Chris Latham is best known in Canberra for his role as the former director of the Canberra International Music Festival, a position he held for six years, and as Music Director of the Gallipoli Symphony.
Born in Sydney, raised in Brisbane and having studied violin in the United States, Christopher Latham has enjoyed a multi-faceted musical career working as a violinist, editor, publisher, concert programmer and festival director.
As a child Christopher was awarded a singing scholarship to Anglican Church Grammar School and was the treble soloist at St John's Cathedral in Brisbane during this period. After his voice broke he concentrated on his violin studies, and later moved to the US to study music at Humboldt State University, the University of Utah, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he gained his Masters of Chamber Music. During his studies he continued to be an active chamber musician, and in 1992 he returned to Australia to join the Australian Chamber Orchestra, touring the world full time for seven years.
In 1996 Christopher was a finalist in the ABC Young Performers Competition and subsequently formed the eclectic collective, an ensemble in residence at the Sydney Town Hall in 1996 and 1997 and for the Sydney Opera House Studio in 1998, with the aim of championing neglected composers and repertoire.
In 1998 Christopher took over as Head of Promotions at Boosey and Hawkes Australia, where he oversaw publishing operations and worked extensively as a music editor, representing all of their Australian composers, as well as being the local representative for about 70% of the world's published composers.
As Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and the Four Winds Festival, Christopher curated the artistic programs and oversaw the delivery of the festival events.
Under Christopher's direction for six years, the Canberra International Music Festival became seen as a national leader in the commissioning and premiering of new musical works, and gained a growing reputation as Australia's most innovative, accessible and inspiring fine music festival.
For the last ten years, Christopher has been the Music Director of the Gallipoli Symphony, a ten-year commissioning project aimed at retelling the narrative of the Gallipoli Campaign through music from the points of view of all three nations, Australia, Turkey and New Zealand. With an orchestrated movement composed each year, all ten movements will be orchestrated into one entire symphony to be premiered in 2015 to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign.
Christopher believes in the power of music as a universal language and its ability to heal. He has written two volumes of poetry, a 'Survival Guide for Freelance Artists' and is deeply engaged with a life-long project examining the correlations between colour and sound.
Christopher Latham was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Canberra for services to music, particularly as Director of the Canberra International Music Festival and as Music Director of the Gallipoli Symphony.