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Christopher Sainsbury

Composer - songwriter - guitarist - educator

“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 solo works to large orchestral works.

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

Chris at outdoor gallery Canberra.jpg

Christopher Sainsbury

Hear more:

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

Recent performances / releases / new commissions / events

* Djagamara: for Griffyn Ensemble (flute and harp) recent Sorry Day concert, Glebe Park Canberra. Dedicated to James MacLeod.

* Indigenous Composers Initiative with Ensemble Offspring tour to Brewarrina to participate in the Baiame's Ngunnhu Festival. See related info at:

* 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 are coming up. Visit soon for details!


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.

Chris delivered the 2018 Indigenous Music Lecture at the School of Music, ANU, a Reconciliation week event that explores the contribution of a different Indigenous musician every year.

Featured CD

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

Anima cover.jpg

Click on CDs for email / ordering page

Also visit the Hear Sounds page.