Greek born Christos Hatzis immigrated to Canada in 1982 after completing his doctoral studies in the USA. He entered Canada as a nightclub musician and for years lived precariously, performing in nightclubs with Greek bands while working on his compositions. Initially, his music did not receive much support or understanding as it was different from the accepted stylistic preferences of the eighties. Christos’ compositions were inspired by world cultures and revealed a sense of positive cultural convergence. It was only in the nineties when Toronto became more multicultural, that Christos’ classical new music began to win support.
Today, Christos Hatzis is considered one of Canada’s most important and prolific composers. He has successfully expanded the boundaries of modern classical composing by using an array of eclectic styles and techniques. He is also an acclaimed essayist about the role of contemporary classical music within societies, present and future. In 1995, Christos became an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music where he continues to teach to this day.
Christos inspires and encourages young composers to be socially and culturally responsive to their environment. He shares his knowledge and experience not only with his students but also with new immigrants who are artists, performers and composers. His latest multimedia work ‘Constantinople’ explores a musically fabricated world that melds conflicts of religion, culture and history.
His compositions have been honoured with the Jean A. Chalmers National Music Award, the Jules Léger prize, the Prix Italia Special prize and the Prix Bohemia Radio Special. His work is now commissioned, performed, recorded and broadcast world-wide by major soloists and ensembles such as Shauna Rolston, Patrick Gallois, Patricia Rosario, the Toronto and Montreal symphony orchestras, the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Tafelmusic Baroque Orchestra, the St. Lawrence String Quartet and the Gryphon Trio.