Overview - Andrew Keeping is a concert classical guitarist from the UK. He has appeared at venues worldwide including broadcasts on both radio and television. He works in partnership with various international singers and instrumentalists. His intimate drawing-room recitals have included performances before Pope John Paul II, and the British Royal Family.
As a session musician his versatile playing can be heard in film music, TV ads and as a backing guitarist to some of the world’s most illustrious Rock and Pop artists.
Andrew’s close affinity to the works of British composers has not only led him to champion major contemporary works, but also encourage composers to write for the instrument.
Andrew is a highly regarded teacher and lecturer, and many of his students have forged their own music careers. Andrew is frequently asked to give masterclasses, workshops and act as an adjudicator at festivals nationally.
After getting married in 2003 and the subsequent death of his manager Denny Lyster in 2005, Andrew stepped back from regular concert tours. Andrew and his wife became foster carers in 2004. Andrew further developed his versatility and aptitude in working with children, including those that have learning disabilities, emotional, behavioural and communication difficulties primarily ASD (autism spectrum disorders) and ADHD. Andrew has worked collaboratively with a variety of specialist therapists in developing therapeutic work using music technology as an aid. Keeping empowers individuals with neurodivergent profiles to unlock their hidden potential and develop a wide range of cognitive skills. Andrew Keeping's unwavering dedication to merging music and neurodiversity has expanded the landscape of therapeutic interventions and educational approaches, paving the way for individuals with neurodivergent profiles to achieve new levels of cognitive functioning, social interaction, and personal growth.
In 2015 Andrew set up his own recording company, KeepingMusic, working as a producer and composer of music for soundtracks and artists’ albums. In 2021 KeepingMusic teamed up with New Planet Film and Media to create the production company KeepingMedia.
In 2018 Andrew helped set up the Charity FASD Awareness. FASD Awareness was established to support the prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies and improve the quality of life of those living with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD's). After 4 years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees he stepped down to become the CEO of FASD Awareness in 2021.
Keeping has become an instrumental figure in reshaping the narrative surrounding disabilities in music. One of Keeping's notable contributions has been the establishment of platforms and initiatives that amplify the voices of disabled artists, fostering a supportive community that celebrates their unique abilities. He has organized inclusive music festivals, talent showcases, and workshops that provide a safe and inclusive space for musicians with disabilities to showcase their skills, collaborate, and network with industry professionals. These initiatives serve as a platform for artistic expression and challenge preconceived notions and stereotypes, inviting audiences to appreciate the wealth of talent beyond conventional boundaries.
Furthermore, Keeping's work extends beyond the stage, as he actively engages with policymakers, industry leaders, and organizations to advocate for greater accessibility.
In 2001 the Royal Academy of Music rewarded him for ‘Distinction within the profession’, and he was made an Honorary Associate of that institution. In 2017 Andrew was awarded a Fellowship of the Independent Society of Musicians (ISM) for his contribution to the music industry and 17 years' work on various committees including the Performers and Composers Section Committee. He now sits as a director & council member for the ISM.
Early Life – Andrew was born in Harrow Middlesex in 1969. His father Edward Keeping an (ambulance man) and mother Margaret Keeping (a medical scientist). Edward was a keen amateur pianist and the young Andrew would frequently rock at the base of the piano stool while his father played "Für Elise" before going on night duty. Andrew was inspired to start playing the guitar at the age of 6 after attending a concert at Brent Town Hall (Wembley) given by the guitar legend Andres Segovia. He gave his first concert at the age of 8.
At the age of 13 Andrew was invited to study with the renown composer and teacher professor Oliver Hunt. Andrew also studied the trumpet at school and played for the Harrow School for Young Musicians later performing the famous guitar concertos by Vivaldi “Concerto in D major” and the Rodrigo “Concerto D’ Aranjuez” with their Senior Orchestras on tours of France and Italy.
Andrew performed trumpet with the Mazury Dance Company of the Polish YMCA from 1985- 1990, performing at Sadlers Wells Theatre, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Embassy of Poland, London in addition to tours throughout Poland, France and the Festival of the Pyrenees.
Professional career - Andrew Keeping graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying under Michael Lewin, Timothy Walker and Robert (Bob) Spencer, and in masterclasses with John Williams, Julian Bream, Robert Tear and Eduardo Fernandez.
Andrew’s interest in English Lute Music & Contemporary British composers lead him to work with a variety of international singers including Andrew Watts (counter tenor), Robert Tear (Counter Tenor), Simon Roberts (tenor) Cecilia Fontes (soprano) and Sarah Jane Dale (Soprano). Andrew toured extensively throughout America, Australia and Europe from 1991-94 as a soloist, with singers and other instrumentalists.
After signing with his manager, Denny Lyster Artist Management in 1993, Andrew released his critically acclaimed debut solo album, "British Guitar" Claudio Contemporary 4628-2 and performed a 'sell-out' recital at “Purcell Room”on London's South Bank 1994. Following this recital, he was invited to perform Live on BBC’s Blue Peter TV programme the following Friday.
As a studio session musician his versatile playing can be heard in film music, TV ads and as a backing guitarist to some of the world’s most illustrious Classical, Rock and Pop artists. Some include Diana Ross, Sade, Bryn Terfel, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Take That, Gary Barlow, Jools Holland, James Galway, Aled Jones, Charlotte Church, Rod Stewart, Dani Minogue, Annie Lennox, Angie Browne, Gary Moore, Michael Ball and others. His connection with the Royal Ballet, started with his performance for the Royal Ballet seminars in Ilkley with Dame Alicia Markova, Freddy Franklin, and David Gayle. Andrew went on to perform in improvisation workshops with Wayne Sleep and Diana Winsdor (Princess of Wales).
Andrew has performed at Royal Palaces and at private soirées throughout the United Kingdom and Commonwealth for members of the British Royal Family.
Andrew’s close affinity to the works of British composers has not only led him to champion major contemporary works, but also encourage composers to write for the instrument including John W Duarte, Sir Richard Rodney Bennet, Michael Finnissy, Stephen Dodgson, Oliver Hunt, Timothy Bowers, John Tavener, Robert Hugill, Betty Roe etc.
On the completion of his 1999 Spanish tour, Andrew suffered a serious car crash that severely damaged his left arm, threatening his career. After 9 months of rehabilitation and rebuilding his arm and technique, Andrew returned to the concert platform with a comeback concert at the Purcell Room London’s South Bank Centre to a capacity audience, following a BBC Radio 3 interview on Sean Rafferty’s “In Tune” show.
In December 2015 Andrew launched the album "Classic Guitar", featuring many of his audiences' most requested repertoire. The entire project was recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Andrew through his own record label KeepingMusic. With over twenty-five years' experience in recording studios around the world, Andrew wanted to take his experience and knowledge and set up his own recording company. In 2018, Andrew launched his album "Indigenous", containing his own original cinematic soundscapes and tone poem compositions. “Napolitana” an album containing his arrangements of Neapolitan Song classics with Operatic tenor Andrew Morris received high praise for both the music and the production from leading classical music personalities including Tasmin Little (International Violinist), Roxana Panufnik (Composer) and Ugo Benelli (Operatic Tenor).
Andrew has taught guitar for most of his career and music technology & production since 2016. Many of his students have successfully forged music careers in their own right. He has run guitar departments at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for girls in Elstree, Merchant Taylor’s Boys School, Sutton Valence School, Kent. He has lectured and given masterclasses at establishments worldwide and has been visiting Professor and Lecturer at the London College of Music/ University of West London. He also teaches guitar at Trinity School (Croydon).
Since he and his wife became foster carers in 2004, Andrew has developed an intricate understanding of neurodiversity born out of two decades of fostering children with learning disabilities, emotional, behavioural, and communication difficulties. Andrew uses music technology in therapeutic work and finds music has played an invaluable role in providing a positive and life affirming experience to all who cross his path.
He frequently runs therapuetic sessions with a variety of clients, acts as a specialist advisor to an array of therapists and runs workshops on "Illuminating New Frontiers of Cognitive Exploration." He has run an entirely Autistic Band of musicians that regularly rehearse but never perform.
Andrew's advocacy of musicians with disabilities has found him creating festivals, concert series and working with leading promoters in improving iclusivity within the music industry. Leading international artists and orchestras of varying genres have adopted Andrew's policy of inclusion.
As an advocate for individuals with learning difficulties, and children in care, he is invited to give seminars and talks on music as a therapeutic aid.
In 2018 he helped launched the charity FASD Awareness. FASD Awareness was established to support the prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies and improve the quality of life for those living with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). After 4 years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees to FASD Awareness, he stood down to take on the role of Chief Executive of the Charity in 2021. He started their #BeAware campaign of educational films and case studies alongside past student and award-winning film maker Max Blustin of (New Planet Film & Media). The campaign was designed to increase a global awareness of FASD drawing particular focus on the science behind FASD and the lived experience.
In 2019, FASD Awareness, in collaboration with Kent & Medway Clinical Commissioners and Dr Raja Mukherjee (Consultant Psychiatrist, Adult Learning Disability Consultant Psychiatrist for Surrey and Borders' Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) set up the first Hub and Spoke Model in the UK, upskilling Community Paediatricians in diagnosing FASD. Additionally, their continued collaboration with the CCG (now integrated Care Systems) and a push for a provision to cater for FASD Families in the southeast of England has resulted in the formation of the Kent and Medway Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) System Partnership Group.
FASD Awareness were awarded the High Sherriff of Kent’s Award in 2019, for their work in the community.
Andrew sits on the FASD All Party Parliamentary Group, chaired meetings on FASD in the Criminal Justice System & the FASD UK Alliance. In 2021 he was invited to sit on the roundtable talks leading to the “Time is Now” document - The National Perspective, Ramping up FASD Prevention, Diagnosis & Support Services. He and Founder of FASD Awareness (Tracy Allen) offer training to many professional sectors. Andrew also hosts the popular monthly Webinar series interviewing many of the leading lights in the FASD community and giving a vital voice and platform for those with lived experience of FASD.
Andrew lives in the heart of the Kent countryside near Rochester with his wife Naomi, two sons Oscar and Felix and two foster sons. He and Naomi have fostered over 20 children with learning disabilities over the past 19 years and specialise in caring for children with complex needs and in particular Autism. He tries to stay fit by long walks with his dog "Lou" and has taken part in triathlons!
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“Andrew Keeping goes a long way to justify a position as Julian Bream’s natural successor.”
Classical Music on the Web.
As a performer, Andrew can capture the spirit of new music instinctively. As an interpreter, he can fulfil the composers wishes and can put the music across to the audience with conviction. What more can a composer want?"
(Composer/ Professor of Classical Guitar/ Musicologist)
(Ham & High)
" further evidence of his status as an artist of taste and skill."
" A genius with the classic guitar."
" He has done more than most to promote British solo guitar."
(London Evening Standard.)
If you have any queries or wish to book Andrew for a concert or event please contact him:
+44 07973 129951 +44 07973 129951