A dynamic and innovative conductor and keyboard player, Christopher Monks is the founder and Artistic Director of Armonico Consort. In addition to work for the group, he has conducted other ensembles including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and European Union Chamber Orchestra.
Christopher 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-upon-Avon. In addition to this, his work at venues abroad include those in Tel Aviv, Naples, Paris, Dublin and Sardinia.
He has worked regularly with many 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 critical acclaim, are played every week on Classic FM and BBC Radio 3 in addition to radio stations across the globe.
Prior to his work with Armonico Consort, Christopher 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 CBSO.
Specialising in the performance of music from the Renaissance and the Baroque, Christopher’s concerts and recordings have earned him several five star reviews in The Times and The Independent over the past two years. He has commissioned many new works, including the epic 'Prodigal Son' by Girling, premiered with Dame Evelyn Glennie. Other major projects conducting Elgar’s 'Dream of Gerontius' with Armonico Consort and The Philharmonia and Verdi's Requiem with Sir Willard White. Future plans include a tour to the USA and a UK tour of Bach's St Matthew Passion.
Christopher 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 through training teachers to be choir leaders. Currently, 800 children sing every week in an AC Academy choir across the UK.
AC Academy is an official partner organisation with the Royal Albert Hall and delivers singing workshops across the UK on behalf of their education department. In March 2013, Christopher conducted 1300 AC Academy choir singers as they took to the world's most famous stage.