Christopher Blake was born in Christchurch in 1949. He studied engineering and music at the University of Canterbury and composition at the University of Southampton School of Music. His compositions encompass a wide variety of music.
Major works include Till Human Voices Wake Us for orchestra and tenor soloist; a piano concerto, The Coming of Tane Mahuta; Clairmont Triptych for piano and wind quintet; Bitter Calm, an opera in 2 Acts, premiered at the 1994 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts; Symphony – The Islands; and, a violin concerto Concerto Aoraki premiered in 2006. A CD of his large work for string orchestra Angel at Ahipara recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra on the Atoll label won the Tui Award for Best Classical Album in 2012.
His Symphony – Voices was premiered by the NZSO in its 2016 season. Christopher Blake has been the Chief Executive of a number of performing arts organisations and government departments in New Zealand. He has been Chief Executive of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra since 2012.