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Andrew Earle Simpson

Andrew joins Alliance as Composer for our Short Gems project on the "Man Ray – Caesar and the Mannequin."


Andrew is an acclaimed composer of opera, silent film, orchestral, chamber, choral, dance, and vocal music based in Washington, DC. His musical works make multi-faceted, intimate connectionswith literature, visual art, and film, reflecting his own interest in linking music with the wider world, an approach which he calls “humanistic music.” His collaborations on such artists as Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp have been presented at the National Gallery. The Phillips Collection has provided in Man Ray a natural catalyst for rich exploration of the theater of words and characters of William Shakespeare seen through the lens of surrealism. 



His concert and theatrical works have been performed at such venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Music Center at Strathmore, National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Museums of American Art, American History and Freer-Sackler Gallery, Getty Museum, and many others. He has collaborated with visual artists and digital animators in programs at the National Gallery of Art and other venues, including painting, films and animations by Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, René Clair, Sharon Louden, Micheline Klagsbrun, David Brody, Jodie Mack, and many others.

One of America’s foremost silent film accompaniments, he has performed across the United States, Europe, and South America. He is Resident Film Accompanist at the National Gallery of Art and a regularly featured accompanist at the Library of Congress’ Mt. Pony Theater in Culpeper, VA, as well as Keyboard Artist for the Cantate Chamber Singers. He has performed silent film scores at the Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy, Lincoln Center in New York City, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Sala Cecelia Meireles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Harvard Film Archive, UCLA Film and Television Archive, and festivals such as Cinefest, Slapsticon, Orphans, and the Library of Congress’ Mostly Lost workshops. Simpson also conceived and co-founded Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Silent Film Series, for which he is curator and resident musician, entering its fifth season in 2020-21.

Andrew Simpson’s chamber, vocal, choral, and silent film music has been recorded on the Naxos, Albany, Fleur de Son Classics, Capstone, Athena, and other labels. His silent film scores have been broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies Channel, and more than fifty of his silent film piano and chamber scores are available on DVD through Kino-Lorber, Flicker Alley, Olive Films and All Day Entertainment. Most recently, on April 16, 2020, he launched “Sparklers,” a daily YouTube improvisation series featuring a short, improvised piece for piano or other instruments accompanied by still and moving images which the composer creates and curates. The pieces embrace a wide variety of musical styles, and the accompanying films engage with stop motion, montage, color studies, silent film, and other genres. Andrew Earle Simpson is ordinary (full) professor and Director of the Master of Music, Stage Music Emphasis program at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art of The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

For more information, works lists, and recordings, visit

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