Christopher Parkes

Chris was born in Doncaster, England in 1981. He played the cornet and tenor horn before switching to the French Horn when he was fifteen. Shortly after this change, he was invited to study at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester with Lizzie Davis. During this time he was also a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. After Chetham’s, he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Hugh Seenan, Jeffrey Bryant and Richard Bissill. In 2004, shortly after completing his studies, Chris was invited to join the London Philharmonic Orchestra as 3rd horn. 2008 saw him move to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Horn before taking the same position two years later in the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as a Guest Principal horn with many orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Alongside his position in Stockholm, he regularly plays Principal Horn for the John Wilson Orchestra and has been a member of Fine Arts Brass since 2003. He has also appeared on many commercial recordings for artists such as Paul McCartney, George Michael, Diana Ross, Vince Mendoza, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Richard Ashcroft, as well as playing on the soundtracks to films such as Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Howard Shore), How to Train your Dragon (John Powell), Cristiada/For Greater Glory (James Horner) and Milk (Danny Elfman). As a soloist, he has performed Mozart’s ‘Horn Concerto No.2’ with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Strauss’ ‘Horn Concerto No.2’ with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding, and Gregson’s ‘Concerto for French Horn and Brass Band’ with the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces. He has also given solo performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and at horn festivals in London and Stockholm. As a teacher, Chris has given lessons and masterclasses at many schools and conservatoires, including Chetham’s School of Music, Trinity College of Music and the Royal College of Music.