KAHANE PLAYS KAHANE
Christopher Rountree has distinguished himself as one of classical music’s most forward-thinking innovators in programming, conducting, and community building.
Whether presenting his beloved chamber group wild Up in a museum bathroom or leading the country’s most renowned ensembles through new music’s most exciting works at the world’s greatest concert halls, Rountree is the linchpin between orchestral music and the future of performance.
Rountree founded the renegade twenty-four-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, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and public radio’s Performance Today. Now an institution in its own right, the success of wild Up has led Rountree to collaborations with Björk, John Adams, David Lang, Scott Walker, and many of the planet’s greatest orchestras and ensembles.
“I think of scenarios that will change people’s mind about something, then set them up and see what happens,” Rountree says of his approach. “If I can imagine how a program will live in a space and that thought makes me smile, then I’m ready to start.”
A seventh-generation California native descended from Santa Cruz County sheriffs, Rountree lives in Los Angeles.