Dr Christopher Tonkin

Started at UWA: 2008

Internationally trained electronic music teacher, composer and performer

Student enthusiasm for the subject and for learning is a reminder of why I chose to pursue the field. It’s so rewarding to see them achieve beyond what they thought they were capable of Dr Christopher Tonkin

Dr Christopher Tonkin is an active composer and creator of electronic and acoustic music, sound installation and music for screen, regularly performing and exhibiting his own work and the work of others locally, nationally and internationally.

As Chair of Electronic Music and Sound Design at the UWA Conservatorium of Music, Chris teaches in the fields of electronic music composition, sound synthesis and music production both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Chris undertook postgraduate study in the United States attaining a Masters from Rice University and a PhD from the University of California, San Diego. Before joining UWA in 2008, Dr Tonkin completed an 18-month residency at the Computer Music Research Institute in Paris (IRCAM), where he developed an interest in computer music and programming.

As a composer/performer in the Australian music industry, Dr Tonkin’s work contributes to the field of musical artificial intelligence and generative art, music for screen, as well as to cultural life in the creation, performance and recording of new and historical electronic music.


  • BMus (hons) UWA
  • MMus – Rice University (Houston, Texas)
  • PhD – University of California, San Diego

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Australian commissions – Ensemble Offspring, Etica, Decibel Ensemble, TURA, 2008–2017

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Multiple Guild Teaching Awards and Faculty Teaching Awards, 2015–2018

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International commissions – Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Fondation Royaumont, IRCAM, 2003–2005


Supervisor opportunities

Dr Tonkin has been a research supervisor since 2008, supporting topics such as music composition, music analysis and computer music.

He welcomes prospective researchers with a variety of interests to consider undertaking a PhD, Master of Arts or honours under his supervision. Contact Dr Tonkin through the details below.

Contact Dr Christopher Tonkin