Harpsichordist, world-renowned conductor, musicologist and teacher, William Christie was born in Buffalo (New York State, USA) and studied at Harvard and Yale. He settled in France in 1971 and acquired citizenship in 1995. He pioneered the rediscovery of French baroque music of the 17th and 18th centuries, making it known to a very large audience.
As the leader of the instrumental and vocal ensemble that he founded in 1979, “Les Arts Florissants”, he plays on stages the world over, when he is not being invited to conduct by the most important operas and international festivals.
Formerly a professor at the Paris Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique, William Christie is still very involved in his work as a teacher, having founded “Le Jardin des Voix” (The Garden of Voices) in Caen, the first three editions of which had a big impact in Europe and the United States. Moreover, he is regularly asked to lead master classes (Aix-en-Provence, Ambronay) and, in 2007, was named (along with his ensemble “Les Arts Florissants”) Artist in residence at the prestigious Juillard School in New York.
William Christie’s work has won many awards including the Prix Grand Siècle Laurent Perrier in 1997, the Harvard University Arts Medal in 2002, The Royal Philarmonic Award in 2003, Prix de chant Choral Liliane Bettencourt awarded by the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 2004, the Prix Georges Pompidou in 2005 and the BBC Magazine Music Award for the DVD of the Fairy Queen at Glyndebourne in 2011. He is also Doctor Honoris Causa of the State University of New York in Buffalo, and a member of The Royal Academy of Music.
French Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, William Christie was elected as a Member of the Academy des Beaux Arts in November 2008, in the “Membres libres” (unattached Members) section, at the seat formerly held by Marcel Merceau. The Welcoming ceremony was held beneath the Cupola on 27th January 2010 and his Academic’s sword was handed to him that same night, at a big event organised for the 30th birthday of Les Arts Florissants at the Opéra Comique. In April 2010, he was named French Commander in the Order of Legion and Honour and his insignia were given to him.
THe 2014 jury
- William CHRISTIE, Founder of Les Arts Flourissants, member of the Royal Academy of Music, member of the Academie des Beaux-Arts since 2008, and administrator of the City of music since 2006
- François BARRÉ, Chairman of the Board of Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire
- Chantal COLLEU-DUMOND, Director of the Domaine and International Garden Festival of Chaumont-sur-Loire
- Olivier BEDOUELLE, Member of the UNEP National Office – landscape businesses
- Stephen BENNETT, Director of the Chelsea Flower Show and shows director for the Royal Horticultural Society
- Bénédicte BOUDASSOU, Journalist
- Soazig DEFAULT, Journalist-landscape architect
- Ariane DELILEZ, Secretary-General of the French Landscape Federation
- Caroline DE SADE, Journalist
- Hélène and Patrice FUSTIER, Founders of the Journées des Plantes de Courson
- Pascal GARBE, Landscape architect, Project Manager for the Gardens policy of Moselle County Council
- Patrice GOBERT, Architect and founder of the group “La Superstructure”
- Guillaume HENRION, President of the Centre Region Association of Parks and Gardens
- Pascal LAFORGE, Partnerships Events Manager - Truffaut
- Jean-Pierre LE DANTEC, Historian, writer, engineer and former director of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris - La Villette
- Marie-Christine LORIERS, Author
- Dominique MASSON, Consultant for gardens and landscape at the Centre Region Directorate for Cultural Affairs
- Vincent PIVETEAU, Director of the École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage de Versailles
- Bernard CHAPUIS, Landscape architect and Gérard DOSBA, Head gardener at Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire