Christopher Thomas Emery is a New York based composer and tenor whose music is best characterized by the trichotometric opposition and interaction of il chiaro (the light), il scuro (the dark) and il ferino (the feral). Emery draws inspiration from a diverse vocabulary of source material, ranging from classical music to reality television, employing each as an emotional vehicle by which to derive new material. Compositionally, Emery’s work maintains a distinct attraction to themes of surrealism, insanity, and metaphysical relativism, and this attraction directly contributes to the emotional saturation through which his work is conceived. Writing in a hyper-chromatic yet typically tonal idiom, Emery’s harmonic language has been compared most frequently to the work of Benjamin Britten, Igor Stravinsky, and Samuel Barber. Although Emery’s compositional lexicon extends many idioms, he is most celebrated for his vocal compositions. Emery’s art song selections, including his Five Sleep Cycles have been selected for several awards, including the Peggy Deutsch Award for Music Composition, and the Dorothy Hoag Endowed Scholarship for Music Excellence. Emery’s music has been performed by acclaimed ensembles and performers including The Curiosity Cabinet (under the direction of Whitney George), Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, as well as mezzo-soprano Kate Maroney.

An avid proponent of bringing new music to young audiences, Emery is currently composing his first opera, The Velveteen Rabbit, based on the children’s story by Margery Williams. In addition to his composing, Emery is in demand as a free-lance music and stage director for opera, musical theatre, and “straight” plays. Since 2016, Emery has served on the staff of the Queens Summer Vocal Institute, a program designed to train high school and university age young artists in all areas of vocal performance. Additionally, Emery has served as Assistant Stage Director for several opera productions, including Queens College Opera’s productions of Die Fledermaus (2017) and Cosí fan tutte (2016). Most recently, Emery has served as music director for Jeffrey Schmelkin’s new musical Untitled Time, produced by the Midtown International Theatre Festival in August 2017.

Emery holds a Master of Arts in Music Composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music, CUNY Queens College, and a Bachelor of Science in Music Composition/Vocal Performance from Hofstra University. Teachers include Bruce Saylor (comp.), Chandler Carter (comp.), Rose Marie Guariglia-Crouse (voice) and Tammy Hensrud (voice).