Christian Mason was born in London in 1984. His music has been described variously as 'a very different world, gentle and subtly coloured... intriguingly ambiguous in a way that made me want to hear it again, immediately' (Ivan Hewitt, Telegraph), 'energised, bracing, craggy and brilliant' (Colin Anderson, Classicalsource), and 'inspired and skillful' (Ritmo, Madrid). His former teacher and composer Nicola LeFanu portrayed Christian in New Notes as one of the 'most strikingly original' composers of his generation.
Having recently completed a Ph.D at Kings College London with George Benjamin, Christian works as composition assistant to Sir Harrison Birtwistle, and Composition Support Tutor for the LSO Panufnik Young Composers Project. He is also founding co-Artistic Director of the Octandre Ensemble. He previously read music at the University of York and has studied composition with Sinan Savaskan, Nicola LeFanu, Thomas Simaku and Julian Anderson. Christian has also participated in summer courses such as the Stockhausen Courses, Dartington, Royaumont Voix Nouvelles, Acanthes, Festival d'Aix en Provence, and was an invited composer at Takefu International Festival 2008, Japan. He was selected by Pierre Boulez to participate in the Lucerne Festival Academy 2012 to 2013, for which he has composed the orchestral piece Isolarion.
From 2005-2008 Christian was shortlisted by the Society for the Promotion of New Music and in 2009 was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize and shortlisted for the British Composer Awards, chamber category. In 2012 he was awarded the Mendelssohn Scholarship and won the British Composer Awards in the solo/duo category. His curiosity has led him to work with other artists such as Barbara Keal on Songs for the Last Slam Door Train (2006), for 20 amateur singers on a train. He also collaborated with choreographers on the Transforme project at Royaumont (2008-09), and composed the music for the new productions by Peter Gill of The Breath of Life by David Hare (at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield in February 2011) and Robert Holman's Making Noise Quietly (at Donmar Warehouse, London, May 2012).
Christian's music has been commissioned and/or performed by Midori, Mieko Kanno, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Carolin Widmann, Emily Hindrichs, Okeanos Plus, London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia, London Symphony Orchestra, Opera North Orchestra, and BBC Philharmonic under such conductors as Elgar Howarth and Francois-Xavier Roth. In September 2009 In Time Entwined, In Space Enlaced, written for London Sinfonietta's 40th Birthday Concert, was released on their 'Jerwood Series'. In 2011 Aldeburgh commissioned Incandescence for solo cello for their June festival, and Learning Self-Modulation for violin and piano was premiered by Carolin Widmann and Simon Lepper at the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, followed by further performances at the Wigmore Hall in London, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Auditorio Nacional in Madrid. Many pieces have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and LSO have recorded from bursting suns escaping for release on the 'LSO Live' label during 2013. Recent commissions include The Years of Light for Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music (August 2013) and a new work for Tokyo Philharmonic Choir (February 2014).