This Week in Classical Music 7/17/17

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Michael Christie






Former Phx Conductor Christie Leads World premiere of Steve Jobs Opera in Santa Fe; 

"Lost" Holst Manuscripts found in New Zealand.



It’s this week in classical Music, an update on what’s happening in the classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.


Former Phoenix Conductor Michael Christie is in Santa Fe New Mexico this weekend and the week after for the world premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs --composed by Mason Bates on a libretto by Mark Campbell, presented by Santa Fe Opera.

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, begins at a critical moment in Jobs’ life and examines the people and experiences that shaped one of the most influential figures of our time: “It is a pleasure and an honor to be part of another phenomenally talented American composer's first opera,” Christie says. “Mason is a true theater composer, blending voice, drama and his revelatory musical vision.” 

Christie’s nearly 20-year symphonic conducting career has included serving as Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony,  Brooklyn Philharmonic , and the Queensland Australia Orchestra. 

Christie lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Alexis, who’s a physician, and their two children.


Two original scores from English composer Gustav Holst , best known for his work “The Planets” have been found in New Zealand, more than a century after Holst wrote them.

Folk Songs from Somerset and Two Songs Without Words were both written in 1906 and were re-discovered in the library of the Bay of Plenty Symphonia.  The finders say they have no idea how the two works found their way to New Zealand.

symphonia musician Bronya Dean said both are in “excellent condition” and show minimal signs of damage.

Dean was able to authenticate the works by matching the handwriting, address and signature of Holst with internet sources, and confirming the discovery with the Holst Archive in England.

According to the BOP Symphonia, Folk Songs of Somerset was last performed  in 1906 and conducted by Holst.

After that, Holst reworked some of the score into his work A Somerset Rhapsody, which was published in 1907 and continues to be performed today.

The original Folk Songs from Somerset was never published and has not been played or heard in over a century.

The Bay of Plenty Symphonia plans to perform the lost works early next year, and then will send them home to England, where archivists and music historians at the Holst foundation and Archive are very interested in seeing them.


For more on these and other items and events, go to the website,; be listening each week at this time for another update; find us on Facebook and follow us on twitter; and join US every Weekday at noon with Linda Cassidy for “The Most Wanted Hour”, playing your top 100 picks in Classical Music…I’m Randy Kinkel, for This week in classical music.  This is listener-supported 89.5 k-b-a-q phoenix and hd. we also broadcast on translator k-209-d-v scottsdale at 89.7, and we're available on the web at kbaq dot org.