Chris Allard

Chris AllardChris studied jazz and classical guitar at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and Malmo Conservatoire, Sweden. He also studied popular music at the Guitar Institute, London, and Thames Valley University.

An Ovation guitar prize winner in 2000, Chris was also awarded a classical guitar by the Barbarolli Foundation in 2002, and was a finalist in the Gibson Guitar Competition at the 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival , again receiving a guitar.

Chris joined NYJO in 2004 and occupied the guitar chair for three years. Subsequently he has performed with the BBC Big Band, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Ed Puddick Big Band, and has worked with Jacqui Dankworth, Russell Watson, Tim Garland, Gwyneth Herbert, Dave O’Higgins, Dame Cleo Laine, Sir John Dankworth, Claire Martin and Jamie Cullum, who rates him as: “One of the great guitarists in this country”.

Chris is the first choice guitarist for many top artists, and he has performed at major festivals and prestigious venues around the world. He toured the UK with Russell Watson in the spring of 2014, playing electric and acoustic guitars and was the featured classical guitar soloist.

Chris also leads his own band, and his albums Jupiter Island and Open Spaces have both received critical acclaim including excellent reviews in Jazzwise, Musician, and four stars in Guitarist Magazine.

In addition to a busy schedule of performing, Chris is on the faculty at the Colchester Institute as guitar tutor, teaching one-to-one guitar lessons on their Popular Music Degree, and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, for coaching sessions, He also judged their postgraduate and undergraduate guitar final recitals in 2009, 2012 and 2014.