William Christie

~ Person

Wikipedia

William Lincoln Christie (born December 19, 1944 in Buffalo, New York) is an American-born French conductor and harpsichordist. He is a specialist in baroque repertoire and is the founder of the ensemble Les Arts Florissants.

Christie studied art history at Harvard University, where he was briefly assistant conductor of the Harvard Glee Club. From 1966, he began studies at Yale University in music, where he was a student of harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick. He was opposed to the Vietnam War, and served in a reserve officers course to avoid the draft. He subsequently taught at Dartmouth College, but after his Dartmouth post was not renewed, Christie moved to France in 1971. He was one of a number of young men who left the United States at this time because of disagreement with the Vietnam War, and in order to avoid the draft. In France, he became known for his interpretations of Baroque music, particularly French Baroque music, working with René Jacobs and others. He also performed contemporary music alongside baroque music with the Ensemble Five Centuries.

In 1979, Christie founded Les Arts Florissants, named after the opera of the same name by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, which was to be its first fully staged production. Major recognition came in 1986 with the production of Lully's Atys at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. Christie has also presented and recorded works by André Campra, François Couperin, Claudio Monteverdi and Jean-Philippe Rameau.

Christie was a professor at the Paris Conservatoire from 1982 to 1995, and maintains an active role in pedagogy by participating in master classes and academies. In 2002, he founded Le Jardin des Voix, a biennial academy for young singers in Caen. Since 2007, he has had an affiliation with the Juilliard School, providing master classes in historical performance practice.

Christie has widened his group's core French repertoire, performing Henry Purcell, George Frideric Handel, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He has been guest conductor at the Glyndebourne Festival, and productions for Zurich Opera and the Opera de Lyon. He has also conducted period-instrument performances with more modern ensembles such as the Berlin Philharmonic.

Christie took French citizenship in 1995. He was appointed Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1993 and he is an Officier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He was elected a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts on November 12, 2008, in the "Unattached members" section (Membres libres), at the seat formerly held by Marcel Marceau, Seat #1. The elaborate gardens Christie designed for his house in Thiré were designated as a monument historique in 2006.

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Discography

Album

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1987 Atys Jean-Baptiste Lully; Guy de Mey, Guillemette Laurens, Agnès Mellon, Jean-François Gardeil, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 2
1990 Deux Oratorios Luigi Rossi; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
1992 Cantates André Campra; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
1992 Pygmalion / Nélée et Myrthis Jean-Philippe Rameau; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 2
1993 Te Deum / Motets Guillaume Bouzignac; Les Pages de la Chapelle, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
1994 Les Grands Motets Rameau; William Christie, Les Arts Florissants, Daneman, Rime, Agnew, Rivenq, Cavallier 1
1996 Orlando Georg Friedrich Händel, Les Arts Florissants & William Christie 1
1996 Die Zauberflöte Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
1996 Il Sant'Alessio Stefano Landi; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
1997 Grands motets Jean-Joseph de Mondonville; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
1997 Orlando (Highlights) George Frideric Handel; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
1998 David et Jonathas Marc-Antoine Charpentier; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
1998 Vespro della Beata Vergine Claudio Monteverdi; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
1999 Acis and Galatea Georg Friedrich Händel; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
2003 Zoroastre Jean-Philippe Rameau; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
2005 Te Deum / Grand Office des morts Marc-Antoine Charpentier; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
2006 Judicium Salomonis Marc-Antoine Charpentier; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
2009 Motets André Campra, François Couperin; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
2011 Duetti Philippe Jaroussky, Max Emanuel Cencic & William Christie 1
2012 Le Malade imaginaire Marc-Antoine Charpentier; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
Altri Canti Claudio Monteverdi; Les Arts Florissants, William Christie 1
Haendel - Duetti e cantate Wieland Kuijken, René Jacobs, Judith Nelson, William Christie & Konrad Junghänel 1

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