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Christopher Norton

Chris Norton

Christopher Norton is Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.  Prior to joining the Belmont faculty in 2001, he taught at Western Kentucky University for fourteen years. His bachelor's and master's degrees are from the Eastman School of Music, and his doctorate is from Louisiana State University.  Norton performs regularly as a percussionist with Nashville Symphony, Alias Chamber Ensemble, Sympatico Percussion Group, and the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra.  Formerly, he performed, recorded, and toured with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Bob Becker Ensemble, and the Jack Daniel’s Silver Cornet Band.  He has held core and auxiliary positions with the Rochester Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony, Alabama Symphony, and Eastern Philharmonic.

Norton’s solo marimba CD Christopher Norton: Creston Concertino for Marimba features several first edition recordings of twentieth-century American works.  In 2011, Alias Chamber Ensemble released a Grammy-nominated recording on the Naxos label that featured music of Gabriela Frank and included the premier recording of Danza de los Saqsampillos for two marimbas.  Norton played percussion with the Nashville Symphony on the Grammy award-winning recording of the music of Michael Daugherty.  In 2012, Norton and his wife Leslie, Principal Horn of the Nashville Symphony, released a CD of horn-percussion duos they have commissioned over the past twenty-five years.

Dr. Norton has given clinics and recitals in Europe and across the United States, most notably as a featured artist at Percussive Arts Society International Conventions and Days of Percussion.  A past state chapter president of PAS, Norton also served as Chairman of the International Keyboard Percussion Committee for several years.  His compositions have been listed on required repertoire lists for international marimba competitions and are published by Alabaster Music, Innovative Percussion, and Pioneer Percussion.  He is a Malletech artist.

Also an active orchestral conductor, Norton is Music Director of the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra.  He held a similar post with the Bowling Green Western Symphony Orchestra and has guest conducted the Nashville Symphony, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Nashville Ballet, Alabama Symphony, and several university orchestras.  He was one of five conductors participating in the Nashville Symphony’s performance of Charles Ives’s Universe Symphony in Carnegie Hall.

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