Christopher Best

composer ~ educator ~ performer ~ writer



Taking a composition
seminar at Dartington College of Arts
photo courtesy Kate Mount

"....I would like to express my gratitude to Chris Best, my composition tutor, for his encouragement and support.... His inspirational tutorials and enlightened seminars have been of a great value for my personal development as a young aspiring composer...."
(former student Kateryna Padlyevs’Ka)

Mentoring and Tutoring

I can offer a wide range of workshops and lectures in composition related activity covering all age groups from Year 12 upwards, either as one-off events or as a sequential package. I am also available for private composition coaching, mentoring or consultation work, including help with score/part-writing, questions of orchestration, notation, layout etc. For availability and rates, or to discuss your ideas and needs, please get in touch. REQUEST CV


I have had thirty years of experience in education work. After cutting my teeth on adult education work, I went on to design and run the country's first H.N.D. and BA Degree courses in composition at Coventry University. In 1998, I became senior lecturer and subsequently Reader in Music Composition at Dartington College of Arts in South Devon. In September 2010, I re-located to the Penryn campus of Falmouth University in Cornwall. I have twice been Artistic Director (music) of the Composers/ Choreographers Exchange at the South Bank in London and have conducted similar workshops in Spain, Holland and Sweden. I also co-directed the Music and Dance Exchange (m&de) at Dartington College with internationally acclaimed choreographer Emilyn Claid.

"....I believe that at its heart, education is about sharing experience and empowering others to find their artistic strengths, not about imparting pearls of wisdom to a passive audience...."

With Dartington student Catherine Hornig
photo courtesy Ella Cross


As a former ‘Reader in Music Composition’ at Dartington College of Arts and now Senior Lecturer and Head of Composition at Falmouth University, I have given tutorials and seminars in contemporary composition practice, lectures in many aspects of new music and extensive performance coaching. I teach at undergraduate, masters and doctoral level.

I identify close connections between my teaching and creative work. Over the years many of my compositions have been either written for students and colleagues, or performed by them. I have consistently drawn upon the colleges' wealth of unusual instruments (always a goldmine for the composer) including a range of Ghanaian drums and percussion and a Balinese Gamelan orchestra. I encourage students to challenge the limitations of their own instruments, by exploring non-standard tunings or playing methods.

With Emilyn Claid (far left at back) and
participating artists at the Music
and Dance Exchange (m&de) 2006

Participants at the 2005 Exchange


Having participated in the ‘Composers and Choreographers Exchange’ at the South Bank Centre in 1996, I went on to become its artistic director (music) for two years and from there continued similar work in Madrid. Between 2005 and 2007 I worked alongside the choreographer Emilyn Claid, running the annual Music and Dance Exchange at Dartington College.