The English conductor and organist, Christopher Monks, studied music at the University of Cambridge, and then with David Hill at Winchester Cathedral, before collaborating with many of the world’s greatest conductors as a keyboard player with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Christopher Monks is the founder and Artistic Director of Armonico Consort, a critically acclaimed choir, Baroque orchestra and opera company performing over 40 concerts every year. In addition to this, he has conducted other groups including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and European Union Chamber Orchestra. He has conducted at many of the major concert halls in the UK including the Barbican, Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall in London, the Bridgwater Hall in Manchester, St David’s Hall in Cardiff, the RSC in Stratford and venues abroad in Tel Aviv, Naples, Paris, Dublin and Sardinia. He has also worked regularly with most of the major UK festivals including Hampton Court Palace, The Henley Festival, Brighton, Bath, Chelsea, Cambridge, Oxford and Canterbury. His recordings, which have earned him worldwide critical acclaim, are played every week on Classic FM BBC Radio 3, in addition to radio stations across the globe.
Specialising in the performance of music from the Renaissance and the Baroque, Christopher Monks’ concerts and recordings have earned him several five star reviews on The Times and The Independent over the last two years. He has also commissioned many new works, including the epic Prodigal Son by Girling, premiered with Dame Evelyn Glennie, in addition to other major projects - such as conducting Edward Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with Armonico Consort and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and Verdi's Requiem with Sir Willard White. Future plans include a tour to the USA and a UK tour of J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244).
Christopher Monks is also founder of the AC academy education network, which has delivered free first class musical opportunities to over 100,000 children since it began 10 years ago. The growth of this unique programme has been stratospheric since the creation of the 'legacy projects' - the plan to create hundreds of new choirs both inside and out of schools, training teachers to be choir leaders. Currently, over 700 children sing every week in an AC academy choir across the UK. AC Academy is an official partner organisation with the Royal Albert Hall, delivering singing workshops across the UK on behalf of their education department. In March 2013, Monks conducted 1300 AC Academy choir singers as they took to the world's most famous stage.