Christopher Lawrence – Chief Artistic Director

Christopher Lawrence’s career spans more than 40 years of broadcasting in radio and television. He has written and produced dozens of radio documentaries (ranging from the love life of the French composer Hector Berlioz to a history of the songs and stories of Australian waterfront workers), presented an interview series for the Ovation channel, and conducted most of Australia’s capital city symphony orchestras.

As an orchestral and opera recording producer he has been awarded an International Emmy for Performing Arts, three ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) Awards, a Churchill Fellowship, and the Editors’ Choice Award at the 1992 Cannes Classical Awards in France. Christopher worked extensively with the late Stuart Challender and the Sydney Symphony on a series of breakthrough recordings of Australian music. He also accompanied them on their historic Bicentennial Tour of the United States in 1988, producing recordings with Dame Joan Sutherland in the Kennedy Center and the United Nations General Assembly Hall.

Christopher was the first presenter of ABC RN’s The Music Show in 1991, discussing recording techniques with k.d.lang, the art of singing while running uphill with Julie Andrews, and making pasta with Stéphane Grappelli (along with hundreds of other interviews). He has also conducted a series of public conversations with guests including Victoria de los Angeles, Simone Young, Philip Glass, Geoffrey Rush and Stephen Sondheim.

Christopher is best-known for his on-air work with ABC Classic FM, including hosting Weekend Breakfast and the music/travel program Passenger.

He has also worked extensively on ABC Local Radio, presenting Evenings and Breakfast on ABC Sydney, Afternoons on ABC Hobart, and the series Bakelite Express on Networked Local Radio across the country. While based in the UK, he was a regular guest commentator for the live-to-air BBC Proms telecasts and reviewer for Opera magazine. In 1999 Christopher was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Communications by the University of Central Queensland for his career in broadcasting.

Christopher has also worked extensively in arts administration as Executive Producer of Music for ABC TV and Artistic Director of Musica Viva Australia. At present he is serving on the Board of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and is President of the Van Diemen’s Band Association.

Christopher has written three best-selling books: Swooning – a classical music guide to life, love, lust and other follies; Hymns of the Forefathers, based on his documentary series about the history of hymns seen on ABC TV; and Swing Symphony. His latest book, Symphony of Seduction was published by Nero in Australia in February 2018. His work is sold throughout Australia, the US, UK, Hungary and China.