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Christopher Austin

Biography

Conductor and orchestrator Christopher Austin made his Royal Ballet debut in 2006, orchestrating Joby Talbot’s score for Wayne McGregor’s Chroma. He has since returned to orchestrate Talbot’s score for Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In the 2017/18 Season he orchestrates Frank Moon’s score for Arthur Pita’s new work for The Royal Ballet, The Wind.

Austin studied at the University of Bristol with Raymond Warren and Adrian Beaumont and at the Guildhall School of Music Drama with Robert Saxton and Simon Bainbridge. He has since become widely known as a conductor of contemporary music and has given world and local premieres by many leading composers, including John Adams, Bainbridge, Luke Bedford, Tansy Davies, Michael Finnissy, Morgan Hayes, John McCabe, Stuart MacRae, Colin Matthews, Olga Neuwirth, Steve Reich, Poul Ruders, Bent Sørensen, Talbot, Warren and John Woolrich, with such ensembles as Århus Sinfonietta, City of London Sinfonia, Chroma and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. His many orchestrations for film soundtracks include the Ivor Novello Award-winning Max by Dan Jones and Enduring Love by Jeremy Sams. His long-standing collaboration with Talbot has included orchestrating the soundtracks for Son of Rambow, Arctic Tale, Penelope and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Austin has taught composition, orchestration and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. In 2009 his work there was the subject of the BBC documentary How to Be a Composer. From 2010 to 2012 he was music consultant for the BFI’s project Rescue the Hitchcock Nine. His awards include a joint Tony Award with Don Sebesky and Bill Elliott for the orchestration of Wheeldon’s An American in Paris.