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.