Chris Gleeson

Chris’ musical life began with guitar lessons at 10 years of age. He soon graduated to playing in church and performing in a successful rock band. He started violin lessons after meeting former Sydney Symphony Orchestra violinist, Gwyneth Grant, during his HSC year.

A scholarship to Sydney Conservatorium led to tertiary violin studies at Newcastle Conservatorium where he gained his Diploma of the State Conservatorium of Music (DSCM) in performance. He was awarded a violin scholarship in 1986 with the ABC Sinfonia, a training ground for post-graduate musicians to enter the state orchestras.

Following a stint with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, a professional orchestra owned by Opera Australia, he became a long-term member of the Willoughby, Hunter, East West and Wollongong orchestras. For 14 years he ran a string quartet for Sydney Music Enterprises and worked with the Tommy Tycho Orchestra and several groups including: The Goat Band, The Rum Culls, Ethnic Jazz and others.

He studied piano as a second instrument and also worked as a piano accompanist for Sydney musical productions.

Chris began saving compositional sketches, ideas that he could not resist the temptation to write down, from his DSCM years. After gaining encouragement about his first violin concerto from leading Australian composer Matthew Hindson, he decided to pursue composition more seriously around 2010.

His plethora of qualifications also include a Graduate Diploma in performance from The Australian Institute of Music, Master of Teaching from Sydney University, Bachelor of Music with Honours from The University of New England in 2015, and Master of Music in composition from The Australian National University in 2018. His most recent degree is a Master of Philosophy in music composition from The University of New England.

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