Andrew David Keener
Grammy award winning producer, Andrew Keener, talks to us about how his time at Edinburgh educated him in the art of dealing with other people.
Andrew David Keener
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Your time at the University
My time at Edinburgh was one of the happiest periods of my life. My A-Level music teacher in Barry Boys’ Comprehensive in South Wales was a fan of the musicologist Tovey (who was the dean of the music faculty back in the 1920s) and he recommended Edinburgh. Emerging from Waverley to sit the faculty selection exam was when I fell in love with the place on sight, the course – rigorous, academic – suited me (I was never cut out to be a performer) and the two societies I joined, music and gaysoc were pioneering, exciting and very much of their time. My summer job was as an auxiliary nurse in Queensberry House - the site of the future Scottish parliament. I learned a lot.
Edinburgh widened my musical knowledge and was also an education in dealing with
and understanding people – an essential for my job.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
Since 1979, I’ve been an independent classical recording producer, lucky enough to be working and to have worked with some great names including Nigel Kennedy, Joshua Bell, Stephen Hough, Daniel Barenboim, Takacs Quartet – and latterly with Rufus Wainwright on his opera ‘Prima-Donna’. I’ve won Grammies and various other awards. It was something which always fascinated me – records, that is, and performances. Edinburgh widened my musical knowledge and was also an education in dealing with and understanding people – an essential for my job.
- I wish that I’d realised on graduating that my self-confidence was not matched by my ability or experience at that time. I might have been less bumptious.
- Don’t berate special friends from undergraduate days for being poor at keeping in touch. Accept that you might have to do the work there. You won’t regret it. Rare catch-up meetings are precious and better than none at all.
- By all means encourage those who want you to mentor them in the field in which you now work, but be honest. Giving false hope might prevent them from developing other talents in areas about which you know nothing.