Born in New York, William Christie studied at Harvard and Yale Universities, and has lived in France since 1971. The major turning point in his career came in 1979 when he founded Les Arts Florissants. As director of this vocal and instrumental ensemble, Christie soon made his mark as a musician and man of the theatre, in both the concert hall and the opera house, with new interpretations of largely neglected or forgotten repertoire. Major public recognition came in 1987 with the production of "Atys by Lully" at the Opéra Comique in Paris, which then went on to tour internationally with much success. William Christie has an increasingly busy operatic career and his collaborations with renowned theatre and opera directors.
Much in demand as a guest conductor, William Christie receives regular invitations from prestigious opera festivals. William Christie is equally committed to the training and professional development of young artists, and he has nurtured several generations of singers and instrumentalists over the last twenty-five years. Indeed, many of the music directors of today’s Baroque ensembles began their careers with Les Arts Florissants. Between 1982 and 1995, Christie was a Professor at the Paris Conservatoire, with responsibility for the early music class. He is often invited to give masterclasses, or to lead academies such as those at Aix-en-Provence and Ambronay. Since 2002, he has appeared regularly as a guest conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic.