With two Juno awards, two 2017 current Juno nominations, several national and international awards and a slew of recent commissions by internationally recognized touring artists such as violinist Hilary Hahn, percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, the Winnipeg and Montreal Symphony Orchestras and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet among others, Christos Hatzis is widely recognized as “one of the most important composers writing today” (CBC) and “a contemporary Canadian master” (New Yorker.)
Hatzis is pioneering a distinct breed of 21st Century music which combines intellectual complexity, emotional/psychological directness and technical mastery of various media and musical idioms. His recent work focuses on native issues, geopolitical diversity, migration, environmental consciousness and human rights. Although technically challenging, Hatzis’s music has established a deep and direct connection with a growing number of musicians and listeners worldwide (his audio playlist has registered over 1,700,000 hits since 2008). Two of his recent large-scale works, SYN-PHONIA (Migration Patterns) and GOING HOME STAR: Truth and Reconciliation are indicative of Hatzis’s most recent musical thinking. GOING HOME STAR: Truth and Reconciliation a ballet score for Inuit throat signer Tanya Tagaq, the Northern Cree Singers and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, was commissioned by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet under the auspices of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The critical response to GOING HOME STAR has been unanimous:
“The music for Going Home Star may be the best ballet composition ever created in Canada.”—THE GLOBE AND MAIL
“Christos Hatzis’s tour-de-force score . . . is a game-changer.” —WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
“One of the most powerful and moving works composed by a Canadian composer” – David Dalle, CKCU FM
Based on the themes of climate change, social unrest, migration and nativist reaction, SYN-PHONIA (Migration Patterns) for Inuit throat singer Tiffany Ayalik, Arabic vocalist Maryem Hassan Tollar, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra plus SurroundSound audio, 3D animation and Virtual Reality had its first performance in 2017 with aspects of the work still under development.
Hatzis’s music is constantly presented in performance and broadcast (over 100 events worldwide in 2016 alone) with a stream of CD recordings on Naxos, Deutche Grammophon, Centrediscs, EMI, Analekta, Sony, CBC and other major and independent labels, several of them all-Hatzis albums. Recent work includes the premieres of Thunder Drum by the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Ecstasy by pop singer Sarah Slean and the TBSO; the premiere and Canadian Tour of GOING HOME STAR by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 2014 and 2016, preceded by The Isle is Full of Voices, which was commissioned and premiered by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 2014, opened the Eurasia Festival in Russia with the Urals Philharmonic Orchestra in 2015 with more recent performances by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Warsaw and Naples Philharmonic Orchestras; the US and European tour of Coming To and Dystopia by violinist Hilary Hahn; Four Songs on Poems by Elizabeth Bishop by soprano Suzy LeBlanc and Symphony Nova Scotia, and Lamento by Sarah Slean and Symphony Nova Scotia. Hilary Hahn’s D.G recording which included Coming To won a Grammy Award in 2015 and topped many international top and top 10 lists that year.