The conductor and composer Christopher Rountree is standing at the intersection of classical music, new music, performance art and pop. Whether presenting his beloved chamber group Wild Up in a museum bathroom, directing a series of interdisciplinary ambient concerts called SILENCE in an oak grove, or leading renowned ensembles through new music freshest works at the world’s greatest concert halls, Rountree has distinguished himself as one of classical music’s most forward-thinking innovators in creativity and community building.
He is the founder, conductor and creative director of the pathbreaking L.A. chamber orchestra Wild Up. Started in 2010 with no funding and no musicians, this project was driven only by Rountree’s vision of a world-class orchestra that creates visceral, provocative experiences that are unmoored from classical traditions. In the following years he’s become regarded as one of the most exciting and iconoclastic conductors and programmers in the field. His inimitable style has led to collaborations with Björk, John Adams, Yoko Ono, David Lang, Missy Mazzolli, and many more.
“I don’t have enough tattoos to be the badboy provocateur of classical music,” Rountree jokes. “But is the goal to dismantle the barriers to the artform, and to build something entirely new — something bursting with life, contemporary relevance, equity and deep mindfulness? That is exactly what we’re doing.”