Chris Collis (Walpole 82)

Chris graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. During this time, he studied piano with Malcolm Wilson and piano accompaniment in his fourth year with Paul Hamburger from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He was the pianist for the winner of the English Song Prize, the Lieder and French Song Prize and won first prize at the Cheltenham Festival in the solo class.

Chris is a very keen jazz pianist and has studied with Adam Glasser, John Patrick and John Serry from the USA. He was the pianist and arranger for the trio ‘Tea for Three’ led by Ralph Allin and travelled extensively around the UK. Since then he has worked with many notable artists ranging from the cellist and bass player Jadie Carey to Jim Hughes and Philip Achille and Phil Hopkins (all harmonica players) and the opera singer Margaret Preece. He is the pianist for Harmonica UK, playing at all the various festivals and events with artists from around the world. He performed with Philip Achille at the World Harmonica Championships in Trossingen, Germany and has broadcast on radio and television during his varied career so far.

Chris is currently a piano/keyboard teacher for Solihull Music, as well as juggling a busy career as a freelance pianist. He is also a composer and arranger, two of his original songs reached the semi-finals of the UK Song Writing Competition in 2021. There were 6,500 entries from 80 countries and only the top 20% were semi-finalists! He has been the pianist for Community Spirit, which takes place in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, for eight years. Chris can be contacted here.