Christian Elliott is sought after both as a concert artist and scorer of silent films. One of those rare individuals who is equally at home performing organ literature of the church or theatre, he is also one of today's prominent theatre organists.
A native of Santa Ana, California, he graduated with honors from Vanguard University of Southern California (formerly Southern California College), Costa Mesa. While still a student, he held church organ positions in several prominent Southern California churches. For nine years he was a guest artist for the summer noon organ recitals at the Crystal Cathedral where he also assisted with playing weddings and coached with Frederick Swann. Prior to his move to the Bay Area in 1988, he studied with Charles Shaffer in Los Angeles -- more recently he coached with celebrated organist and composer Richard Purvis in San Francisco.
In addition to his classical and church organ training, he was privileged to be mentored by several world-renowned theatre organists, being particularly identified for his association with legendary organist Gaylord Carter, the 'dean' of silent film accompaniment. Chris worked extensively in mastering silent film accompaniment with Mr. Carter who proudly claims Chris as his protégé. In July 1995 at Carter's gala 90th birthday celebration at Oakland's Paramount Theatre, Chris shared the stage with his mentor in a moving performance that garnered several standing ovations. Excerpts from this event were featured in the documentary "Pulling Out All the Stops: The Pipe Organ in America" seen on PBS television stations.
Christian tours frequently and his performance credits are far-ranging -- mighty Wurlitzers in the grandest movie palaces; stunning accompaniments to classic silent films; lauded appearances before conventions of the American Theatre Organ Society and the American Institute of Organ Builders; plus brilliant programs on BBC Radio, at the famed Hollywood Bowl and before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Christian has six solo recordings to this credit. Bob Shafter of Theatre Organ Journal, commenting on one of Chris's recordings, said: "...the best of the best...this recording (will be) one of the few 'classics' in the theatre organ world. It gets the highest possible recommendation."
After a distinguished tenure of eleven years as Senior Organist and Associate Minister of Worship at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, in July 1999 Christian began a new, full-time career in the corporate world. He is a Business Analyst in the Procurement organization at Agilent Technologies, and continues to perform organ engagements.
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