Kris Garfitt is a Courtois Performing Artist, Solo Trombonist of the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Gold Medal winner of the 2019 Royal Overseas League Music Competition in London, and first prize winner of the 2019 Jeju International Music Competition, 2018 International Tenor and Bass Trombone Competition in Budapest, the 2018 International Juozas Pakalnis Competition of Wind and Percussion Instruments in Vilnius and the 2019 International IPV Trombone Competition in Germany. Kris is also the second prizewinner of the Competition Concorso Internazionale “Città di Porcia” and the International Trombone Competition of Alsace.
He graduated in 2015 from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with a First Class Honours Degree. During his time at Guildhall, he undertook regular lessons with Eric Crees, Peter Gane, and Christopher Houlding and later with Fabrice Millischer of Freiburg Musikhochschule.
From 2016 until 2020 Kris was working as a member of the German Radio Philharmonic, and from 2021 is the solo trombonist with the WDR Symphony Orchestra. Besides regular concerts with his orchestra, he is performing frequently as a guest solo trombonist with many of Europe’s leading orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (to name just a few).
He is fortunate enough to have been a member of both the European Union Youth Orchestra and Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and travel extensively throughout the world, performing at places such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Royal Albert Hall in London, Salzburg Festspielhaus, Hamburg’s Elphilharmonie, the Semperoper in Dresden, Berlin Philharmonie, Prague’s Rudolfinum, Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, and the Seoul Arts Center, and perform in festivals such as The BBC Proms and Salzburger Festspiele.
Alongside his orchestral career, Kris also manages to navigate a busy schedule as a solo musician. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras on numerous occasions, with professional ensembles such as the Vilnius City Chamber Orchestra, the Budapest Strings Chamber Orchestra, Jeju Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Di Padova e del Veneto, and Luxembourg Military Orchestra and has performed concertos by Nino Rota, Henri Tomasi, Lars-Erik Larsson, Christopher Rouse, Vladimir Cosma , and Gyula Fekete and a sonata by Benedetto Marcello.
Shortly after winning his job in 2016, Kris experienced increased interest and love of the trombone’s wonderful solo literature, leading him to start a duo with the exceptional Korean pianist, Seri Dan. Together they perform regular concerts throughout Germany and worldwide. They are also planning to release their first album in 2021.
Kris also has a passion for music education and regularly offers guidance to trombonists of all levels, on a private basis, and in the form of masterclasses. He has been the brass tutor of the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra since 2016.
As well as Kris’ competition successes in Korea, Budapest, London, Germany, Lithuania, Italy, and France, he was also the first prize recipient of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s Brass Prize (funded by the Armourers and Brasiers) in May of 2015.