© Denis Rouvre
Harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist and teacher, William Christie is the architect of one of the most remarkable musical adventures of the last thirty years. Pioneer of the rediscovery of baroque music, he introduced the 17th and 18th century French repertoire to a wider audience. Born in Buffalo and educated at Harvard and Yale, he has lived in France since 1971. His career took a decisive turn in 1979 when he created Les Arts Florissants. At the head of the instrumental and vocal ensemble, he has left a very personal mark be it in concert or on the opera stage. It was in 1987 that he truly established his reputation with Lully’s Atys at the Opéra Comique, which went on to triumph on numerous international stages. From Charpentier and Rameau, to Couperin and Mondonville, William Christie is the uncontested master of lyrical tragedy, opera ballet, the French motet and Court music.
Yet many of his interpretations of Monteverdi, Rossi, Purcell, Handel, Mozart ou Haydn have proved to be milestones. His recent opera productions include Atys at the Opéra Comique and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2010, Charpentier’s David et Jonathas in Aix en Provence in 2012, Rameau, Maître à danser, which had its world premiere in Caen in 2014 and Campra’s Les Fêtes vénitiennes in 2015.
He performs regularly as a guest conductor at numerous festivals and opera houses including Glyndebourne (Hipermestra in 2017) the Metropolitan Opera, the Zurich Opera and the Lyon Opera. Between 2002 and 2007,he made regular guest appearances at the Berliner Philharmonic. His discography is comprised of over a hundred recordings. La Harpe reine, Un Jardin à l’italienne and Bien que l’amour were released as part of the “Les Arts Florissants” collection from Harmonia mundi. Eager to expand his work as a teacher, he created the Jardin des Voix Academy in 2002. Since 2007,he has been artist in residence at the Juilliard School of Music in New York where he gives master classes twice a year. In 2012, he launched the festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie at Thiré in the Vendée, where he brings together Les Arts Florissants, his students from the Juilliard School and the prize-winners of the Jardin des Voix.
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