February 9, 2001

Famed conductor Michael Christie debuts at Colorado Music Festival

Business Report Correspondent

BOULDER ? Internationally known conductor Michael Christie makes his debut at the Colorado Music Festival (CMF) this summer in the 25th year of the festival. At 26 years old, Christie is one of the youngest music directors of a major venue in the world.

Presently living in Long Island, N.Y., Christie said he designed the season with the idea that every concert would be one the festival audience would hate to miss. “To give the audience member the greatest possible exposure in this short, seven-week period, I have attempted to highlight as many different instruments as possible in a solo capacity,” he said in a statement.

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Christie will permanently move to Boulder before the start of the season in June. The opening concert, scheduled for Friday, June 29, begins a series of chamber orchestra, chamber music and festival orchestra concerts. Other performances from a Flamenco dancer to a Renaissance band and from Latin to American music and jazz also are featured.

The theme of season 2001 is “A Breath of Fresh Air,” as Christie plans to open the side walls and doors of historic Chautauqua Auditorium to let the fresh air in and the glorious music out and thrill the audiences, according to Pamela Lewis, CMF’s director of marketing and sales.

“Chautauqua Auditorium is, in itself, a unique, beautiful venue,” Lewis said. “But to open it up so that people who regularly sit outside with their blankets, picnic dinners, pets and children, can now see indoors and hear the music ? well, we believe this is a great change that will not only expose more people to the pleasures of live, classical music, but increase our audience size, as well.”

Two traditional preseason events also are planned. The first, starring the Takács Quartet, is slated for Sunday, June 10. The popular children’s event, the Young People’s Concert, will be held in the morning on Monday, June 25. A special pre-concert dinner with a premium menu to celebrate CMF’s 25th Anniversary will be held Friday, June 29 at a location to be determined.

CMF’s professional orchestra consists of musicians from the United States and international countries. Many of the musicians hold principal chair positions in their home orchestras during the regular season, September through May, and come to Boulder to form the CMF Orchestra in the summer.

Alan Yamamoto, CMF’s resident conductor, will lead the chamber orchestra Sunday, July 8, in the music of Stravinsky, Barber and Bartok. He will also conduct the festival orchestra Thursday and Friday, July 12-13, featuring music by Rothman, Aho, Mahler and Stravinsky.

Yamamoto will lead the July 29 concert of Ives, Adams and the Pulitzer-Prize-winning composition by Harbison, “The Flight Into Egypt.”

According to Lewis, 40 percent of CMF’s budget comes from ticket sales. The rest is made up of grants from foundations and donations from the community and the corporate world. The organization also receives funds from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a six-county tax district where 10 cents of every $1 goes to arts and science organizations.

CMF’s budget for 2001 is slightly more than $1 million and about $25,000 more than last year. “Getting grants for any venture is always a challenge. We have been successful with government grants from the Colorado Council on the Arts and the Boulder Arts Commission, in addition to the SCFD funding. We also receive generous support from private foundations,” Lewis said.

Christie, an American conductor, was appointed music director of the CMF in September, two months after his performance in the festival. He graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance.

Christie first came to international attention in 1995 when he was awarded “Outstanding Potential,” a special prize at the First International Sibelius Conductor’s Competition in Helsinki, Finland. Following the competition, he was invited to become an apprentice conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he worked with Daniel Barenboim during the 1996-97 season. Barenboim then invited Christie to the Berlin State Opera where he assumed an apprentice position between February and April 1996.

During the 1997-98 season, Christie served as assistant conductor to Franz Welser-Möst at the Zurich Opera House and made his debut with the Finnish National Opera. Recently he premiered a new ballet at the Zurich Opera House.

Christie has guest conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Seattle Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Colorado Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic.

In Europe, he has guest conducted the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony, Bergen Symphony, Trondheim Symphony, Iceland Symphony, Lahti Symphony, the Tampere Philharmonic and the Finnish Radio Symphony.

He was associate conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic from 1996 to 1998 and conducts in Australia each season.

CMF season subscriptions are on sale in a variety of packages, with discounts for groups of 10 or more. Single tickets go on sale May 1, 2001, and can be purchased at CMF’s Web site, www.coloradomusicfest.org.

Business Report Correspondent

BOULDER ? Internationally known conductor Michael Christie makes his debut at the Colorado Music Festival (CMF) this summer in the 25th year of the festival. At 26 years old, Christie is one of the youngest music directors of a major venue in the world.

Presently living in Long Island, N.Y., Christie said he designed the season with the idea that every concert would be one the festival audience would hate to miss. “To give the audience member the greatest possible exposure in this short, seven-week period, I have attempted to highlight as many different instruments as possible in…

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