Christian Henson (born 25 December 1971) is a British composer, primarily working on television and film soundtracks. He has also soundtracked video games, and is the co-founder of Spitfire Audio with fellow composer Paul Thomson. Henson has been nominated for a BAFTA and an Ivor Novello Award for his music.
Henson is the older son of actors Una Stubbs and Nicky Henson. His younger brother Joe Henson is also a composer, as is his half-brother Keaton Henson. His uncle was the farmer and television presenter Joe Henson and Adam Henson is his cousin. His great-uncle was the cricketer Geoffrey Howard. His great-great-grandfather was Sir Ebenezer Howard, founder of the garden city movement and the first garden cities Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City. His paternal grandfather was the English actor and comedian Leslie Henson, who was perhaps best known for founding the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) during the Second World War.
As a child, Henson acted in the 1980 film Never Never Land. After attending Holland Park Comprehensive in the 1980s, in his youth Henson worked for three years as a baker, with a home studio that he used in his spare time. He suffered a brain haemorrhage at 25, gave up his bakery job and moved into music and voiceover producing and engineering full time, as well as making music for porn videos.
From 1997-2001, he worked as an assistant for composers Anne Dudley, Harry Gregson-Williams, Rupert Gregson-Williams and Patrick Doyle. Henson cannot read music, and taught himself how to orchestrate soundtracks.
Awards and nominations
Henson gained a 2007 Ivor Novello Awards nomination for 'Best Original Movie Score' for his work on the 2006 film Severance. He received 2004 World Soundtrack Awards "Soundtrack Composer of the Year" and "Discovery of the Year" nominations for Les fils du vent.
Henson was nominated, along with fellow composers Jerry Goldsmith and The Flight (his brother Joe Henson and Alexis Smith), for a BAFTA for the music of the Alien: Isolation video game in 2015.
Henson founded the British music technology company Spitfire Audio with fellow composer Paul Thomson in 2007. The company is a producer of musical "virtual instruments", and has collaborated with noted film composer Hans Zimmer, as well as Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Olafur Arnalds, Roger Taylor of Queen, Eric Whitacre, and most recently with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 2018, Henson launched a website called Pianobook, dedicated to creating and sharing sampled instruments for free. It is run by a small group of volunteers, but anyone could share and use sounds, for free.
Henson has since stepped away from Spitfire Audio on September 5 2022 following a tweet supporting Graham Linehan and J. K. Rowling’s transphobic views posted on his personal Twitter account, which he temporarily deactivated afterwards.
- 2002 Cybermutt
- 2002 Biggie & Tupac
- 2004 Chasing Liberty
- 2004 Les fils du vent
- 2005 Animal
- 2006 Severance
- 2006 Opal Dream
- 2006 It's a Boy Girl Thing
- 2007 Scorpion
- 2008 Miss Conception
- 2008 Summer Heat
- 2008 The Secret of Moonacre
- 2008 A Bunch of Amateurs
- 2009 Pandemic
- 2009 Triangle
- 2009 Malice in Wonderland
- 2010 Black Death
- 2010 The Round Up
- 2010 Huge
- 2011 Chalet Girl
- 2011 The Devil's Double
- 2011 Wild Bill
- 2011 Up There
- 2011 Hysteria
- 2012 Grabbers
- 2012 Storage 24
- 2013 Trap for Cinderella
- 2013 Believe
- 2013 Soulmate
- 2014 Terroir
- 2014 Robot Overlords
- 2015 The Go-Between
- 2016 Tommy's Honour
- 2001-2009 Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps
- 2002-2004 Top Gear. Dickey Betts (arr. by Christian Henson)
- 2002 SAS: Are You Tough Enough?
- 2002 Scream Team
- 2002 Full Metal Challenge
- 2003 Wreck Detectives
- 2005 Diameter of the Bomb
- 2008 Lost in Austen
- 2009-2013 Poirot
- 2009 Richard Hammond's Blast Lab
- 2011-2016 Fresh Meat
- 2011 Kidnap and Ransom
- 2012 Sinbad
- 2014–Present Inside No. 9
- 2016 Wolfblood
- 2016 Tutankhamun
- 2018 Trauma
- 2018 Urban Myths
- 2019 Home
- "Orchestral manoeuverers: the 'virtual instruments' that allow anyone to be a composer". The Independent. 24 April 2019.
- "2015 Games Music | BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org.
- "Christian Henson". ADE.
- "Archive | The Ivors | The Ivors Academy | Champions of Music Creators". The Ivors Academy.
- Coveney, Michael (17 December 2019). "Nicky Henson obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
- Power, Vicki (2 August 2013). "Una Stubbs: My family values". the Guardian.
- "Christian Henson's New Social Channels". www.spitfireaudio.com.
- Christian Henson, 10 Golden Rules of Orchestral Programming, via YouTube at 7:04
- #27 HOW TO BREAK INTO WRITING MUSIC FOR FILM & TV PT i - YESTERDAY. YouTube. Archived from the original on 11 December 2021.
- "Christian Henson Interview | Co-Founder of Spitfire Audio". Pop Disciple | Film Music & Music Supervision Interviews | Music in Media News.
- Spitfire Audio’s Christian Henson Interview. YouTube. Archived from the original on 11 December 2021.
- Awards, World Soundtrack. "Discovery of the Year - Awards". World Soundtrack Awards. Archived from the original on 1 July 2019. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
- "The Flight interview: Alien Isolation, composing for video games". Den of Geek. 4 October 2015.
- "About Spitfire Audio". Independent. 24 April 2019.
- Sandeman, George (8 September 2022). "Composer suspended over tweet backing Rowling's gender views". The Times. Archived from the original on 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.