Michael Christie became the Virginia G. Piper Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony in August 2005 and Music Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic in September 2005. With his orchestras, he has embarked on a series of ambitious projects focusing on interdisciplinary collaborations with visual artists, dance companies, and theater groups, as well as on contemporary composers such as Gorecki, Ligeti, Adams, Goijov, and Tan Dun. He is also Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival, where he has been much praised for his innovative programming and where festival audiences are now at an all time high.
Christie made his New York Philharmonic debut in March 2007, stepping in for an ailing Riccardo Muti. In previous seasons, he has conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony, among many others. In the 2008-2009 season, Christie returned to the St. Louis Symphony and made his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra. In the 2009-2010 season, Christie made his debut conducting Ghosts of Versailles at the Wexford Festival. This production, a collaborative effort with the St. Louis Opera and directed by James Robinson, won the 2010 Irish Times Irish Theatre Award for Best Opera. In upcoming seasons he will make his debut with the Minnesota Opera and return to Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
In Europe his career has been equally successful, with past engagements including the DSO Berlin, Orchestre National de Lille, Swedish Radio Symphony, the Netherlands Radio Symphony, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the NDR Hannover Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic. His ties to orchestras in Scandanavia have been particularly strong with engagements in all five countries.
Christie enjoys a strong profile in Australia, where aside from his role as Chief Conductor of the Queensland Orchestra (which ended in December 2004), he has also conducted the Sydney Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, Opera Queensland and the Western Australian Symphony in Perth.
Michael Christie has also established an excellent reputation as an opera conductor and he has regularly conducted both operas and ballet performances at the Opernhaus, Zurich. He has a very special relationship with the House in Zurich where, in the 1997/98 season, he was Assistant Conductor to Franz Welser-Möst (a position especially created for him). That season he made his highly successful debut conducting performances of Romeo & Juliet and a new production of Hansel and Gretel. He has also worked with the Finnish National Opera, where he conducted The Marriage of Figaro in 1999/2000 and with the Queensland Opera where he made his debut conducting Cosi Fan Tutte the same season. In March 2004 he made his highly successful opera debut in The Netherlands conducting John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. In June 2009, Christie made his US debut conducting staged opera with a new production of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles at the Opera Theater of St. Louis.
Michael Christie first came to international attention in 1995 when he was awarded a special prize for “Outstanding Potential” at the First International Sibelius Conductor’s Competition in Helsinki. Following the competition, Mr. Christie was invited to become an apprentice conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and subsequently worked with Daniel Barenboim, both in Chicago and at the Berlin State Opera during the 1996/97 season.
Michael Christie graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance.