Announcing our New
Music Director: Michael Christie
New West Symphony is proud to welcome
Michael Christie as our new Music Director!
With overwhelming support from our orchestra and board of directors, Grammy Award-winning Maestro Michael Christie emerged as a wonderful fit for the New West Symphony orchestra and community.
With over 20 years of symphonic and opera conducting experience, Maestro Christie has led top orchestras all over the world, and has been music director of Minnesota Opera, Phoenix Symphony, and Brooklyn Philharmonic.
Maestro Christie won a GRAMMY-Award, “Best Opera Recording” for his performance of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with Santa Fe Opera, a contemporary opera written by Mason Bates.
Here’s a welcome message from Maestro Christie:
About Michael Christie
Michael Christie is a thoughtfully innovative conductor, equally at home in the symphonic and opera worlds, who is focused on making the audience experience at his performances entertaining, enlightening, and enriching. The New York Times reports, “Michael Christie is a director open to adventure and challenge,” and the Cincinnati Enquirer declares, “If Michael Christie represents the future of music in this country, the future looks promising indeed.”
Deeply committed to bringing new works to life, Michael Christie has championed commissions by leading and emerging composers alike, including Mark Adamo, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, Osvaldo Golijov, Mark Grey, Daron Hagen, Huang Ruo, Matthew Hindson, Marjan Mozetich, Stephen Paulus, Kevin Puts, and more. In 2018, Chrisie led the world premiere of An American Soldier, a two-act opera by Huang Ruo, with Opera Theatre of St. Louis “with impressive precision,” as praised by Dallas Morning News and The New York Times reported, “Both the subtle colorings and pummeling intensity came through in the compelling performance the conductor Michael Christie drew from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.” In 2017, Christie led the world premiere performances of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs by Mason Bates with Santa Fe Opera “with suave assurance” as praised by the San Francisco Chronicle, with “precision and pizzazz” by the Santa Fe New Mexican, and “preside[d] over an expertly executed performance,” according to The Financial Times.
Christie’s conducting career, spanning more than 20 years, has included serving as Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony (2005-2013) and Brooklyn Philharmonic (2005-2010), and as Chief Conductor of the Queensland Orchestra (2001-2004) in Australia, as well as guest appearances leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and the Symphonies of Dallas, St. Louis, Atlanta, Houston, Minnesota, Oregon, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Santa Rosa. Christie’s many European engagements have included leading the Rotterdam Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Orchestre National de Lille, Swedish and Netherlands Radio Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, NDR Hannover Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic. In addition, Christie enjoys a strong profile in Australia, where he has conducted the Sydney Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, Opera Queensland, and the Western Australian Symphony in Perth.
Christie’s New York Philharmonic debut came in 2007 when he stepped in on short notice for an ailing Riccardo Muti, and his Carnegie Hall debut came in 2014 when he led the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the Spring for Music festival. Christie also served as the Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival from 2000-2013, where he was highly praised for his innovative programming and where audiences are now at an all-time high, resulting in him being named “Musician of the Year” by The Denver Post in 2010.
Michael Christie first came to international attention in 1995 when he was awarded a special prize for “Outstanding Potential” at the First International Sibelius Conductors’ Competition in Helsinki. Following the competition, he was invited to become an apprentice conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he subsequently worked with Daniel Barenboim as well as at the Berlin State Opera during the 1996-1997 season. Christie graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance.
Christie lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Alexis, a physician, and their two children. A licensed pilot for over 15 years, Christie often flies his Mooney Airplane Company single engine aircraft to his conducting engagements across the U.S. He volunteers for Angel Flight Central, flying people in need with serious medical issues to receive care.