A student of Leonard Bernstein, Henry Brant, Bruce Saylor and David Del Tredici, Andy Teirstein writes music for the concert hall, film, theater, and dance. He is the recipient of the 2008 New York Foundaton for the Arts Music Composition Fellowship, and the American Composer Forum  Continental Harmony commission, among other awards.

Teirstein has composed several film scores, including “Men”, for BBC and “Margaret Sanger”, for PBS, and was a music consultant/composer for the critically acclaimed documentary series “The West”, Produced by Ken Burns and Insignia Films, also aired on PBS.

A prolific writer for the theater, Teirstein has scored, arranged, and directed a number of musical theater pieces, including ” A Blessing on the Moon,” recently presented in concert at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge Club and at the Chutzpah! Festival of Performing Arts in Vancouver, “Papushko”, which won a Richard Rodgers Development Award; “Winter Man”, recipient of the NEA Opera/Musical Theater Award (1993,1991), which he scored, arranged, and co-wrote with Cheyenne poet Lance Henson and which was presented by La Mama Experimental Theater Company in February 1995, and “Skels”, which also recieved an NEA Opera/Musical Theater Award in 1994. “The Wild”, a music/theater/dance work written, composed, and directed by Teirstein, premiered at La Mama in June, 1996.

In recent years, Teirstein’s eclectic background which includes acting, clown work, and performance art in addition to musical composition and performance has led him to extremely successful collaborations with a number of choreographers. These include Donald Byrd, Stephen Petronio, Phyllis Lamhut, Liz Lerman, Sara Pearson, Nina Wiener, Patricia Nanon, and Randy Warshaw. Teirstein performs as an Actor and Musician in the show, Woody Sez, with successful runs in London’s West End, at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, the Edinburgh Festival, and in Germany, Oklahoma and other places. He is also a touring musician with the world music/dance troupe The Vanaver Caravan.

The Village Voice has said that Teirstein’s music seems to speak in celestial accents of some utopia whose chief industry is dancing. His work has been heard at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, Lincoln Center, and P.S. 122, as well as abroad in France, Italy, Holland and Belgium. His score for Liz Lerman/The Dance Exchange, commissioned by The University of Arizona, a polychoral work with recorded and live musicians,  premiered in March, 2000 at Centennial Hall in Tucson.

Teirstein has received numerous grants, awards and honors, including Meet the Composer Choreographer/Composer Commissions; three NEA Opera/Musical Theater Awards; Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Awards; two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships; a MacDowell Fellowship; and numerous ASCAP awards. He is currently Associate Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Teirstein’s newest CD, Open Crossings was released by Naxos Records in August, 2009.