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Christopher Elton


Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music


Professor of the University of London


Christopher Elton was born in Edinburgh and received most of his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he achieved the unusual distinction of gaining the Academy's highest performing award - the Dip. RAM - on both piano and 'cello.


He was a prize winner in several British and international piano competitions and continued his studies with Maria Curcio-Diamand, playing and broadcasting regularly both as a soloist and in chamber music. At the same time he worked as a freelance 'cellist with the major London orchestras.


Christopher Elton's international recognition has come as a result of the many successes of his students at the Royal Academy of Music. Many have won international awards, including first prizes in the Van Cliburn and London "World" International Piano Competitions as well as inJaen, Newport and Dudley. Further recent successes came in recent finals of the Tchaikovsky, Leeds, Dublin, Shanghai, Taiwan and Munich (ARD) Competitions well as previous major awards in the international competitions in Santander, Geneva (CIEM), Geza Anda, Pozzoli, Mazaro del Vallo, Porto, Madrid, Ettlingen and the Stravinsky Awards in the USA. Students have also been successful in the prestigious Young Concert Artists award in New York, as well as in the London Young Concert Artists Trust. Many of his students are now recording artists.


Distinguished former and current students include:


·            Jose Feghali, Gold Medallist, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

·            Joanna Macgregor, recognised as one of the world's most wide-ranging and innovative musicians

·            Freddy Kempf, highly acclaimed BIS recording artist and controversially NOT! first prize winner in 1998 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition

·            Yevgeny Sudbin, international prize winner whose recent recordings of Scarlatti and Rachmaninov have received the highest international praise

·            Rustem Hayroudinoff, Moscow Conservatory graduate whose performances and recordings have been enthusiastically received throughout the world

·            Ashley Wass, first prize winner, London World Piano Competition, 1997.

·            Yurie Miura, Japanese pianist, currently building a successful performing and recording career in Japan.

·           Benjamin Grosvenor, a Decca recording artist, with an international reputation achieved through concerts in Europe, America and the Far East and through his recordings.



While his priority is to his work at the Royal Academy, London, Christopher Elton has also been much in demand overseas both as a teacher and as a jury member for international competitions. Within the last few years he has given masterclasses in the USA, Japan, Israel, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Spain, Germany, Ireland and Vietnam, many of them for important conservatories or universities. He has also been a jury member at competitions in Germany, Japan, Romania, Taiwan and Ireland as well as in the UK. As an adjudicator he has worked both in festivals and on television in the UK, Canada and Hong Kong.


During recent years he has also given recitals in the UK, USA, Ireland, Spain, Australia and Vietnam.


Christopher Elton is currently Emeritus Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London, having been Head of Keyboard there until 2011. In 2002, the title of Professor of the University of London was conferred on him.


Christopher Elton is married to Hilary Coates, herself a highly successful pianist and teacher, both of specialist young musicians and as professor of piano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London.For a biography of, and contact details for, Hilary Coates, click here.





Royal Academy of Music 

Marylebone Road                                                      

London  NW1 5HT                                                                                      

Tel:  (44) 20 7873 7373