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Christopher Keane


Examiner Number: 323

Born in Sydney, Christopher Keane began teaching himself guitar in his teens, later studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. During the 1980s and 90s he was a member of the Sydney Guitar Quartet as well as touring New South Wales giving concerts in schools for Musica Viva. He has also played as a session musician in productions such as Westside Story, Cabaret, 42nd Street and Canterbury Tales, on television ads and on soundtracks of Australian films.

In the 1990s he began conducting both chamber music and music theatre. Among others, he was musical director for David Holman’s No Worries and Peter Flannery’s The Adventures of Awful Knawful.

At this time he began publishing Australian music for guitar orchestra, guitar ensemble and solo guitar and to date has produced 18 books including a tutor method called Songs for Beginners. Some of this music has been recorded under his direction with the Sydney Guitar Orchestra and appears on the Jade label. In 2004 the guitar orchestra frEternity, that he is a member of, recorded an entire CD of this music. Other guitar orchestras that have recorded this music include Guitarstrophe (WA), The Providence Guitar Orchestra (USA), the Townsville Guitar Orchestra (QLD) and The Massey University Guitar Orchestra (NZ). A great deal of this music has been performed in Europe, Britain and the USA and surprisingly one of his compositions, Bondi Stomp, even managed to make its way to the White House where it was performed before President George W Bush and staff. Bondi Stomp was also used by the Rhine Guitar Orchestra to win a competition in England in 2004.

In 2010 he was commissioned to compose the sight-reading test pieces and the Classical Guitar sight-reading book for the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) Series Two Syllabus.

Christopher has always been interested in guitar pedagogy and was Head of the Guitar Faculty at Cranbrook School from 1987 until 2006. He has also adjudicated for the Sydney Eisteddfod, conducted workshops and masterclasses, and examined final recitals in a large number of conservatoriums and universities in Eastern Australia. He has been an examiner for the AMEB since 1986, was on the jury for the 2000, 2002 and 2004 Australian Guitar Competitions and the 2011 and 2012 Sydney Eisteddfod NSW Doctors Orchestra Instrumental Scholarships.

In 2007 he performed the Piazzolla Bandoneon and Guitarconcerto with the Sydney Grammar School String Orchestra and later the Nova String Orchestra. The Nova performance was broadcast on Fine Music 102.5 (2MBS FM).

He was the conductor of the Sydney Mandolin Orchestra from 2000 to 2012 and supervised the production of their CD Quiver, which was released in 2011. He was also a member of the chamber ensemble Plektra that made its debut at the Eurofestival Zupfmusik in Germany in 2010 and was invited to perform at the 2012 Classical Mandolin of America Festival held in Minnesota. Plektra recorded a self-titled CD that was released in 2012.

Christopher is currently an organising tutor for the Classical Guitar Society’s Summer School and continues to perform regularly in NSW.

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