Born in Greece, educated in the United States, a Canadian citizen since 1985 and a Professor at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto since 1995, Christos Hatzis is one of Canada’s most important composers.
Hatzis was born in Volos, Greece and received his early music instruction at the Volos branch of the Hellenic Conservatory. He continued his music studies in the United States, first at the Eastman School of Music and later at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo.
Hailed as “one of the most important composers in Canada” (International Musician), he is the recipient of awards such as the Jean A. Chalmers National Music Award (1998), Jules Leger Prize for New Chamber Music (1996) and two Juno Awards (2006, 2008). Hatzis is also the 2014 recipient of the HHF Life Achievement Award. The previous recipient was Mike Lazarides, founder and CEO of Blackberry.
His work Constantinople was critically acclaimed and has been performed internationally. It combined music and visual media and is musically eclectic, featuring jazz, classical, and eastern elements. Performed at sold-out halls in Banff and Toronto during the summer and fall of 2004, it has been described as “A multimedia feast of the imagination…a work unlike any other in the Canadian musical literature” (Toronto Star) and “a stunning theatrical triumph” (Calgary Herald).
Hatzis’ music is inspired by Christian spirituality, particularly his Byzantine heritage, and the Canadian Inuit culture. In addition to composing and teaching, Hatzis has written extensively about composition and contemporary music.