Andy Ellis Valdini has studied piano since age 7 and viola since age 10. He received his BA in 1995 from Reed College, where he studied music with David Schiff. He then went on to study composition with Peter Golub and Tomas Svoboda in Portland before moving to San Francisco to study with David Conte and Conrad Susa at the Conservatory of Music. Since then he has received his Master's degree in music composition at UC Riverside. Under the viola instruction of Lucille Taylor, he served as principal viola with the UC Riverside orchestra. He has studied Suzuki pedagogy with Dr. Theodore Brunson. He currently resides in Portland, OR, with his wife, and daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys mountain biking, running, and playing the Hammond B3 organ, Wurlitzer 140B electric piano, and gypsy jazz fiddle.