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)
Christopher Sainsbury is an accomplished composer and is Associate Professor 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 over 35 years. As an Indigenous person he maintains a commitment to lifting the profile of Indigenous Australian composers, and is founder and director of the Ngarra-burria First Peoples Composers program (see Ngarra-burria on this site). In 2020 he won the inaugural APRA National Luminary Award - a top tier Australian music award, in acknowledgement of the impact the Ngarra-burria program has had on the classical and new music industry. He writes in various styles and genres, from simple solo instrumental works to large orchestral works, and from surf music to jazz. See Bio for composing credits.
VCE Curriculum piece
Recent performances / releases / new commissions / events
* Christopher Sainsbury - Winner Apra National Luminary Award 2020, for his work in the Ngarra-burria First Peoples Composers program, which has fast become an integral part of the Australian music industry.
* Classical:NEXT 2022 Award Winner: The Ngarra-burria First Peoples Composers program wins innovation award in Germany at the world's largest gathering of classical and new music sector professionals.
* North Country Sketches: performed by Jonathon Paget (guitar), Perth concert hall March 6, 2022.
* Singing Stone: for Ken Murray with Ensemble Three (Melbourne). Performance Melbourne Recital Centre 22 March 2022.
* The Visitors: a new opera commissioned by the Victorian Opera Company for the 2023 season. Cond. Richard Mills. Libretto Jane Harrison.
* In the beginning, fun: a new work commissioned for CSO Australian series for April 7, 2022. Cond. Jessica Cottis.
* Guwara: a new work commissioned by Melbourne String Ensemble. Performance Melbourne Recital Centre April 30, 2022.
* The Arrival: scheduled in the Canberra International Music Festival, Teddy (Edward) Neeman solo piano, May 5, 2022.
* Magic of This Dawn: Derwent Valley Concert Band, May22nd, Hobart.
* Scar Tree: Adelaide Chamber Players performance, Aug 13th at Port Augusta.
* Djagamara: Adelaide Chamber Players performance, Aug 13th at Port Augusta.
* New sessions: Ken Murray, Merindah Dias-Jayasinha, Laila Engle, and Ensemble Three are recording a CD of my works at ABC Studios Melbourne, Sept 5 - 7.
* Rain Falls and After: a new work commissioned by the CIMF, recorded by Andrew Blanch and Vlad Gorbach, 2021. Hear at:
Rain Falls (<< click here)