MUSIC SUPERVISOR – PRODUCER – COMPOSER – CONDUCTOR – STUDIO OWNER – ARTIST MANAGER
One of the world’s most experienced record producers and record company execs, Multi-Grammy nominated producer Chris Craker has operated at the very forefront of the music industry for over 30 years. He produced the soundtrack for Director Christopher Nolan’s movie “Interstellar”, with the Oscar nominated score composed by Hans Zimmer, as well as producing the 2017 Annie Award Winning score for “The Little Prince” for Paramount, directed by Mark Osborne of Kung Fu Panda fame. Chris splits his time between London, Los Angeles and Thailand, undertaking high profile production, supervision/management, composition, conducting and recording projects, alongside his duties as an Artist Manager of a select group of uniquely talented acts. He was also the Executive Producer for the “Interstellar Live” event at London’s Royal Albert Hall where a special screening of the film was shown, featuring a live orchestra performing the score – preceded by talks from Christopher Nolan, Hans Zimmer and scientist Kip Thorne in the presence of a full house including Michael Caine and Stephen Hawking.
Among a discography exceeding 550 records is the seminal album “Hans Zimmer – The Classics” which he made for Sony Classics, featuring many of the world’s most amazing performers including Leona Lewis, Lang Lang, Maxim Vengerov, Two Cellos, Lindsey Stirling, Till Bronner, Tina Guo – the album went immediately to Number One in the charts in numerous countries around the world in January 2017. It’s an iconic record featuring music by an iconic composer, that’s received 5 star reviews across the board. The following month saw the premiere of “A Cure for Wellness”, the supernatural thriller from cult Director Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Caribbean”, “The Ring”, “The Lone Ranger” etc.) for which Chris co-produced Ben Wallfisch‘s amazingly evocative and haunting score.
Chris Craker has won numerous awards and received acclaim for his activities as a performer, recording artist, composer, arranger, producer/engineer, record label founder, artist manager, author, critic, industry commentator and strategic advisor. He has produced over five hundred and fifty classical, jazz, soundtrack and pop recordings. His wide experience across many disciplines has helped him gain and maintain a unique position as respected producer, manager, pundit, and performer who is also responsible for selling tens of millions of records, and helping to shape the careers of literally hundreds of artists. He has worked extensively throughout Europe, America and the Far East on projects for Sony, Universal, BMG, EMI, Decca, Virgin, Warners, Koch, ASV and Naxos (and for more than 100 other independent record companies).
He was General Manager and Senior Vice President of the International Division of Sony BMG Masterworks, maintaining offices in both London and New York until April 2008 when he resigned to set up Karma Sound Studios and devote more time to his own creative endeavours and management of a select group of uniquely gifted artists. Karma is now recognized as the number one luxury residential recording studio complex in SE Asia who’s first guests included three iconic global bands: Placebo, Jamiroquai and Bullet For My Valentine, while more recent guests have included Sigala, DVbbs, Sido, IAM, The Libertines – Peter Doherty and Carl Barat, Dingwei, Young Guns, Enter Shikari, Hellions, In Colour, Da Endorphine, Singto, Myra, Tata Young, Cho Yong-pil, Big Ass, Bodyslam, Palmy, Slot Machine, Sek Loso, Jay Montonn, The Chills, Heroes for Hire, Dagny, Absolution, Wyclef Jean, Zom, Two Cartoons, The Mirror Trap, As Paradise Falls, Lyra, Zom Marie, Dominic Miller (Sting’s guitarist and co-writer), Andrew Hale (Sade’s keyboardist and co writer) – the list goes on…. Recent other visitors have also included pop icon Jessie J and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, Grammy Award Winner Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran and One Direction), legendary producer/mixer Tony Maserati, Kipper, Phill Brown, Guy Massey and many other truly amazing producers and engineers from all over the world. Karma Sound Studios is proud to have hosted four major Number One international hits in the last twelve months, including the biggest selling single of all time in Korea, as well as the Best Single of 2015 as voted in the Q Awards for Gunga Din by The Libertines, produced my multi award-winning producer Jake Gosling.
In the 90s, from his state of the art post-production studio in London, Chris quickly developed a truly international reputation, running one of the most innovative and efficient recording facilities from the UK, providing A&R concepts for many of the major labels around the world and technical facilities through his company Black Box Music Limited. The Black Box label that sprang from this endeavour (now owned by Universal) maintains its reputation as one of the most successful elite boutique labels in the classical and jazz fields.
Chris Craker has worked with many of the world’s finest artists, orchestras and soloists in a career spanning more than thirty years. Internationally renowned for his work with the London Symphony and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, Chris has also been responsible for either producing and/or marketing recordings by some of the world’s greatest classical artists including Murray Perahia, John Williams, Yo Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Viktoria Mullova, Barbara Bonney and many others. Highlights from the jazz world include co-producing Vince Mendoza’s ultimate cross-over album, ‘Epiphany’ (featuring the LSO) with jazz icons Michael Brecker, Jon Scofield, Peter Erskine, Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombie, John Taylor, Marc Johnson and many other stars. In 2002, Chris was responsible for the international marketing campaigns for Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts’ Big Band albums, recorded live at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in London for which he was also Executive Producer. He also co-produced the orchestral recordings for Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ at Air Studios in London, with Vince Mendoza.
On the mainstream commercial music front, he has either played on or worked in a marketing capacity for recordings featuring Elton John, Sarah Brightman, Celine Dion, Tony Bennett and Alan Parsons amongst many others. He conducted the musical ‘Chess’ in the West End, working alongside Benny and Bjorn from Abba and featuring West End musical legend, Elaine Page, as well as being involved in productions of Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar. Chris co-produced the Chris de Burgh ‘Live in Bangkok’ album for PolyGram and was also its Musical Director and conductor for the live shows. Recent collaborations have been with best-selling composer Karl Jenkins, producing his cross-over classical/world music album ‘Tlep’ for Sony BMG. Chris conducted performances of this work in Tokyo and London, as well as the Kazakh premiere in the presence of His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew. Chris was also invited to be the Executive Producer for the Royal Wedding CD, celebrating the marriage of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to Camilla Parker-Bowles.
Chris has produced ten recordings in Thailand featuring the compositions of His Majesty The King of Thailand, King Bhumipol Adulyadej, which led to him setting up Karma Studios in Thailand. Further, in the summer of 2006, Chris produced two albums specifically in honour of the His Majesty’s 60th Anniversary on the throne – one featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the other featuring arrangements by Privy Councilor, HE Rear Admiral Mom Luang Usni Pramoj with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.
He has worked with many icons from the world of film and TV including Brooke Shields, Joanna Lumley, Rik Mayall, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Christopher Lee, Dame Judi Dench and Patrick Stewart. In addition to the collaborations with Hans Zimmer, Chris also works closely with the composer/conductor/multi instrumentalist Richard Harvey who conducted many of the ‘Interstellar’ sessions at Air Studios in London and with whom he worked on the soundtrack to ‘The Little Prince’, directed by ‘Kung Fu Panda’s Mark Osborne.
As Executive Producer for the recent recording from the world’s most celebrated guitarist, John Williams (“Live in Concert” with jazz guitar icon, John Etheridge), Chris has covered all styles of music from early classical to contemporary jazz, movie soundtracks and pop – and achieving huge chart success in South East Asia with a number of pop artists throughout the late 90s and early 2000’s. Chris was selected to produce the music for the 1998 Asian Games, for which the hit theme song ‘Reach For The Stars’, performed by Sony BMG pop artist, Ta Ta Young, sold over 2.3 million copies and went straight to Number 1 in the pop charts.
Also active as an author of books about music, Chris has written three books available in seven languages, worldwide. The first in the series, ‘Get Into Classical Music’ is accompanied by a CD of the same name featuring recordings from the Naxos catalogue, while’ Get Into Opera’ and ‘Get Into Jazz’ have been co-productions with Sony and Universal, respectively.
Before devoting his time to the recording industry, Chris was well known as one of the leading clarinettists and saxophonists in the UK – frequently performing, touring and recording with many of the major London orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Chamber Orchestra, as well as working extensively with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia and the Prometheus Ensemble (one of Britain’s premier chamber ensembles) of which he was the founder member and artistic director for ten years.
As an experienced performer, record company executive, musicologist/author, record producer and engineer, Chris is also in demand consulting to various organisations in the UK and SE Asia (notably BEC Tero Music) – also as an industry spokesperson at Midem in Cannes, Music Matters in Singapore, and Broadcast Asia – also on radio and TV and as a strategic consultant to TV, radio and internet broadcast and media companies and also as an adjudicator for a number of International Music Competitions around the world. He currently manages a Joint Venture record label (Karma X) with Warner Music.