23/24 Season Artist
Powered by his love and mastery of the simple wooden flute, Chris Norman has gained an international profile over the past three decades via his critically praised work as a performer, composer, teacher, flute-maker and builder of a musical community.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chris developed an early passion for traditional Maritime, Celtic and French Canadian music. As a performer and composer, he is a champion and standard-bearer for these forms while simultaneously exploring their boundaries and fusing them with classical styles. The recipient of numerous grants and commissions, Chris has shared his creativity and ingenuity around the world in the form of compositions featured on National Public Radio, the CBC, the BBC, and concert halls from Canada to New Zealand. His composing and playing have also appeared in more than 40 commercially released CDs which range from solo efforts to recordings as part of a duo or ensemble. His recorded work has earned numerous awards, including Indie Awards for best Celtic Album and best Seasonal Album, and a CBC Listeners Choice Awards. He has toured as a solo performer in recitals and with orchestras, as a duo with violinist David Greenberg and with his eponymous group The Chris Norman Ensemble. He has also been a prominent player in international touring ensembles such as Helicon, Skyedance, the Baltimore Consort and Scotland’s Concerto Caledonia.
He is a maker not only of music with the flute, but of flutes themselves, creating bespoke instruments for players worldwide. He is the driving force behind Boxwood Festivals, whose annual weeklong celebrations of traditional music have taken place in Canada, The USA, Australia and New Zealand, and on-line for the past 26 years. As founder and director of the festival, Chris unites and inspires musicians, teachers, academics, flute-makers and engages a multi-generational, multi-disciplinary community – an achievement that is the subject of a documentary film Scattering of the Stars released in 2017. In recognition of his significant, unique and wide-ranging achievements he was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to the arts in Canada in 2012, and awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa by Dalhousie University in 2015.