New Title for Maestro Christie

Michael Christie has been named the Phoenix Symphony’s Music Director Laureate by the organization’s board of directors. Christie steps down as the Virginia G. Piper Music Director in June, having been named music director of the Minnesota Opera.


"The Phoenix Symphony has been extraordinarily fortunate to have grown under the tremendous talent of Michael Christie," says C.A. Howlett, chairman of The Phoenix Symphony board of directors. "His passion and enthusiasm have transformed this organization and energized our community. It is only fitting that his fine work and legacy continue in our community, which is why we are naming him our Music Director Laureate."


As Music Director Laureate, Christie will remain a part of The Phoenix Symphony family and is already scheduled to return five times over the next three seasons.


The 2012/13 season marked Michael Christie's eighth and final season as the Virginia G. Piper Music Director of The Phoenix Symphony, the continuation as Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder for his 13th season, and the beginning of his first season as the Music Director of the Minnesota Opera.


Christie began his position as Music Director with The Phoenix Symphony during the 2005-2006 season and immediately embarked on projects and initiatives whose goals were to broaden the symphony's orchestral programming. Largely credited for transforming The Phoenix Symphony into a world-class orchestra, Christie's community involvement and accessibility have been the hallmark of his tenure.


"We are immensely proud of Michael and his great accomplishments here with The Phoenix Symphony and we have been fortunate to have him for the 2012-13 season," says Jim Ward, president and CEO. "While Maestro Christie will be missed, he leaves a lasting legacy with this organization and by naming him Music Director Laureate, we offer him a permanent home with us in seasons to come."



Maestra JoAnn Falletta will serve as the symphony’s principal guest conductor for 2013-14. She is the Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Principal guest conductor of the Brevard Music Center.


Falletta will conduct five programs during The Phoenix Symphony's 2013-14 Classics, Coffee Classics and Scottsdale Series as well as a one-night-only performance at Symphony Hall featuring world-renowned pianist Lang Lang.


The search for the next Virginia G. Piper Music Director is under way with a committee that includes musicians, members of the board of directors and staff.


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