to the performance and advocacy of contemporary composers such as John Luther Adams, David Lang, and Mark Applebaum. His passion for new music has propelled Andy to collaborate on new works with a wide range of today’s leading composers and musicians such as Christopher Adler, Christopher Burns, Evan Chapman, David Crowell, Nicholas Deyoe, Marc Mellits, Lewis Nielson, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, among many others.
In the 2015-16 season, Andy returned to Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival, revisiting John Luther Adams’ Four Thousand Holes with the nief-norf Project and performing Become Ocean with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra; joined Atlanta’s Chamber Cartel for an evening-length performance of Iannis Xenakis’ Pleaides at the Goat Farm Arts Center; presented the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) International Convention’s New Literature Showcase Concert; appeared in solo recitals at the McCormick Marimba Festival in Tampa, FL and the statewide PAS Day of Percussion in Illinois; and collaborated in Lexington, KY with Dieter Hennings and an all-star cast on a performance of Pierre Boulez’s Le Marteau sans maître.
Last season, Andy performed on double tenors in Brooklyn’s Panorama with the Crossfire Steel Orchestra; curated the PASIC Focus Day “Celebrating the European Avant-Garde,” a 6-concert event over two days; performed Jennifer Higdon’s percussion concerto under the composer’s baton; conducted the Eastern United States premiere of Mark Applebaum’s Rabbit Hole; directed a performance of Michael Pisaro’s Hearing Metal 3; and performed the world premiere of Constellations by Christopher Burns, an evening-length work for solo percussion and multimedia, written for Bliss.
Andy is the Artistic Director of Nief-Norf, whose summer festival is now in its eighth year; there he performs, teaches, and conducts while curating a dozen concerts annually. Additionally, since 2011, Andy has served as the Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Tennessee, where he founded the Ensemble Knox (resident chamber percussion group), the UT Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the UT Contemporary Music Festival. He is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist and thanks Zildjian, Innovative Percussion, Evans, Black Swamp, and Meinl Percussion for their generous support and sponsorships. When not performing or with his students, Andy can be found consuming as much baseball as possible––either watching the Chicago Cubs on television with his new daughter Elodie, or playing a game of backyard catch with his wife Erin, and their son, Donovan.