William Christie




South High School





William Christie ('62) is an internationally renowned conductor with over 100 recordings. He began his musical studies with his mother, and went onto study the piano, organ and the harpsichord. In 1971, after graduating from Harvard and Yale, he settled in France.

In 1979, he founded Les Arts Florissants in Paris, a vocal and instrumental ensemble devoted to research into seventeenth and eighteenth century music. Mr. Christie is recognized as the motivator behind the renewed vigor of the Baroque music movement worldwide. In 1982, he became the first American Professor appointed to the renowned Paris Conservatory for Music and later became a citizen of France.

He received the prestigious French Legion of Honor Award in 1993 for his work with musicians from all over the world. He made his debut at England's prestigious Glyndebourne Festival in 1996 and is regularly invited to conduct other orchestras around the world including annual performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Lincoln Center in New York.

In addition to his music, Mr. Christie loves gardening. His home and gardens in the South of France have been featured in both American and English gardening books.