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Christopher Sainsbury

Composer, arranger, songwriter, guitarist

“Cinematically tonal"

(The Boston Globe)

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 community music arenas for many years. His output ranges from simple songs to large orchestral works. With flair for melody and the art of orchestration, the Boston Globe reviewed his work as “cinematically tonal” and “dotted with vivid orchestral touches”. Hear an example now:

Lydian Caprice - 2010 (the London Wilhelm string quintet) 2.2MB (<<click to hear)

Chris and tree.jpg

Christopher Sainsbury with tree

Hear more:

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

Recent performances / releases /new commissions

* 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.

* The Earth Song: written by former Senator Bob Brown and arranged for choir by Sainsbury. Canberra Writers Festival, National Library Theatre, Canberra Aug. 2016

* Juljul: for Children's Choir. Canberra International Music Festival April 2017

* The Magic of This Dawn: for North Sydney Symphonic Wind Ensemble (NSSWE), with Conductor Patrick Brennan. Chatswood Concourse Theatre, Sept. 2016. Japan tour (Shizuoka, Osaka and Hiroshima), Dec. 2016.

* ScarTree: an ensemble piece for the modern ballet, "Footmarks", commissioned by Alyssa Casey and the Primal Dance Company. Sydney Fringe Festival, Eternity Playhouse Darlighurst, Sept. 2016, Laycock Street Theatre, Gosford City, Sept. 2016 and Wyong Art House Theatre, Wyong, Oct. 2016.

* The Sphinx: A commission from Avondale Conservatorium (Newcastle) for the University choir 'The Promise'. Words by RW Emerson. Sept. 2016 and CD launch May 2017, Avondale College, Cooranbong, NSW.

* North Country Sketches: for guitar. Sydney/NSW premiere by touring Italian virtuoso Gian Marco Ciampa, Oct 2016, Gosford City. Also XI Festival International of Guitar of the City of Monterotondo, and repeated at Conservatory in Santa Cecilia, ITALY Dec 2016.

* Samba and Trio: for solo cello (Dave Eggar) for ANU gala concert, Canberra, Nov. 2016.

* 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 ceracist Ros Auld.


Dec 2017: a major APRA grant for the second round of the Indigenous Composer Initiative, a mechanism for mentoring and producing Australian Indigenous composers working in new classical music and jazz music scores. Headed up by Moogahlin Performing Arts, Christopher Sainsbury, Kim Cunio and Kevin Hunt, with partners the AMC, Ensemble Offspring, ANU and Eora College. A significant move for Indigenous music in Australia.

A new orchestral suite for the Central Coast Youth Orchestra, exploring regional themes. Sept concert 2018.

Featured CD

Sainsbury also maintains a career as a working guitarist in a wide range of styles. (Click image to order):

Anima cover.jpg

Click on CDs for email / ordering page

Also visit the Hear Sounds page.