Chris Sharp

Chris Sharp

Contemporary Music Programmer, Barbican Centre (UK)

Chris Sharp is Contemporary Music Programmer at the Barbican Centre in London.

He spent the first part of his career at various independent record companies, working at Rough Trade, Beggars Banquet and XL Recordings before becoming Managing Director of 4AD in 2000. At 4AD he worked with artists like The Pixies, Kim Deal and The Breeders, Scott Walker, Johann Johannsson, John Darnielle / The Mountain Goats, TV On The Radio, Beirut and Bon Iver.

Chris moved to the Barbican in 2008; the first project he worked on was Drifting And Tilting, a multi-artist performance of music by Scott Walker. Since then, he has programmed hundreds of concerts and events including Beyond The Wall (a season of new Chinese music), the Transcender series, which explores devotional, ecstatic and psychedelic music from all over the world, and a string of annual “marathon” weekends exploring the intersection of classical and non-classical music. He has expanded the Barbican’s programme to include more electronic and audio-visual performances, worked with prominent figures like Nick Cave, Beck, Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker and Patti Smith, and commissioned and presented music by leading living composers including Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and Max Richter. He has produced orchestral concerts by artists such as Grizzly Bear (with the London Symphony Orchestra), Aphex Twin (with the Heritage Orchestra), Dirty Projectors (with Alarm Will Sound), Efterklang and These New Puritans (with the Britten Sinfonia), Jeff Mills and Chilly Gonzales (with the BBCSO). He has also brought musicians from all over the world to the Barbican, including artists from Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, China and Japan.