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Christopher Sainsbury

Composer - songwriter - guitarist - educator

"Surely this year's Australian musician of the moment"

(The Australian Music Centre's Resonate magazine May 2019)

“Cinematically tonal, and vivid"

(The Boston Globe 2010)

Brief Introduction

Christopher Sainsbury is an accomplished composer and a highly experienced music educator, currently lecturing in Composition and Musicology at the Australian National University (ANU). He has made a sustained contribution to Australian music as a working composer in both professional and also community music arenas for many years, staging much in regional and/or Aboriginal arenas for over three decades. As an Indigenous person he maintains a commitment to lifting the profile of Indigenous Australian composers and heads up the Ngarra-burria First Peoples Composers program. He charts his own course and is quite unconcerned with notions of industry, rather considering communities make music. He writes anything from simple solo instrumental works to large orchestral works, from acoustic surf music to anything really - whatever the job requires.

Lydian Caprice - (<<click title to hear) - the string quintet version.

Chris at outdoor gallery Canberra.jpg

Christopher Sainsbury (artwork by Djon Mundine)

Hear more:

Djagamara (<<click to hear) featuring the Random Earth Band (Guy Strazz, Stephen Marquis, Chris, Rosalie Bourne, Christina Sainsbury)

Storm (<<click to hear) from Brackish Songs for mezzo-soprano and guitar.

Recent performances / releases / new commissions / events

* Yabun 1: flute trio for Mark Xiao and friends, for the Australian Flute Festival July 2019, Sydney Conservatorium.

* Beach Holiday: for youth orchestra. Performed by Canberra Youth Orchestra 2019.

* Dying River Party: for solo clarinet. Performed by Eloise Fisher, ANU 2019.

* A new 'Grand Graduation' piece, a commission from the Chancellery of the ANU.

* Recording of Yabun 1 and other woodwind works, Mark Xiao, Eloise Fisher and others, ABC Ultimo December 2019.

* Recording of The Arrival and also Grainger in Bourke St, Edward Neeman piano, ABC Ultimo 2020.

* 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.

* Bark of the 'bidgee: Small mixed ensemble work for Canberra International Music Festival, cond. Roland Peelman, May 2019.

* The Arrival: for Teddy 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.

* Spirit Land: orchestral piece and soundtrack for film "Spirit Land". Central 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 Auld, 2018.

Some exciting new commissions for 2019 and 2020 are coming up. Visit soon for details!

Featured CD

The Sainsbury solo guitar CD, 10 years young now. (Click image to order):

Anima cover.jpg Anima cover.jpg

Click on CDs for email / ordering page

Also visit the Hear Sounds page or Guitar Music page.