At school Chris couldn’t get enough of the piano, practising every day whilst the other kids were in the playground. He became the go-to pianist for school performances. Early influences include Rawicz and Landauer and Elton John. His Dad’s collection of Hooked on Classics led him to another great obsession, Mozart, as he set about finding the original arrangements and composers. Inspired by Mozart’s concertos and symphonies, Chris began to compose. Although he had a few piano lessons, the regimented academic style did not sit well as he preferred to play what he heard and felt rather than what he saw. Being a largely self-taught and an intuitive pianist, every piece Chris records in the studio is learned by ear without any sheet music in sight when he plays.
An introduction to Scott Joplin and ragtime while at school led to another great love, performing. Chris soon learnt that anything done in ragtime style causes a reaction, it amuses his audience. A love of playing to an audience and causing reactions has led Chris to a close involvement with a number of musical theatre groups over the years either in the capacity of musical director or composing for new musicals or performing and more often than not all 3.
Unsurprisingly, Chris is increasingly in demand which has given him the confidence to give up the day job to focus on his music. A recent and unexpected influence has been a resident in a local care home where Chris performs on a weekly basis. Although she has dementia and struggles with daily life, she has become a formidable self-appointed teacher to Chris. “Play it ! Don’t thump it. Anyone can thump it. Play it, ..the keys are there to be caressed.”
Chris Snelling’s music has been steadily gaining fans across the world, both for his intuitive piano arrangements and for his original compositions. Not bad for someone whose first piano was made of cardboard.
Check out Chris Snelling’s music on Spotify here: