• Panel: Would you Bit Torrent your mate?
    • Sunday 20 June 11:30am - 12:30pm


Chris Neal

Chris spent his early years studying classical piano and theory. Then came an intensive devotion to progressive jazz via the records of Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Bobby Timmons et al. By the time of the new excitement delivered by the likes of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, it seemed that eclecticism was the only way forward.

During the 60's, Chris was happily juggling gigs with his jazz trio while working the thriving Sydney Club scene with rock bands - The Showmen and The Powerhouse. During this time he studied scoring and performance with such greats as Billy Weston, Graeme Bell, Billy Palmer and Peter Sculthorpe. All the while, the love of songwriting was grabbing him ‘round the neck.

After several months in Vietnam working as an entertainer, he wrote the rock musical Manchild which he then produced and toured nationally in 1971 with a cast and company of 25 actors, singers and roadies. On returning to Sydney, he settled into several years of song writing, session work, jingle writing and record production.

In 1980 he scored his first feature film which led to a career which has so far produced scores for seventeen features and many TV series, serials and mini-series including Turtle Beach, Bodyline, GP, The Nostradamus Kid, Emerald City and The Shiralee.

He also enjoys collaborating with his son, the screen composer Braedy Neal - on such TV series as Farscape, Pacific Drive and the APRA award-winning Foreign Exchange.

A founding member of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, he has represented the interests of composer colleagues since 1987. He was a member of the film industry lobby informing the Broadcasting Tribunal drafting of Standard TPS 14 which guaranteed the place of Australian music in local content regulation for commercial television.

An APRA member since 1972, he has served as a Writer Director on the Board for 10 years.

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Chris Neal

Chris Neal