The founder and Artistic Director of Armonico Consort and its ground-breaking education programme AC Academy, Christopher Monks has established himself as a versatile and prolific conductor and keyboard player. Specialising in the performance of music from the Baroque and late Renaissance, he is equally at home with modern choral repertoire and during his career has conducted at many of the greatest concert halls in the UK with many of his concerts and recordings, including Supersize Polyphony and Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, earning five-star reviews in The Times, Independent, Guardian and BBC Music magazine.
Christopher performs regularly at major national festivals and has worked extensively abroad, including in Israel, Italy, Ireland and France. Alongside his work with Armonico Consort, he has conducted internationally renowned orchestras and ensembles such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and European Union Chamber Orchestra.
A chorister at the age of eight, Christopher was introduced to the musical world of Byrd, Tallis, Bach, Monteverdi and Handel. After graduating from Cambridge University, where he was organ scholar at Gonville and Caius College, he became an organist under David Hill at Winchester Cathedral and it was through David’s inspiration, he developed an enthusiasm and talent for choral conducting.
A passionate advocate of reaching out to children of all backgrounds through the creation of youth choirs, Christopher developed AC Academy, a music education programme “which is unique in the UK, highly effective in its legacy and absolutely brilliant in quality. I never cease to feel proud of it.”
Christopher coaches and lectures on the MMus choral conducting course at Cambridge University and is a guest speaker on the Harvard Global Leadership Programme. He is also part of a programme to roll out the choir creation and leadership programmes in Kenya with institutions aiming to reinstate street children into mainstream education.
When not conducting, Christopher loves fine cooking. After a long day of music preparation, he often enjoys going for a cycle to process everything he has worked on.
“When I talk to other people about their jobs for which they struggle to get out of bed, and I have never felt like a have a job. I just wake up and do a hobby.”