Dr Christopher Hobbs

Assistant Professor in Music CompositionDr Christopher Hobbs portrait with plain background


Christopher Hobbs, a pioneer in the field of Systemic Music in Britain, was born in 1950. He studied with Cornelius Cardew at the Royal Academy of Music and was the youngest member of the Scratch Orchestra when it began in 1969. In that year he also joined the improvisation group AMM. In 1970 he, along with John White, Hugh Shrapnel and Alec Hill, formed the Promenade Theatre Orchestra. After its disbandment in 1973 White and he continued as a duo. A pianist and percussionist as well as a composer, Hobbs has performed with a large number of individuals - Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman, Steve Reich, John Tilbury, and Christian Wolff among others - and has written music for a large variety of ensembles and situations.

He taught music at The Drama Centre, London, from 1973-1991. Other teaching posts include guest lectureships at Redlands University, California and continuing lectureships at De Montfort and Coventry Universities. In 1968 he founded the Experimental Music Catalogue which was relaunched by Virginia Anderson and Hobbs in 2000.

Since 2005 he has made over 125 pieces using GarageBand software and systemic procedures based on Sudoku grids. A double CD of this music was issued by EMC in December 2006. Sudoku 82 was issued by Cold Blue in 2009. As well as his own music and that of his friends he has been particularly associated with the work of Erik Satie, giving a celebrated performance with Gavin Bryars, of Vexations in 1971 and premiering the complete score to Le Fils des Etoiles, Satie's longest through-composed piece, in 1989. He has subsequently recorded the work twice and published a critical edition of the score through EMC.

Chris's current research includes a CD of experimental vocal works by him, funded by CU INTIME research group and due for appearance in the upcoming academic year, and a paper on the work of Erik Satie to be given at the 2012 INTIME Symposium in October.


  • Ph.D., De Montfort University

Selected outputs:

  • Hobbs, C. (2011) Cardew: Treatise Performance with Keith Rowe. [Performance] Performed at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
  • Hobbs, C. (2010) Soundscape for Measuring (a dance by Polly Hudson). Somafest, and The Herbert: New York, USA and Coventry, UK
  • Hobbs, C. (2009) Sudoku 32. [Recording]
  • Hobbs, C., with SCHH (2008) Tour. Warwick, Birmingham, Derby, Leicester and London
  • Hobbs, C. (2008) SCHH. [Recording]
  • Hobbs, C. (2006) Hobbs: Sudoku Music. [Recording]
  • Hobbs, C. (2005) L’Auteur se retire: après Schubert. As part of 'Pataphysics. [Recording]
  • Hobbs, C. (2003) Satie: Le Fils des Etoiles. [Recording]
  • Hobbs, C., with the Promenade Theatre Orchestra (2002) The Orangery. [Recording]
  • Hobbs, C. (2001) Fifty in Two Thousand. [Recording]
  • Hobbs, C., and Mitchell, I. (2000) the edge of the world. [Recording]
  • Hobbs, C. (1998) Premiere of No One May Ever Have The Same Knowledge Again. [Composer] Performed at London: ICA
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023