BA, Hon ARAM
One of the UK’s foremost conductors specialising in contemporary repertoire, Christopher Austin has given more than 80 world and local premieres in the last decade, including works by John Adams, Simon Bainbridge, Luke Bedford, Tansy Davies, Michael Finnissy, Morgan Hayes, John McCabe, Stuart MacRae, Colin Matthews, Olga Neuwirth, Steve Reich, Poul Ruders, Bent Sørensen, Joby Talbot, Raymond Warren and John Woolrich. More than 40 of those premieres have been given with the Brunel Ensemble as Artistic Director and with them and many other ensembles he has consistently championed the music of Malcolm Williamson and Elisabeth Lutyens in both performance and in recordings.
He has had a long association with music of John McCabe and a disc of McCabe’s orchestral music recorded with the BBC Scottish has been recently released on Dutton to widespread critical acclaim. His recording of Anders Brødsgaard’s Piano Concerto, with Rolf Hind and the Esbjerg Ensemble, was released on Da Capo records this Spring. His disc of Morten Olsen’s music with the Esbjerg Ensemble is released in October, when he also begins another recording of Brødsgaard’s music with the Odense Symphony Orchestra.
Recent work includes debuts with the Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestra della Teatro Regio Parma, the Danubia Symphony Orchestra and at the Aldeburgh Festival; returns to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Esbjerg Ensemble, as part of Sound Around – the Øresund Biennale of Contemporary Music in Copenhagen. Other work includes the London Sinfonietta, Composers’ Ensemble, The Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Hallé and BBC Concert Orchestras, Present Music (New York), Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, the Danish Radio Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and the English Symphony Orchestra.
He has also collaborated with John Cale, Michael Nyman and the rock group The Divine Comedy. Future work includes further concerts and recordings with the Esbjerg Ensemble, a return to the Orchestre National de Lille, his debut with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and a tour of the Far East conducting Joby Talbot’s score for Carolyn Carlson’s Eau for the Centre Chorégraphique National de Roubaix Nord – Pas de Calais. He has recently begun work with Azalea, a young, new music ensemble based at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
In great demand as an orchestrator for film, recent projects include two Ivor Novello Award winning scores - Dan Jones’s score for Max (2004) and Jeremy Sams’ for Enduring Love (2005). His long-standing collaboration with Joby Talbot includes scores for Son of Rambow, Arctic Tale, Penelope, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Aluminium, an album of White Stripes orchestral covers.
Christopher was educated at the University of Bristol, studying composition with Raymond Warren and Adrian Beaumont, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was taught by Robert Saxton and Simon Bainbridge. He teaches composition, orchestration and conducting at the Academy.