Composer and conductor Christopher Rountree stands at the intersection of classical music, new music, performance art and pop. Rountree is the founder, conductor and creative director of the path breaking L.A. chamber orchestra wild Up. The group has been called “Searing. Penetrating. And Thrilling” by NPR’s Performance Today and named “Best Classical Music of 2015” by The New York Times. wild Up started in 2010, driven by Rountree’s vision of a world-class orchestra that creates visceral, provocative experiences that are unmoored from classical traditions.
In the coming season, Rountree debuts with San Diego Opera and with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony; resurrects works of Graham, Barber, and Chavez with the Martha Graham Dance Company; makes an album with Pulitzer finalist Chris Cerrone; leads wild Up as Group in Residence at National Sawdust; and conducts the score to Evil Dead, live with Bruce Campbell at the ACE Hotel in Los Angeles. Rountree will return to the San Francisco Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic as part of festivals celebrating John Adams and new music on the west coast, and to Opera Omaha, conducting Jonathan Dove’s Flight.
Last year, Rountree made his Chicago Symphony, LA Opera and Atlanta Opera debuts; and returned to Music Academy of the West, Ensemble LPR at (le) poisson rouge, and to SF Symphony’s SoundBox series. He conducted the Interlochen World Youth Orchestra on the New York Philharmonic’s 2016 Biennial; premiered David Lang’s new opera Anatomy Theater; joined Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner with wild Up at the Laguna Beach Music Festival; and conducted Diavolo’s new show “L’Espace du Temps: Glass, Adams, and Salonen.” As a composer, his recent premieres and commissions include a new piece for The Crossing; a re-orchestration of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Foreign Bodies; a choral work for Bjork’s choir Graduale Nobili (Reykjavik, Iceland); a piece based on Stephen Mitchell’s Rilke for Aperture Duo and Jodie Landau; and two new pieces for Jennifer Koh–a short solo theater piece on the NY Philharmonic’s Biennial, and a large scale concerto commissioned by the LA Philharmonic for Koh and wild Up.
Rountree was commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival, in partnership with John Adams and Deborah O’Grady’s Pacific Harmony Foundation; Overture to La Haine will receive its world premiere performance on Saturday, August 12, 2017 during Tributes: Part 2.
Photo: Rus Anson