Chris Swithinbank was born in Voorburg, The Netherlands, in 1988, to British parents and spent most of his childhood living in Luxembourg. Studying first cello, he began to experiment with composition at the age of 12, receiving his first public performance aged 16 at the Centre Culturel de Rencontre Abbaye de Neumünster as part of events to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
After leaving the European School of Luxembourg, Chris came to Britain to study music at the University of Manchester graduating in July 2009 with a First-Class Honours Degree. During his time as an undergraduate he received composition tuition from Dr. Kevin Malone, Dr. Richard Whalley, Dr. Ricardo Climent and Professor John Casken, and continued to expand his knowledge and understanding of music from all periods, especially the contemporary, undertaking research into the string quartets of Helmut Lachenmann for his final dissertation for which he was awarded a Hargreaves Fund Prize. Benefiting from Manchester's lively and talented pool of student performers, Chris has had many works performed at concerts given by the University New Music Ensemble Vaganza, collaborating directly with players on both solo pieces and works for ensemble. Thanks to access to the NOVARS Research Centre for Electroacoustic Composition, Performance and Sound-Art, he has also been able to work on both acousmatic tape works and mixed media compositions.
His music has been workshopped by Manchester Camerata, Richard Casey and the Quatuor Danel and has recently been performed at Wrexham Arts Festival, MANTIS Festival and New Music North West. Chris is a co-founder of Raise Your Voice Collective, a group of young performers and composers based in Manchester. He is currently continuing his studies at Manchester under the supervision of Ricardo Climent on the MusM Masters in Composition course, generously supported by a Harry Clough Bursary.