- Christopher Norton
Christopher Norton (born 1953) is a New Zealand-born British pianist and composer. Norton obtained a degree in music from the University of Otago in 1974. He taught music in Wellington high schools, worked as a composer-in-Schools for a year, then free-lanced as a composer, arranger and pianist.
He moved to the UK in 1977 on a New Zealand Government Scholarship. His earliest publications were with Universal Edition in London, and included Carol Jazz — improvisations on Christmas tunes — and Sing'n'Swing, for choir, piano and percussion.
In 1983, Norton was signed by Boosey & Hawkes, and the first of the Microjazz series appeared, an educational music series that has expanded over 20 years to include music for all of the major instruments with piano, ensemble books and midi file backings. It is now the biggest selling music series for Boosey & Hawkes, with over a million sales to date. Boosey & Hawkes claims that it is "one of the most widely used educational series ever published."
Norton's other publications with Boosey & Hawkes include the Essential Guides to Pop, Latin and Jazz Styles, the Rock, Country, Latin and Jazz Preludes series, and the Christopher Norton Concert Collections. Other recently published works include a CD-ROM, So You Wanna Be a Pop Star, tutors for electronic keyboard and guitar, and a volume in Boosey & Hawkes' Buy A Band range. In 2006, Norton gave a microjazz workshop at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin; he has also held workshops in Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the USA, Holland, Spain, Germany, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Most recently, Frederick Harris Music has published Christopher Norton Connections for Piano, a collection of 180 new, original piano pieces in popular styles. The pieces are divided into graded books that correspond to respective grade of other Frederic Harris Music publications, such as Celebration Series. According to the official website, this series is "ideal for students and teachers looking for a sound pedagogical supplement or alternative to the study of classical piano literature."
Norton has made production music albums for KPM and Cavendish Music. A recent venture with the Novus Via Music Group involves the creation of a piano series for North American students that offers traditional skills in the context of popular styles.
- ^ Christopher Norton’s Microjazz celebrates 20th anniversary
- ^ "Noticeboard," The Irish Times, February 21, 2006, LexisNexis.
- ^ http://www.christophernortonconnections.com/series_overview.html
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