Anna-Christina's musical career began when she won a scholarship to attend a prestigious Ballet boarding school. She performed at The Royal Opera House, The Coliseum, Birmingham Royal Ballet's Hippodrome Theatre, The Paris Opera, The Sadler's Wells Theatre, and The Holland Park Theatre to name a few. She grew up in a highly competitive, hard-working and isolated environment but these claustrophobic confines led her to a special talent that was brewing inside her head, Music.
Anna-Christina began playing the piano and cello aged 12 and wrote her first full orchestral piece when she was 14. One of her first classical piano compositions met with the approval of Richard Blackford (the British tv, film, opera and Emmy Award-nominated composer) and was chosen for a music competition to represent her school. Even though Anna-Christina is a self-taught pianist, her talent had been spotted. She did, however, have professional vocal training and was a top soprano in a special Chamber Choir chosen to perform for members of the Royal Family at St Paul's Church and other events.
"I was always locked away in a tiny music cell at my school by myself playing the piano and writing songs like a sad git! I was an outcast but it never bothered me because I always had somewhere to go, that tiny music cell is where everything began for me. I excelled in composition. My school performed concerts every year at places like The Royal College of Music. Some of the pieces I sung were Richard Blackford's Mirror of Perfection, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Handel's Zadok the Priest, Stravinsky's Les Noces, Berlioz Requiem, The Planets by Hoist and African Sanctus by David Fanshawe, all conducted by Richard Blackford".
After some time as a professional Ballet dancer, she made the bold decision to give up her theatre life to pursue music. Anna-Christina is skilled in a wide range of forms of audio production. She gained a City & Guilds in Sound Engineering and Music and Sound Technology, and a HNC in Music Production which gave her the opportunity to study at The Cockpit Theatre.
Anna-Christina is the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of London based alternative rock band Lilygun. She wrote, recorded and co-produced the band's critically acclaimed debut album released on A Line Records/Cargo Records in 2012. Over the years, Lilygun managed to build up a solid and loyal following and their shows pulled a healthy London crowd. This meant that they were able to perform at all the popular London venues including some of the larger ones such as 02 Islington Academy and the Scala. In 2017 the band kicked off their second album release 'Strength & Grace' with a stunning music video for the first Single 'Inside'. Much to Anna-Christina's joy, she was described as "a Gothic Kate Bush". Lilygun's second album was released on 17/7/17 and sold out in six days! The band has currently reissued the album with a new music video for the second Single 'What Goes Around'.
On occasion, Anna-Christina guest performs with other artists. She performed as one of the lead vocalists in The Eden House on their European tour. She sang to a crowd of 1500 when they performed at Castle Party - the biggest Goth and Darkwave festival in Eastern Europe, Poland. She performed to 2000 people at Waregem Gothic Festival held in Belgium and DV8 Festival in York, which is one of the UK’s top alternative festivals. There was also a string of successful shows in London. Anna-Christina recorded vocals on Boy of The Afterthought's debut album and has performed and recorded bass and vocals in both of David Ryder Prangley's bands The Witches and Sister Witch.
Anna-Christina also has a remarkable personal story to tell. Her life almost came to an end when she suddenly suffered from a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage. An event that would change her forever but didn't stop her from pursuing the one thing that kept her spirit alive in the hard months of illness - Music. Her life stood on a knife's blade for a few deadly months but it was not to be the end.
"I walked into a pub to meet my band to talk about our forthcoming recordings. Suddenly something felt like it snapped in my neck followed by shooting pains in my face and a seriously painful headache that felt like my brain was moving inside my head every time I moved! This was a vessel bursting in my brain. Nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen to me.
I was taken to hospital and lucky for me, they did not send me home with migraine tablets! Instead, I was rushed to Charing Cross Hospital in an ambulance early the next morning where I would spend an extraordinary eleven days in intensive care. I wasn't allowed to move. I had a five-hour coiling procedure which has a lower risk of complications and offers a greater chance of survival without disability but mine was unsuccessful. I can't explain what it was like waking up from that procedure to discover it hadn't worked! That day my family and some of my friends came to the hospital to well, say goodbye because they knew that the next day, I was going to have to have open brain surgery (for six and a half hours) to save my life!"
A Subarachnoid Haemorrhage is a particular disaster because it's often fatal - as many as 30 percent die within hours, and a further 50 percent die within the first month - or result in serious disability. Among the survivors of brain aneurysms, the mental capacity of around half of them will be affected. There's often little or no warning that a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage is about to occur. Typically, the person collapses with a sudden headache unlike any they've experienced before. Those who survive the initial episode are at great risk of another bleed unless action is taken. The standard treatment used to be surgery, which involves opening the skull and clipping off the faulty blood vessel. This operation, known as clipping, is usually done within days. However, although the operation puts an end to the risk, it carries a risk of damage (although this risk is far less than that of a second bleed).
"I have been through more than you can imagine! Fear and pain beyond belief and death right next to me in the intensive care unit. But my operation and recovery was a miracle, though there were many grueling years ahead. I had to overcome Post Traumatic Stress and depression. I suffered nightmares and a fear of leaving my house alone. Weather changes caused extreme pain to my scar and I battled constantly with painful headaches. I spent the next few years on strong painkillers and though my brain was functioning normally, it was as though I was doing EVERYTHING for the first time! It was devastating. People told me I wouldn't be able to continue my career as a musician but I was determined to prove them wrong. And so I have!"
Since then, Anna-Christina's career has soared to new heights. She is the author, narrator, creator, and owner of 'Music Audio Stories' - an original company specialising in fun entertaining music audiobooks and unique storytelling for children.
She became an award-winning storyteller after she created 'Storytime with Anna Christina', and has taught thousands of children at nurseries, schools, and libraries all over London with her music audiobooks. She has had successful workshops at the Barbican Centre, with the Polka Children's Theatre and at fairs and festivals. Her unique storytime has become popular and is now being turned into a picturebook series!
After an impressive speech at the Global Woman Magazine's Business Networking event in London, Anna-Christina was invited to be a Speaker on a panel at the Women Economic Forum in 2017! She spoke about the balance of masculine and feminine energy and empowering women - topics she feels passionate about.
From Ballet dancer to Rock Star, from performer to business owner and entrepreneur, Anna-Christina has lived an extraordinary life and broken through countless barriers. There's no stopping this multi-talented musician.