Chris Gray is from Lockerbie, Scotland and is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who plays piano, highland and border pipes and whistles. In July 2019 he graduated from the Masters’ in Traditional Music programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with piano as his main study where he was awarded a scholarship from the Keepers of the Quaich.
Chris’ style of playing is influenced hugely by his time spent listening to and playing folk music from a young age. During his time at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Chris received tuition from world-renowned Irish pianist Mary McCarthy exploring traditions from various parts of the world in addition to benefiting from Mary’s expertise of Classical music. In August 2018 Chris began a semester of studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm which introduced a whole new influence to his playing as he became immersed in the rich Swedish folk culture at the same time as receiving tuition from jazz/folk piano maestro Arne Forsen. In May 2019 Chris released an EP with Swedish fiddler and singer Kristina Leesik – the result being a fusion of their shared passion for both Celtic and Scandinavian folk music.
Chris’ innovative approach to his arrangements has led to involvement in numerous collaborations and performances. Highlights including performing at festivals in Wickham (England), Ortigueira (Spain) and Lorient (France), a solo piano performance at Blair Castle (Scotland) for Keepers of the Quaich banquets, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and as part of the backing band both with the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and Inveraray & District Pipe Band. Chris has performed and taught internationally in Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia and Oman. He has held positions as a piano instructor at Riverside Music Complex and a piping instructor at the renowned Scots College in Sydney, Australia. Chris is also a piper with the Inveraray & District Pipe Band and with them has won the 2017 World Pipe Band Championships as well as the Scottish, British & European Championships.
Chris has guested with bands such as Skipinnish and Barluath as well as having experience in the world of musical theatre performing keys for the ‘Wedding Singer’ production at Eastwood Park Theatre, Glasgow in March 2019. Recently Chris performed solo on highland pipes and whistle at the Basel International Tattoo 2019 (Switzerland) and also alongside the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. In January 2020, at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, Chris releases his self-titled debut album, featuring all original compositions and a multi-instrumental ensemble.