A native of Indiana, Craig Courtney began playing the piano at the age of three and the cello at the age of eleven. He received a Bachelors and a Master’s degree in piano performance at the University of Cincinnati, studying piano under Raymond Dudley and chamber music under Walter Levin of the LaSalle Quartet. During that time, he was a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Honorary Music Society.
Following a three-year stay in Milan, Italy, where Mr. Courtney studied the piano with Illonka Deckers, performed for the Associazione Musicale "Gustav Mahler", and worked extensively as a vocal coach, he was invited to join the music faculty of the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, serving as piano teacher and accompanist for the woodwind and brass department.
It was during this six-year period, while serving in the music ministry of the Salzburg International Baptist Church, that Mr. Courtney began directing a church choir and composing sacred choral music, due to the unavailability of English language music. In 1985, his compositions came to the attention of John Ness Beck, through the publication of his octavo, Thy Will Be Done, initiating a close working relationship between the two men which continued until Mr. Beck's death in 1987. In making plans for the ongoing of Beckenhorst Press, Mr. Beck appointed Craig Courtney to assume his responsibilities as staff composer and editor.
Mr. Courtney's published works include numerous choral octavos, nine vocal collections, a piano solo collection and extended works for choir and orchestra. Compositionally, Mr. Courtney combines his training and background as a pianist, a cellist, a vocal coach, an accompanist and a choral director to create words that bear his unique style. He has been a frequent recipient of ASCAP achievement awards and his composition, Peace I Give to You, was awarded 1st place in the 2003 John Ness Beck Foundation competition.
In demand throughout the country as a choral clinician and featured composer, Craig Courtney resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Susan.