William Christie

Biography

Born: December 19, 1944   Country: France  
Long a leading figure in the early music performance movement, William Christie has been especially influential in restoring opera and French music to their rightful places in the Baroque repertory. He is the harpsichordist and leader of the ensemble Les Arts Florissants. Christie was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1944, and studied piano and organ as a young man. He attended Harvard, graduating with an art history degree and switching to music Read more only for graduate study at the Yale School of Music. His teacher there was the pioneering harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick, best known for his rediscovery and thorough exploration of the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Christie moved to France in 1971; eventually he not only became a French citizen, but also was named a member of the Legion of Honor. Many early music performers have done stints in the contemporary-music world (and vice versa); between 1971 and 1975, as a member of the Five Centuries Ensemble, Christie participated in premieres of work by such notables as Luciano Berio and Morton Feldman. Between 1976 and 1980 he played keyboards for the early music group Concerto Vocale, led by René Jacobs. In 1979, Christie founded Les Arts Florissants, an ensemble devoted to French, English, and Italian music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The group has done much to revive the difficult genre of French Baroque opera, with its arcane declamatory style; working with leading stage designers and choreographers, Christie has had special success with the operas of Marc-Antoine Charpentier and Jean-Philippe Rameau, rightful mainstays of the operatic repertory in their own times but almost forgotten since then. Since 1994, Christie and Les Arts Florissants have recorded for the major French label Erato, and the contract was renewed in 1999. That year saw the release of the Les Arts Florissants recording of Monteverdi's magnificent Vespro della Beata Vergine (the Vespers of 1610), and recordings of Mozart, Caldara, Lully and other composers were in the works. Read less
Rameau: Hippolyte et Aricie / Lyon, Karg, Connolly, Christie
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1143   Number of Discs: 2
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Handel: Hercules / Christie, Les Arts Florissants
Release Date: 01/10/2006   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 13   Number of Discs: 2
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Rameau: Les Paladins / Christie, Les Arts Florissants
Release Date: 01/17/2006   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 938   Number of Discs: 2
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Purcell: Dido And Aneas / Christie, Les Arts Florissants
Release Date: 01/12/2010   Label: Fra Musica  
Catalog: 501   Number of Discs: 1
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Monteverdi: L'incoronazione Di Poppea / Christie, De Niese, Jaroussky
Release Date: 04/10/2012   Label: Virgin Classics  
Catalog: 70951   Number of Discs: 2
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There are 142 William Christie recordings available.

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