Early years and education
Jon started playing the violin at the age of 4, quickly changing to the piano. He studied at the renowned Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and then the Royal Northern College of Music where he gained a BMus(hons) PG(dip) and PPRNCM(dip).
Whilst at the RNCM he took lead tenor roles, such as Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Count Almaviva in the college’s production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville performed at the Aix-en-Provence music festival in Southern France. Around this time he sang Ernesto in Clonter Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. In 1996 he made his Manchester Bridgewater Hall debut in Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ under Kent Nagano. He has also performed many times in major oratorios, such as Handel’s Messiah, as well as works such as Verdi’s Requiem at venues including the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall.
Deciding on a change in direction from purist Opera, he approached the manager and producer Perry Hughes (former manager of Russell Watson) which led to him being signed by Roots Music Management. After being signed to Sony Music UK, the release of his debut album Northern Light followed by a Granada TV documentary, in their Chasing The Dream series which included footage of his debut in front of 20,000 in Manchester, plus his trip to the USA on 6 September 2005, to perform with Erich Kunzel and his Cincinnati Pops Orchestra at a special “9/11” commemorative concert. Northern Light reached number 1 in the classical albums charts and was present in the top ten for 8 months.
2004-2010: In July 2006 Jon accompanied conductor and composer Carl Davis in a Sports Symphony themed concert in Pamplona, Spain. He again performed with Davis, in October 2006 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow and Edinburgh and in May 2007 with the Halle Orchestra at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall.
Jon also accompanied Carl in June 2007 at James Bond theme concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the next month at Leeds Castle in Kent. In the summer of that year he headlined the Northern Proms in Durham. The autumn saw him perform at the Royal Albert Hall Football Reaching out for Africa charity concert organised by Patti Boulaye and Didier Drogba and in the winter he sang at the Professional Footballers’ Association Centenary Match at the City of Manchester Stadium and the following gala Centenary dinner at Manchester’s G-Mex centre. He also performed with Alfie Boe and Garðar Thór Cortes as the new Three Tenors at the launch of the new Cunard Line ship the MS Queen Victoria at Southampton in the presence of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Other notable highlights include 5 performances on BBC’s Songs of Praise, 5 performances on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night, the Music For Champions, with Carl Davis at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and The Royal Albert Hall and the televised Professional Footballers’ Association awards Grosvenor House Hotel. Also, performances with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under the direction of Anthony Inglis, the Welsh Guards Band and Natasha Marsh before over 2,000 people in Liverpool Cathedral to commemorate the final visit of RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 to the port, the QuexSpitfireProms at Birchington near Margate, Kent, accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Anthony Inglis, he sang at the live televised BBC Proms in the Park from Buile Hill Park, Salford, Greater Manchester, an event which also featured the BBC Philharmonic and singer/songwriter Chris de Burgh and also presented and performed with John Barrowman at the event the following year, then a return to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool to celebrate the birthday of the flagship Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary 2 as well as his debut for Raymond Gubbay at their Christmas spectacular concert at the The O2 arena (London) introduced by Mylene Klass and accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Choral Society.
2010-present day: The new decade began as the previous ended with countless performances all over the UK and Europe and also with Jon singing at the memorial service of his friend Maggie Jones (actress), who played Blanche Hunt in Coronation Street. He returned to Cheshire to perform in the popular Tameside Splendid Weekend classical concert and then jetted off to Portugal to perform alongside Cliff Richard. The Inspiration for Women Awards at Cadogan Hall, London followed where he has been a special guest performer for the last 4 years including a performance at Royce Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles USA hosted by Alison Sweeney. Since 2012, Jon has devoted a large chunk of his time co creating and producing an award winning and unique duo called Il Destino; a new venture taking him and West End star Adam Lacey all over the world performing their shows in theatres worldwide at land and sea.
As a sports enthusiast, he has been invited to perform at a number of high profile sporting events, including appearances at the Powergen Rugby Cup Final, the 2009 England vs Scotland 6 Nations Championship Rugby Union game at Twickenham along with Jonathan Ansell, the Heineken Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and is credited as the first recording artist to sing at the new Wembley Stadium. In 2008 he sang at the opening ceremony of the FINA World Swimming Championships at the Manchester Evening News Arena, and also in 2012 at a tribute to some of Great Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic medallists, including four times cycling gold medallist Chris Hoy. Other sporting venues he has performed at are Old Trafford the home of Manchester United F.C. for the Munich Anniversary, the City of Manchester Stadium for the televised UEFA Cup Final, Live on Sky Sports at the Reebok Stadium Bolton, Edgeley Park home of Stockport County and Sale Sharks, Deepdale home of Preston North End, Boundary Park home of Oldham Athletic and The Willows home of his local Rugby League team Salford City Reds
Jon is an Ambassador for the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition, IIMSAM, in support of the United Nations MDGs. As Co-Founder and Patron of ‘Sing for Life’, he has supported numerous charities which include The Red Cross, The Kirsty Howard Appeal, BBC Children in Need, Francis House, Derian House, Help for Heroes, Prostate Cancer, Destination Florida, The Prince’s Trust, Help The Aged, Variety, the Children’s Charity, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, the Five Stars Scanner Appeal for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and also in 2009 joined forces with the prestigious Harold Riley (artist), a protege of LS Lowry, to create a limited edition CD of the Ewan MacColl track Dirty Old Town which raised £25,000 for The Christie Hospital. Since ‘Sing for Life’ began, Jon has performed at numerous department stores, shopping centres, theme parks and train stations nationwide, he has so far raised in excess of £250,000.
As a much respected vocal coach he is in constant demand with a variety of artists including many signed to Universal Music and SonyBMG and was also hired as Head Vocal Coach for the BBC TV series ‘Just The Two Of Us’ where he appeared and coached artists such as; Sian Reeves, Russell Watson, Mark Moraghan, Matt Allwright, Jocelyn Brown, Gaby Roslin, Penny Smith and Nicky Campbell – some of which he professes were easier to train and work with than others!
Quoted as being ‘one of the finest and most versatile tenors of his generation’ by Classic FM magazine, Jon offers a variety of shows either to backing or with up to 9 piece band showcasing his love for a variety of styles and genres hosted by his infectious personality.
“Dirty Old Town” limited edition CD (2009)
Northern Light (Jon Christos album) (2005)
The Opera Album 2006 (2006) features “Caruso”
A Treasury of Hymns (2006) features “Jerusalem”
Manchester City: The Album (2005) features “Blue Moon” and “City Till I Die” – a variation of Funiculì, Funiculà
The Number One Classical Album 2006 (2005) features “Jubilate Domum”
A Classic Christmas (2006) features “Jubilate Domum”
Songs for Sunday (2007) features “Jerusalem”
The Number One Classical Album 2008 (2007) features “Non ti scordar di me”
Poetry Serenade (2008)
The Classical Album 2009 (2008) features “Mamma”
Classic Voices 2010 (2009) features “Una furtiva lagrima”