Christopher Tin is a two-time Grammy-winning composer.

He writes music for the concert hall, but also for film, video games and commercials. His albums have reached #1 on the Billboard charts, his songs have been sampled by rappers and covered by trance acts, and he's had entire concerts at Carnegie Hall devoted to his music. He also collaborates with a wide variety of artists: from electronic music pioneers, to opera legends, to international stars of world music.

He made history with his song “Baba Yetu,” winning the first Grammy ever awarded to a piece of music written for a video game (Civilization IV) — then made history again by winning the last ever Grammy for Best Classical Crossover Album (for Calling All Dawns). He followed that album up in 2014 with another fusion of world and classical music, The Drop That Contained the Sea, debuting at #1 on Billboard's classical charts, and premiering to a sold out audience at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium.

Tin grew up in northern California, firmly grounded in classical music, but with a heavy musical wanderlust: playing in jazz combos, writing musicals for his classmates, and obsessively listening to '70s classic rock concept albums. As he got older he supplemented his formal training by studying the music and languages of different cultures, but also by immersing himself in the underground rave scene of '90s San Francisco. He did his undergraduate composition studies at Stanford and Oxford; then won a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London, where he graduated at the head of his class.

He now lives and works in Santa Monica, where he serves as a Governor of the LA Chapter of the Recording Academy.

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2 GRAMMY Awards
2 Game Audio Network Guild Awards*
John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner*
USA Songwriting Competition Winner*
International Songwriting Competition, 1st Place
2 Independent Music Awards*
Game Music Online: Best Album - Original
GameSpy: Best Music (H/M)
Archaeological Channel Film Festival (H/M)
Royal College of Music Horovitz Prize Winner
Sundance Composer's Fellowship


"When I first heard about an unusual classical album — devoted to a droplet of water moving from snow to a mountain stream to the ocean and back to the clouds — performed in 10 languages, I thought it might be a bit much. Then I heard the music. I was hooked." - Jason Margolis, PRI's The World
"This year's Grammy Awards will be remembered as a musical milestone for the video game industry and Christopher Tin. The 34-year-old composer from Santa Monica, Calif. won two Grammys for "Baba Yetu", a song he composed for 2K Games' Civilization IV and for a follow-up album that was inspired by the game. It's the first time that video game music has ever been awarded a Grammy." - Wall Street Journal
"What good is global domination without a great soundtrack? The 2005 hit Civilization IV got "Baba Yetu," as its rousing, anthemic theme song, courtesy of composer Christopher Tin." - Time Magazine
"Commissioning and performing one of the pieces in the project gave me a fresh perspective on how a gifted composer like Tin finds his voice as an artist and hones his vision for a project even in the face of challenging circumstances and multiple revisions... the experience of being inside Tin’s compelling and unpretentious creative process was exhilarating." - David Rutherford, Colorado Public Radio
"His piece, Baba Yetu, for Civilization IV, combined orchestral elements with strong African vocals, joyfully suggesting the cradle of life itself, instead of the more militaristic sounds one might associate with a strategy game about conquering... The sound is of a burgeoning, evolving civilisation itself, peaking in imperial crescendo before, appropriately enough, dying out." - Lucy Prebble, The Guardian
"Tin knows his craft. He certainly knows all the tropes that make those blockbuster soundtracks succeed... This was my first contact with what I would later discover was the prodigious breadth of Tin’s interests in different forms of music, not only on a global scale but also on a commercial one, since he was just as capable of writing music for video games as turning out this delightfully intimate little song..." - Stephen Smoliar, Examiner
"Composer Christopher Tin's "Baba Yetu," originally written for the video game Civilization IV, has been nominated for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). It's the first time music written for a game has been nominated for anything at the Grammys. And a well-deserved first it is." - The Atlantic
But beyond the massive success of his Civilization IV theme “Baba Yetu,” Tin’s career in classical composition has earned him equal — if not more — praise from the recording industry. His 2009 classical crossover album Calling All Dawns also won a Grammy the same year as “Baba Yetu.” His newest album, The Drop That Contained the Sea, premiered at Carnegie Hall this past April before releasing at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical charts in May. - VentureBeat
"The opening theme to Civilization IV took home videogame music’s first ever Grammy award last night… “Baba Yetu” is a standout piece of music — always one of the highlights of [the Video Games Live] concerts, for me — and richly deserving of the award." - Wired


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