James David Christie

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James David Christie is an American organist with an extensive performance career throughout the world and especially in Europe. He is Chair and Professor of Organ at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, College Organist at Wellesley College and the Distinguished Artist in Residence at the College of the Holy Cross. He has made several recordings and is a highly sought-after performer and teacher. He has been the organist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1978. Former employers: Boston Conservatory of Music, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Boston University. He has recorded extensively and won several prestigious prizes; he has given over 50 tours of Europe, Japan, Australia, Iceland and Russia, and has served on over 40 international competition juries. He has performed premiers of over 40 works. He serves regularly on the faculty of the McGill Summer Organ Academy in Montreal, Canada. Christie has been a guest professor at the Paris Conservatory, the Cracow Conservatory, the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, the Conservatory of Versailles, the Dom Bedos Organ Academy in Bordeaux, the International Summer Organ Academy in the Haarlem (Netherlands), etc. He has performed and recorded with symphony orchestras around the world including major orchestras in London, Stuttgart, Vienna, Koblentz, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Baltimore, etc.; he performs a very large repertoire of organ concerti of all periods. He is in demand as an organ consultant and is responsible for major instruments in Paris, Wellesley Hills, Worcester, Kansas City, Oberlin, etc.

Life[edit]

Christie was born in Wisconsin in 1952 and first studied organ there with Byron Blackmore for five years. In 1970 he attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, studying with David Boe, graduating in 1975 with a B.Mus. He then attended the New England Conservatory, where he earned a M.M. in 1977, and an A.D. in 1978, studying with Yuko Hayashi. He also studied extensively with Marie-Claire Alain, Bernard Lagacé and Harald Vogel. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the New England School of Law for his outstanding contributions to the musical life of the city of Boston and he was honored with the New England Conservatory Outstanding Alumni Award from his alma mater.

In 1979, he became the first American to win the International Organ Competition in Bruges, Belgium, and the first competitor to win both first prize and prize of the audience. His students have been first prize winners in many US national organ competitions and international first prize winners in Leipzig, Dublin, Paris, Biarritz, Wiesbaden, Berlin, Miami, and Chartres.

Recordings[edit]

  • The 1985 Taylor & Boody Organ (JAV)
  • Sweelinck: Organ Works (Naxos)

External links[edit]