Anderson’s involvement with the guitar started almost fifty years ago. At the age of seven, Chris moved from a small town near Toronto, Canada to Hagerstown, Md., which is still his hometown. A music store across the street from his family's new house quickly became his favorite place to spend time. The owners generously tolerated his endless presence and questions. Soon the guitar captured his attention.
He learned mostly from watching customers and employees try out instruments, and from an older brother who also played guitar. It was quickly apparent that he was one of those muse-driven musicians compelled by some unseen force to play. The guitar was his third arm, a constant companion that he took everywhere.
At the age of twelve he performed in public for the first time. As a teenager, he was working in the music store and playing in church twice a week. He was also frequently performing with groups playing acoustic music at coffeehouses, schools, and festivals.
While attending Bethany College near Wheeling, W. Va. in the early 1970’s, Chris became a passionate admirer of the music of J.S. Bach. A friend gave him a recording of Bach’s music played on a classical guitar. A few days later, he sold his steel-string guitars and started studies on the classical instrument under the supervision of Bethany’s piano professor.
At the time, Chris was unaware of the handful of schools in North America that offered formal academic studies of the guitar. After graduating with a major in history and a minor in music, he pursued additional undergraduate studies in Guitar Performance at the new guitar department of Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Winchester, Va.
He went on to serve as a guitar instructor at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W. Va. where he established that school’s first degree program in Guitar Studies. He also taught in and around his hometown for eleven years and was regularly featured as a solo recitalist by regional art councils and institutions. His playing was spotlighted on Maryland Public Television.
An early 1990's freak accident left Anderson unable to perform for almost a year. Out of the public spotlight, he found the freedom of not having to maintain a performance repertoire to be unexpectedly enjoyable. Playing only for his own enjoyment, he rediscovered the joy of exploring music without the public in mind. After a ten year break from performing, Chris returned to the stage in February of 2004 and quickly found many audiences who responded very enthusiastically to his playing.
As a surpise present, he received a piano for Christmas 2008. Although he had tinkered with the instrument previously, he had never had one in the house. In a short number of days, his muse took an abrupt left turn and has left him on the piano bench since then.
He has recently stopped giving guitar concerts and currently is only working on sharpening his piano skills.
In his spare time, he’s an avid chef. He also gets on a bicycle from time to time, although not often enough to keep from hearing that he needs to get some exercise.
Chris spent five years studying privately with Franco Platino and Ana Vidovic. He’s also participated as a performing student at dozens of masterclasses taught by twenty-four of the world’s most respected guitarists. Among them have been Sharon Isbin, Manuel Barrueco, Pepe Romero, Raphaella Smits, and Denis Azabagic.
What's next for Chris? He's waiting for his muse to give him a clearer picture of the road ahead.