contact + life


Christopher Fox is on Twitter @fantasticdrfox and Facebook.

Christopher Fox was born on 10 March 1955 in York, the eldest child of Raymond

Fox (1925–90), a lawyer who was also born in York, and Barbara Fox (b. 1925),

who grew up in Pomerania (then in Germany, now in Poland). When he was nearly

two his parents moved to the nearby village of Copmanthorpe; he went to junior

school in the village and then to Tadcaster Grammar School. In 1973 he went to

the University of Liverpool to read music, attracted both by the prospect of studying

with Hugh Wood, the university’s composer in residence, and of being in the

same city as Liverpool Football Club. From Liverpool he went to Southampton,

studying with Jonathan Harvey for a year, before returning to York to complete a

PhD in composition, supervised by Richard Orton.

In 1978 he married the singer Amanda Crawley. Both of them sang in a chamber

choir formed to perform in that year’s inaugural York Early Music Festival,

and during rehearsals Fox met a fellow tenor, Roger Heaton, rather better known

as a clarinettist. They began a close collaboration and it was at Heaton’s suggestion

that Fox went to the Darmstadt Ferienkurse for the first time 1982. The

succès de scandale of Fox’s DaNCE (1980), performed at Heaton’s instigation

during the Ferienkurse, led to many further opportunities in Germany (including

a DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm residency in 1987) and elsewhere in continental

Europe. Further close collaborations with soloists and ensembles have been

a feature of Fox’s life as a composer, most notably with the pianists Ian Pace, John

Snijders and Philip Thomas, the cellist Anton Lukoszevieze, and the ensembles

Apartment House, EXAUDI, The Clerks and the Ives Ensemble.

As well as composing, Fox has earned a living as a lecturer, teaching art and

media history in the Art School of Bradford College for 10 years, before joining the

music departments of the University of Huddersfield and, more recently, Brunel

University London. He also writes about music, producing newspaper features,

radio scripts, musicological journal articles and book chapters, and editing books

on Michael Finnissy and the history of the Darmstadt Ferienkurse. Recordings of

his works are to be found on many different labels and publication of his music is

by Composers Edition and his own imprint, the Fox Edition.

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