Conductor, music director, curator, composer, and orchestra founder CHRISTOPHER ROUNTREE has distinguished himself as one of classical music’s most forward-thinking innovators in programming, conducting, and community building. Rountree is well-known for creating the renegade 24-piece ensemble wild Up in 2010. The group’s eccentric mix of new music, pop and performance art quickly jumped from raucous DIY bar shows to being lauded as the vanguard for classical music by critics for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio’s Performance Today.
As he’s become regarded as one of the most exciting and iconoclastic conductors and programmers in the field, Rountree’s inimitable style has taken him to revered concert halls the world over. This season, Rountree makes debuts with Cincinnati Symphony conducting John Adams’ The Dharma at Big Sir and with the Berkeley Symphony conducting Sofia Gubaidulina’s Concerto for Two Orchestras and Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown, and Beige; he gives the New York premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up at Miller Theater; and makes his subscription debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic leading Berio’s Sinfonia and John Cage’s Apartment House 1776 with Roomful of Teeth. He takes wild Up on tour with audience interactive programs celebrating local communities and the intersection of art and social justice; premieres new pieces of Julianna Barwick and Andrew Greenwald at Walt Disney Concert Hall; unveils an evening-length program with Ted Hearne, George Lewis, Jen Hill, and Weston Olencki about religion, space, and the internet called of Ascension; makes his debut on the Ecstatic Music Festival with new work by William Brittelle and Zola Jesus; plays a live radio show at the ACE Hotel with Nadia Sirota, Andrew Norman, and Caroline Shaw; curates a joint program with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Four Larks at Hauser and Wirth; and conducts a new program called Eve with Martha Graham Dance Company at The Soraya.
A seventh-generation California native descended from Santa Cruz County sheriffs, Rountree lives in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.