Christopher Orton is active as a recorder player, music educator and conductor throughout Europe. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at prestigious venues including the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Krakow Philharmonic Hall, Budapest Castle, the Wigmore Hall, and recital and concerto engagements in Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Poland and France. Recent festival performances include solo recitals for Stratford upon Avon Music festival, and the 2011 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Comfortable in many genres, Chris performs in regular Baroque ensembles, duos with piano and guitar, and frequent solo recitals focusing on works utilising live electronics and multimedia. He has inspired numerous composers to write for him, and recent commissions include substantial works by Edward Gregson and Thomas Simaku.
As a conductor and ensemble director he is involved with numerous youth organisations, including the National Youth Recorder Orchestra, Stockport Youth Orchestra, and previously with the Birmingham Schools’ Recorder Sinfonia. Recent conducting engagements include working with Birmingham Conservatoire String Ensemble, conducting recorder and harpsichord concerti by Arnold Cooke and Walter Leigh, with international recorder soloist Dan Laurin and his wife, harpsichord player Anna Paradiso-Laurin.
Chris teaches improvisation, chamber music and recorder at Chetham’s school of music, Birmingham Conservatoire, and for Manchester music service. He is also studying for his Certificate in Dalcroze Eurhythmics at the RNCM.
A graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire (studies with Ross Winters, Annabel Knight and Louise Bradbury) and a former private student of Anneke Boeke in Amsterdam, Chris was the first ever winner of the John Hoiser Trust scholarship for £5000. Chris was had success in a number of competitions. These include 1st prize in the 2007 Moeck/SRP International Solo Recorder Competition, a BBC Performing Arts Fund bursary for £20,000 (2007), 2nd prize, Prix de Jury and Gaudeamus Prize at the International Competition of Contemporary Music ‘Krzysztof Penderecki’ in Poland, Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and 1st prize in the Birmingham Conservatoire/Symphony Hall Recital Competition. He has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and BBC TV, including live broadcasts and interviews on BBC Radio 3 programme, ‘In Tune’.