Christopher Elton was born in Edinburgh and received most of his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he achieved the unusual distinction of gaining the Academy’s highest performing award - the Dip. RAM - on both piano and ‘cello.
He was a prizewinner in several British and international piano competitions, playing and broadcasting regularly both as a soloist and in chamber music. At the same time he worked as a freelance ‘cellist with the major London orchestras.
Christopher Elton’s international recognition has come as a result of the many successes of his students at the Royal Academy of Music. Many have won international awards, including first prizes in the Van Cliburn ,London “World” International Piano and “Top of the World” Competitions as well as in the 2014 Shenzen International Piano Competition and the 2014 Montreal International Piano Competition. Further recent successes include prizewinners in four recent Leeds International Piano Competition finals as well as in earlier Tchaikovsky, Leipzig Bach, Dublin, Shanghai and many other such competitons. Many of his students are now recording artists, including Freddy Kempf, Yevgeny Sudbin, Joanna MacGregor and Benjamin Grosvenor.
While his priority is to his work at the Royal Academy, London, Christopher Elton has also been much in demand overseas both as a teacher and as a jury member for international competitions. Within the last few years he has given masterclasses in the USA, Japan, Israel, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Spain, Germany and Ireland and Vietnam. He has also been invited as a jury member at many important international competitions - Moscow (Tchaikovsky), Dublin, Leeds, Busoni (Bolzano),Vienna Beethoven, Shenzen and China International, Santander, etc.. In 2017 he was a jury member for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, USA. During recent years he has also given recitals in the UK, USA, Ireland, Spain, Australia and Vietnam.
Christopher Elton was Head of Keyboard at the Royal Academy of Music, London, for 24 years, until 2011, when he left that position to focus on his teaching. He was elected a Fellow in 1983, In 2002 the title of Professor of the University of London was conferred on him.
In 2018 he also acted as Visiting Professor of Piano at the University of Yale.