Chris Carmichael is a musician and arranger born in San Antonio, Texas on July 6, 1962. The son of an Air Force fighter pilot, Chris’s family moved extensively and the young traveler took up learning the violin while living in Hampton, Virginia. After moving to Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1975, he entered into more formal training, studying violin with Western Kentucky University professor Betty Pease (a former student of Ivan Galamian) for eight years. Influenced by the university environment, Chris also studied music theory, composition, and orchestral and chamber performance under teachers Dr. David Livingston (a former student of composer Roy Harris), Vsevolod Lezhnev, (principal cellist with the Moscow Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony orchestras) and Leon Gregorian (head of Michigan State University’s conducting program).
Following his formal training, Chris began a career as a touring musician for various artists in several genres, including outlandish entertainers Joe Savage and Jason D. Williams (RCA). After moving to Nashville, Tennessee in the late 1980s, his group Fifteen Strings – a hard rock band – landed a major record deal with Atlantic Records in New York. A few years later, he signed as a staff writer for Warner/Chappell in New York, but remained a Nashville resident.
In the early 1990s, Chris transitioned into full-time studio work and arranging. Major groups, such as the Boston Pops Orchestra, have performed his orchestral arrangements. Carmichael’s television and radio appearances include the 71st Academy Awards, The Tonight Show, The Academy of Country Music Awards, The Country Music Association Awards, CBS Morning Show, The View, A Prairie Home Companion, and many others.
Arrangements of distinction include the string quartet arrangement of Tim McGraw’s “If You’re Reading This,” which originally aired at the 2007 Academy of Country Music awards show, and later became a single release. His contributions to film soundtracks include Down in the Valley, The Sapphires, and Shrek 2.
Chris has lent his talents to a laundry list of artists spanning several genres, including Peter Cetera, David Ball, Kathy Mattea, Taylor Swift, Lionel Richie, Martina McBride, Buddy Guy, The Verve Pipe, Jordin Sparks, Hank Williams III, Demon Hunter, Steve Earle, and many, many more.
In 2014, Chris Carmichael’s string arrangements appeared on three of the albums on the Americana top 40, with Billy Joe Shaver, Chuck Prophet, and the debut of Lee Ann Womack’s “The Way I’m Livin’”.
In 2015, his talents contributed to Christian artist TobyMac’s two-time Grammy nominated album, This is Not a Test, as well as The Embers of Time by Josh Rouse, an artist Uncut Magazine called, “a talent to outrank Ryan Adams.”
Chris currently resides in Bowling Green, KY with his wife, Carie, and their two daughters.