William Christie, harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist, and teacher, is the inspiration behind one of the most exciting musical adventures of the last 30 years. His pioneering work has led to a renewed appreciation of 17th- and 18th-century French repertoire. Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Christie studied at Harvard and Yale Universities and has lived in France since 1971. The major turning point in his career came in 1979 when he founded Les Arts Florissants. As director of this vocal and instrumental ensemble, Christie brings new interpretations of largely neglected or forgotten repertoire to fruition. Major public recognition came in 1987 with the production of Atys at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. Christie has since collaborated with renowned theater and opera directors, and has created a discography spanning more than 100 recordings. Since 2002, he has appeared regularly as a guest conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic. In November 2008, William Christie was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts; he was officially received under the dome of the Institut de France in January 2010.