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Christopher Blair

Internationally acclaimed for his expertise in acoustical design of concert halls and opera houses, Christopher Blair has become increasingly in demand as a guest conductor of orchestras around the world. In recent years Blair has appeared in concert with the Bolivian National Orchestra, the Porto Alegre (Brazil) Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Tianjin (China) Symphony Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Vidin (Bulgaria) Philharmonic, and the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. In the course of his acoustical consulting activities he has also led rehearsals of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Petrobras (Brazil) Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, the Minas Gerais (Brazil) Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica and the Bogotá (Colombia) Philharmonic. He currently leads the Laurel Beach Casino Orchestra, a chamber ensemble he created in 2013 to attract new audiences to orchestral music utilizing an informal cabaret format.

Following undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont, Mr. Blair earned two Masters degrees: one in Orchestral Conducting from the New England Conservatory, and the other in Acoustics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Early professional conducting appointments included the Music Directorships of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra of Boston, the South End Symphony and Choral Society, the Melrose (MA) Symphony Orchestra, the Brown University Orchestra (where he was also Chairman of the String Program), and the position of Artistic Director of the Boston Light Opera. During his tenure at each of these organizations, he was known for his popular and innovative programming, and in particular his efforts to reintroduce unjustly neglected symphonic compositions to modern audiences.

Mr. Blair enjoys a parallel career in acoustic design. At the present time he is Principal Consultant/Chief Scientist at AKUSTIKS, based in Norwalk Connecticut. Current projects include the new David Geffen Concert Hall at Lincoln Center, acoustic upgrades and renovation of the Cincinnati Music Hall, and a new concert hall for the National Symphony of Costa Rica. Prior work includes new concert halls for the Nashville Symphony and the Minas Gerais Philharmonic, a new recital hall for SUNY-Fredonia, a new addition to the Cleveland Institute of Music, renovations to the Boston Opera House, renovations and a new recital hall for the Eastman School of Music, and major projects in the USA, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Columbia, Chile, and Brazil. Recent project openings include the Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Tobin Center in San Antonio, Texas, the Smith Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, the new Centro Cultural Julio Mario Santo Domingo in Bogota, Colombia , the new Teatro Bicentenario in Leon, Mexico, and renovation to the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Some of his important projects prior to his work at AKUSTIKS include Singapore’s Esplanade Performing Arts Centre, Lucerne’s Cultural and Congress Centre, the City of Culture in Galicia, Spain, and Brazil’s famous Sala São Paulo.

Mr. Blair has also been a member of the teaching faculties of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Massachusetts, and Yale University, among others. He served on the Strategic Planning Committee of the New Haven Symphony and is currently the President-Elect of the Conductors Guild.

  • Auber: Fra Diavolo: Act I, Masaniello Overture
  • Anderson: Irish Suite, Syncopated Clock, Blue Tango
  • Bach,J.S.: Brandenburg No.3, Klavier Concerto No.1 in D minor
  • Bach, PDQ: The Seasonings
  • Bantock : The Sea-Reivers
  • Barber : Adagio for Strings
  • Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.1, Coriolan Overture, Egmont Overture, Ruins of Athens: Overture & Turkish March, Symphony Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini Overture, Damnation of Faust: Rakoczy March, King Lear Overture, Roman Carnival Overture, Symphonie Fantastique
  • Bernstein: Candide Overture
  • Bloch: Concerto Grosso No.1
  • Bottessini: Concerto for Double Bass
  • Brahms: Academic Festival Overture, Symphony Nos. 1, 2, 3, Tragic Overture, Variations on a Theme by Haydn, German Requiem
  • Britten : Albert Herring: Act I, Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
  • Brody : Jabberwocky
  • Bruckner: Symphony Nos. 4, 5
  • Coleridge-Taylor: Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast: Onaway! Awake Beloved
  • Copland : Appalachian Spring, Hoe-down from Rodeo
  • Debussy : Nocturnes, Prelude l’apres mid d’un faune
  • Dvorak : Carnival Overture, Symphony No.8, Watergoblin
  • Elgar : Pomp & Circumstance Nos. 1, 4, Salut d’Amour
  • Enesco : Rumanian Rhapsody No.1
  • DefFalla : El Amor Brujo: Ritual Fire Dance, Three Cornered Hat (complete)
  • Faure : Pavane, Pelleas et Melisande: Sicilienne, Requiem
  • Garofalo : Romantic Symphony, Trinity Mass
  • Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, The Man I Love, Selections from Porgy & Bess
  • Ginastera: Estancia Dances
  • Gottschalk: Grand Tarantelle for Piano and Orchestra
  • Gould : American Salute
  • Gounod : Faust: Act I
  • Grainger : Lincolnshire Posy, Sussex Mummers’ Christmas Carol
  • Grieg : Piano Concerto, Holberg Suite, Peer Gynt (complete)
  • Hamilton-Harty: Irish Symphony
  • Handel : Belshazzar, Messiah, Royal Fireworks Music, Water Music
  • Haydn,fF.J.: Symphony Nos. 94, 99, 104, Trumpet Concerto
  • Herbert: Cello Concerto No. 2, various selections from Babes in Toyland, The Red Mill, The Prima Donna, Sweethearts, The Fortune Teller
  • Holst : Second Suite for Military Band
  • Horner : Konzerttanzstücke
  • Jackson : Adagio for Flutes and Strings
  • Janacek : Sinfonietta
  • Kalman : Countess Maritza
  • Kern : Selections from Swing Time
  • Kalnins : Symphony No. 5
  • Kleinsinger: Tubby the Tuba, Pee Wee the Piccolo
  • Kodaly : Hary Janos: Intermezzo
  • Lehar : Gold & Silver Waltzes, The Land of Smiles, The Merry Widow
  • Liszt : Christus Oratorio
  • Loewe : My Fair Lady, Selections from Gigi
  • Mahler : Songs of a Wayfarer, Symphony No.1
  • Mascagni: Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana
  • Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor, Scherzo from Midsummer Nights Dream, Symphony Nos. 3, 4, 5
  • Menotti: Amahl & the Night Visitors, Sebastian Ballet, Old Maid and the Thief: “Steal Me, Sweet Thief”
  • Monn : Cello Concerto
  • Mozart: Ave Verum Corpus, Coronation Mass, Exultate Jubilate, Don Giovanni: Act I, Marriage of Figaro: “Dove sono”, Impressario Overture, Lucio Silla Overture, Oboe Concerto, Piano Concerto Nos. 9, 10, 20, Symphony Nos. 25, 29, 35, 36, 40, Violin Concerto No. 3
  • Nielsen : Suite from Aladdin
  • Offenbach: La Belle Hellene Overture, La Vie Parisienne Overture
  • Paganini : Violin Concerto No. 2
  • Persichetti: Divertimento for Band
  • Prokofiev: Classical Symphony, Lieutenant Kije, Peter & the Wolf
  • Puccini : Tosca: “Vissi d’arte”
  • Raff : Symphony No.5
  • Reichardt: Rondo for Glass Harmonica & Orchestra
  • Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio Espagnole, L’Coq d’or
  • Rodgers : Selections from King and I, Sound of Music, and South Pacific
  • Rodrigo: Four Love Madrigals
  • Romberg: The Student Prince, The Desert Song
  • Rossini : Barber of Seville, William Tell Overture, Il Signor Bruschino Overture, Stabat Mater
  • Saint-Säens: Piano Concerto No.4
  • Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony, Op.9, Five Pieces for Orchestra
  • Schubert: Rosemunde: Overture, Entr’Acts, & Ballet Music, Symphony No. 5
  • Schumann, Clara: Piano Concerto
  • Schumann, R.: Piano Concerto, Symphony Nos. 1, 3
  • Shostokovich: Festive Overture, Symphony No. 1
  • Sibelius : Symphony Nos. 1, 2
  • Smetana: The Moldau
  • Sousa: Various Marches including El Capitan, Stars and Stripes Forever, Washington Post, National Fencibles, Semper Fidelis, Thunderer
  • Strauss,dJoh.dI: Radetsky March
  • Strauss, Joh. II: Die Fledermaus, various polkas including Tritsch –Tratsch, Thunder and Lightning, Annen, Olga, Hellenen, At the Hunt, etc. , various waltzes including Blue Danube, Emperor, Roses from the South, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Wiener Blut, Wine Women & Song, Sounds of Boston, etc., Waldmeister Overture
  • Strauss,\Jos.: Feuerfest Polka, Music of the Spheres Waltzes, Village Swallows Walzes, etc.
  • Strauss,dR.: Don Juan, Rosenkavalier Suite, Till Eulenspiegel, Death and Transfiguration
  • Stravinsky: Danses Concertantes, Firebird, L’Histoire du Soldat, Petrouchka
  • Sullivan : HMS Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance, Trial by Jury, Overture di Ballo
  • Suppe : Poet & Peasant Overture, Beautiful Galathea Overture, Boccaccio Overture
  • Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien, Symphony Nos. 4, 5, 6, Violin Concerto, The Tempest, The Nutcracker
  • Telemann: Don Quichotte
  • Verdi : La Traviata Prelude, Don Carlo: “Tu che vanita”
  • Vivaldi : The Four Seasons, Gloria
  • Waldteufel: Estudiantina Waltzes, Skaters’ Waltzes
  • Wagner: Lohengrin: Prelude to Act III, Procession to the Cathedral, Parsifal Prelude, Siegfried Idyll, Tannhauser Overture (Dresden), Tristan & Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod, Tannhauser: Entry of the Guests, Die Meistersinger Prelude
  • Wallace : Maritana Overture
  • Walton : Façade
  • Weber : Der Freischütz: Act I, Konzertstücke
  • Weinberger: Schwanda the Bagpiper: Polka and Fugue
  • Williams : E.T. Selections
  • Wolf-Ferrari: Jewels of the Madonna: Dance of the Camorristi

“Musically, things are, as usual, first rate. Christopher Noel Blair, music director and conductor, does not just get his company and orchestra through the score, he gives it a life, a shape, a tangible dramatic thrust”
Thor Eckert

“Superb…Mr. Blair has a knack of orchestral coordination that produces a magnificent sound. They were worth the whole evening.”
John Brenner

“Well-paced, musicianly performances.”
Richard Buell

“Vivid direction…an enormous, glorious sound”
Julie Hatfield

“Christopher N. Blair seems to be the animating spirit of the enterprise and he has done his work well. Musically, these were very trim performances —frankly a lot better than what we’re used to hearing.”
Richard Dyer

“From Christopher Noel Blair’s first downbeat, a musical substance and flair was established that sparked the entire performance. Mr. Blair’s musical concept was poised, lively, and refreshingly unfussy.”
Thor Eckert

“Blair and his ensemble turned in their best work in the Schubert Symphony No.5 in B flat. The pacing was leisurely, the tone of the woodwinds was particularly colorful, the rhythmic choices were sound and the essential conception and performance were Schubertian.”
Arthur Hepner

“Blair’s players are capable of textures that weary pit musicians seldom achieve: they have freshness.”
Robert Taylor

“Very important was the orchestral work Christopher Blair drew from his players. Lithe, colorful and vigorous, it carried everything before it.”
Richard Buell

“The [Danbury Symphony] orchestra has never sounded better. Blair led exactingly, with vigor and enthusiasm, and showed a particular sense for instrumental balance – from having a master’s degree in acoustics from MIT? Everything sounded professional and just plain excellent.”
Frank Merkling

“My name is LIOR SHAMBADAL (Israeli citizen,born in TelAviv) I am acting as CHIEF CONDUCTOR of the renowned and internationally important Berliner Symphoniker (BERLIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA) and I am holding this position since 1997. I know Maestro Blair since 5 years, and had the opportunity to attend his
rehearsals, and concerts in Bogota, Colombia, USA and Mexico. I found Maestro Blair a great musician with a huge and vast knowledge in other aspects like acoustical condition, recording, balancing and creating a huge and concentrated tension in his work. I could see him in major works such as Mahler 2nd Symphony and Bruckner Symphony no.5. I was very impressed by his simplicity to achieve what he wanted in rehearsals and his very demanding but friendly contact with the orchestra members…I recommend him warmly for any Music Director Position…
Lior Shambadal

Hans Spengler Artist Management
30 Beekman Place
New York, NY 10022

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