Andrew Morris was brought up on the Isle of Wight. He was a boy chorister of Westminster Abbey under Sir William McKie and then gained a music scholarship to Bembridge School before entering the Royal Academy of Music in 1967, where he studied organ, piano and conducting. Morris then read for the BMus and the MA degrees at the University of London before taking an MEd degree by research at Pembroke College, Cambridge where he was also Schoolmaster Fellow Commoner. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 1988.
In 1971 Andrew Morris succeeded Brian Brockless as Organist and Director of Music at the Priory Church of St Bartholomew-the-Great, Smithfield, in the City of London. During his 8-year tenure at the Church, he developed both the music within the liturgy and the concert programmes, making records with Abbey Records and broadcasting with BBC Radio 3 and ITV. Whilst there he re-founded the New English Singers in 1974 and he conducted concerts with the group in and around London until 1979. Later, in 1985, he founded the New Bedford Singers which he conducted for 10 years in concerts in the home counties. He also directed the 850th Anniversary Festival at St Bartholomew’s in 1973, the Silver Jubilee Festival of Music in 1977 and two International Festivals of Twentieth Century Music in 1978 and 1979 which were widely acclaimed for both their performances and originality during which Morris conducted many first performances and London premieres of works by British and European composers.
In 1972 Andrew Morris was appointed Professor of Harmony and Piano at the London College of Music, where he remained until 1976. The same year, he was appointed Director of Music at Christ’s College, Finchley, where he taught until 1979.
In 1979 Andrew Morris became Director of Music at Bedford School where he remained for 32 years. During this time, he developed the Music School at Bedford into one of the largest school music departments in the UK and brought its music making to unprecedented heights. He also presided over the building of a new Music School, opened in March 2006 by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of The Queen’s Music. Under him the School’s First Orchestra played most of the Classical and Romantic concerto and symphonic repertoire as well as symphonies by Sibelius and Nielsen and new works by British composers such as Paul Patterson and the recipients of the Composer-in-Residence Scheme which Morris set up at Bedford School (with funds from the Maingot Trust), Alan Charlton, Paul Whitmarsh, Tim Watts and James Lark. With the School Choral Society, Morris conducted many of the major choral works including Bach’s B minor Mass, the St John Passion, the St Matthew Passion, Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Samson, the Verdi Requiem and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius to name but a few. He also took the Chapel Choir, with whom he established a strong cathedral repertoire in the weekly Chapel services, to sing in many English cathedrals and on tours to Madrid, Venice Paris and Chartres. At Bedford School, Morris established a Visiting Fellows scheme, made up of advisers to the Music Department and the Bedford boys, who include Stephen Cleobury, CBE (Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge), Andrew Manze (Chief Conductor of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra and Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra), Richard Egarr (Director of the Academy of Ancient Music), Paul Patterson (Manson Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music) and Roger Wright (then Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Director of the BBC Proms).
Andrew Morris has been actively involved in the contemporary music scene throughout his career and was a member of the Executive Committee of the New Macnaghten Concerts from 1978 to 1984 and of which he was Chairman from 1981 to 1984. He has been associated with the Park Lane Group since 1985 and has been a member of the Artistic Committee, the Committee of Management and the Advisory Council on which he currently sits. In addition, he was a member of the Committee of the RAM Club at the Royal Academy of Music from 1998 to 2011 and was President of the RAM Club from 2005 to 2006.
In education, Andrew Morris was a member of the Music Masters’ and Mistresses’ Association (MMA) Committee from 1988 to 1998, being Honorary Secretary from 1990 to 1995 and MMA President 1996 to 1997. He also founded and chaired the MMA Academic Sub-Committee from 1995 to 2000 and the MMA University Liaison Committee 2002 to 2007. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Music Education Council 1996-1999 and has been an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music since 1981. In 2011 he was commissioned by the Bernarr Rainbow Trust to co-author and edit an update of Rainbow's Music and the English Public School The new book, Music in Independent Schools is the last of the Rainbow books on historic texts to be updated and revised.
He is a member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and is currently The Master. He was formerly Chairman of the Musicians’ Company Concerts Committee and is a former President of the Company's Livery Club. He is a Trustee of the Pembroke College Cambridge Mission, Pembroke House, in Walworth, South London, and takes a special interest in the work there of the Pembroke Academy of Music. In 2014 Andrew Morris succeeded Simon Lindley as Chairman of the Friends of the Musicians' Chapel at the Musicians' Church of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, Holborn.