Ball was born in Leeds, England in 1936 and is a British composer, conductor, clarinettist and recorder soloist. He studied clarinet and piano at the Royal Manchester College of Music now known as the Royal Northern College of Music where he began his career as an orchestral clarinettist in the Halle Orchestra when the conductor was Sir John Barbirolli. His college contemporaries included Harrison Birtwistle then a fellow clarinet student, Peter Maxwell Davies and the world-famous pianist John Ogdon.
Later at the Royal Academy of Music he studied clarinet with three of the world's most famous clarinet soloists: Jack Brymer, Reginald Kell and Gervase de Peyer and later took part in conducting masterclasses having won a Gulbenkian Scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study on the Advanced Conducting Course with Pierre Monteux, Constantin Silvestri, Sir Charles Mackerras, Norman Del Mar and Sir Georg Solti whose masterclass was televised. Ball won the Ricordi Conducting Prize in his first year. Later he was chosen as Apprentice Conductor of the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra now called the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the 1960s he was assistant conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra followed by an appointment as conductor of the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden. In !971 he founded and directed the early music ensemble The Praetorius Consort, recording for EMI, BBC Records and Decca as well as founding [in 1973] the London Baroque Trio: Christopher Ball [recorder], Mary Verney [harpsichord] and Peter Vel [bass viol]. In 1981 he began a ten-year association with the BBC Midland Radio Orchestra when the BBC commissioned many orchestral compositions and arrangements from him.
Since the 1990s he has concentrated on composing and, as of 2014, has composed nine concertos for different instruments : flute, oboe, clarinet, recorder, horn, violin, cor anglais [English horn] and two for cello as well as a newly written Clarinet Quintet, a Caprice on a Baroque Theme and the Wind Quintet: Scenes From A Comedy. All have been recorded and received critical acclaim. The 2 cello concertos were dedicated to the Croatian cellist Stjepan Hauser of 2Cellos fame. Christopher Ball was a professor of clarinet and recorder at the Royal Academy of Music for forty one years and before that a student there for 3 years [clarinet and conducting].