Composer - songwriter - guitarist -
"Surely this year's Australian musician of the
Australian Music Centre's Resonate magazine May 2019)
“Cinematically tonal, and
Boston Globe 2010)
Christopher Sainsbury is an accomplished composer and a highly experienced music educator, currently lecturing
in Composition at the Australian National University (ANU). He has made a sustained contribution to Australian music as a working composer in regional, community and professional music arenas for
many years. He has staged much in the region of the Central Coast and also the far north coast of NSW, and in the Aboriginal arena for over three decades. As an Indigenous person he maintains a
commitment to lifting the profile of Indigenous Australian composers and is founder and artistic director of the Ngarra-burria First Peoples Composers program. He was previously Head of Dept
Aboriginal Visual and Performing Arts at the Eora Centre, an Indigenous Tertiary College in Sydney. His life has largely been devoted to Indigenous music-making and other expressions of Indigenous
culture. He writes in various styles and genres, from simple solo instrumental works to large orchestral works, from acoustic surf music to jazz, anything really - whatever the job or community
suggests. Go to the Hear Sounds page.
Caprice - (<<click title to hear) - the string quintet version.
Christopher Sainsbury (artwork by Djon Mundine)
Djagamara (<<click to hear) featuring the Random Earth Band (Guy Strazz, Stephen Marquis, Chris, Rosalie Bourne, Christina
VCE guitar piece Simple Truths (<<click to download score). Audio on guitar
Recent performances / releases / new commissions /
* Bardo: flute trio for Mark Xiao and friends, for the Australian Flute Festival July 2019, Sydney Conservatorium.
* Clock and Bells: for
Oriana Choir (directed by Dan Walker).
* Mari yanna: a Graduation/ceremonial piece commissioned by the ANU Chancellery, with Indigenous context,
for ANU orchestra directed by Chris.
* a new
SSO commission for the for the 50 Fanfares Project - Sydney Symphony Orchestra directed by
Marin Alsop, August 2020.
* Ken Wyatt
sings: a new commission from Canberra's leading
contemporary group the Griffyn Ensemble, an interpretive setting of Indigenous Minister Ken Wyatt's maiden speech to Parliament.
* The Random Earth Band recordings (see guitar page)
* Beach Holiday: for
youth orchestra. Performed by Canberra Youth Orchestra 2019.
* Dying River Party: for solo clarinet. Performed by Eloise Fisher, ANU 2019. ABC recording to air soon.
* ABC Recording of Bardo and other woodwind works, performed by Mark Xiao and friends, to air soon.
* Recording of The Arrival and also Grainger in Bourke St, Edward Neeman piano, ABC Ultimo 2020. To air
* A new work for
the National Carillon, commissioned by the National Carillon Authority and Thomas Laue, for 2020.
* Lake Music: Installation piece in collaboration with the photo-media artist Rowan Conroy, Goulburn
Regional Art Gallery July - September 2019. See guitar page.
* Bark of the 'bidgee: Small mixed ensemble work for Canberra International Music Festival, cond. Roland
Peelman, May 2019.
* The Arrival: for Teddy (Edward) Neeman solo piano, October 2018.
* Djagamara: for Griffyn Ensemble (flute and harp version) recent Sorry Day concert, Glebe Park Canberra. Dedicated to James MacLeod.
* Ngarra- burria composers with Ensemble Offspring tour to Brewarrina to participate in the
Baiame's Ngunnhu Festival 2018 and again in 2020.
* Spirit Land: orchestral piece and soundtrack for film "Spirit Land".
Coast Youth Orchestra and Central Coast Symphony Orchestra, Central Coast Grammar School Auditorium, Erina Sept. 2017 and film launch Dec. 2017, The Hub, Erina, NSW. Repeated screenings in
Central Coast cinemas.
* Juljul: for Turner
Trebles Children's Choir, Canberra International Music Festival April 2017. Repeated performances.
* As Wild as All Get Out: Carillon piece for Canberra International Music Festival, May and June 2017 at
National Carillon Park, Canberra. Repeat performances in Spain and Belgium, July 2017.
* Mud Moon:
a string trio commission for milestone birthday celebrations of Australian ceramicist Ros
The Sainsbury solo guitar CD, 10 years young now. (Click image to order):
Click on CDs for email / ordering page
Also visit the Hear Sounds page or Guitar