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Clarion Seven Muses - Christopher Austin

Christopher Austin

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Artist Manager
Caroline Oakes


Biography of Christopher Austin

Christopher Austin

The performance and recording of new music has been central to Christopher Austinís work as a conductor since his days as a student and stems partly from his own background as a composer. With two fellow students from Bristol University he set up the Brunel Ensemble in 1994 and was its Artistic Director throughout its twelve-year existence.

Christopher Austin has given more than 90 world and local premiŤres, including works by Hans Abrahamsen, John Adams, Malcolm Arnold, Simon Bainbridge, Luke Bedford, Tansy Davies, Michael Finnissy, Morgan Hayes, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Elisabeth Lutyens, John McCabe, Colin Matthews, Peter Maxwell Davies, Olivier Messiaen, Olga Neuwirth, Per NÝrgŚrd, Steve Reich, Poul Ruders, Robert Saxton, Bent SÝrensen Joby Talbot, Raymond Warren, Malcolm Williamson and John Woolrich.

Recent and forthcoming work includes débuts with the Ňrhus Sinfonietta, City of London Sinfonia and Chroma, BCMG and the Opéra de Rouen. Other work includes the London Sinfonietta, the Esbjerg Ensemble, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestra della Teatro Regio Parma, the Composers Ensemble at the Aldeburgh Festival, the BBC Orchestras, The Philharmonia and Hallé orchestras, Present Music (New York), Athelas Sinfonietta, the Danish Radio Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. His discography includes CDs for Nonclassical, Signum, NMC, DaCapo, Dutton and XL Recordings.

Austin is also a prolific orchestrator for film music and more recently ballet. His work includes Joby Talbotís music for The Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy and Son of Rambow and Jeremy Samsís Ivor Novello Award-winning score for Enduring Love. Austinís arrangements of three songs by The White Stripes feature in Wayne McGregorís ballet Chroma, while most recently he orchestrated Joby Talbotís score for Aliceís Adventures in Wonderland at the Royal Ballet and arranged the music for Javier de Frutosís Elysian Fields for the Rambert Dance Company at Sadlerís Wells last Autumn. Most recently he orchestrated Jeremy Samsís music for Hyde Park on Hudson.

Austinís broad experience in all types of contemporary music as both performer and arranger led to him being appointed the Music Consultant for the British Film Instituteís Rescue the Hitchcock Nine, for which he curated the commissioning of new scores for all the silent movies directed by Alfred Hitchcock. He gave the premier performances of Daniel Patrick Cohenís score for The Pleasure Garden at Wiltonís Music Hall in June 2012 and subsequently at the National Film Theatre and Rio Film Festival in the Autumn of last year.

All of Christopher Austinís musical activities come together at the Royal Academy of Music where he is a professor of composition, orchestration and conducting. In 2009, his work there, in collaboration with the music critic Paul Morley, was the subject of a two-part BBC documentary called How to Be a Composer. He has also guest lectured at the University of Louisville (where he was a judge for the 2009 Grawemeyer Award) and the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice.