Belfast-born Christopher Bell is the Artistic Director of NYCoS. Alongside that he currently holds posts as Chorus Director of the Grant Park Chorus, Chicago, USA, Chorusmaster of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus and of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus. In 2009 he became Associate Conductor of Ulster Orchestra.
Christopher was educated at Edinburgh University and held his first post as Associate Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra between 1989 and 1991. Since then he has worked with many of the major orchestras in the UK and Eire, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, London Concert Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Christopher enjoys working with young people. Before his current posts with the RSNO and NYCoS, for six years he directed the TOTAL Aberdeen Youth Choir, undertaking touring and recordings with them as well as many concerts in the North East of Scotland. He was the first Artistic Director of the Ulster Youth Choir between 1999 and 2004, a group which he developed and moulded into a critically acclaimed ensemble. Between 2001 and 2008 he was Artistic Director of the highly successful Children's Classic Concerts series.
It was his work as Chorusmaster of the RSNO Chorus between 1989 and 2001, alongside his time with the Aberdeen Youth Choir, which led Christopher to form the National Youth Choir of Scotland, as a way to encourage young singers to develop their skills. Since then, the organisation has grown, not only as a choral group with 4 national choirs and 14 area choirs across Scotland, but as a provider of educational training and resources for teachers and choir directors.
Christopher has received the following awards: a Scotsman of the Year 2001 for Creative Talent, the Charles Groves Prize in 2003 for his contribution to cultural life in Scotland and the rest of the UK, an Honorary Masters Degree from the Open University for Services to the Arts in 2009 and an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2012 for his contribution to the performing arts in Scotland. In 2013, Chorus America awarded Christopher the Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art. In 2015, he received the degree of Doctor of Music, Honoris Causa, from The University of Aberdeen.