David Pountney pays tribute to Sir George Christie

8 May 2014

WNO Chief Executive and Artistic Director David Pountney has paid tribute to Sir George Christie, the former chairman of Glyndebourne opera house and festival, who has died aged 80.

"WNO acknowledges with great regret and respect the death of George Christie, the visionary leader of the Glyndebourne Festival. He became one of the transformative leaders of the development of opera in post-war Britain, and made the Glyndebourne Festival into a beacon of high standards and international professionalism. His great charm concealed a character of determination and vision, with an astute sense of how best to use his formidable connections. We salute him!"

Born in 1934, Sir George was the son of Glyndebourne founders John Christie and Audrey Mildmay. He succeeded his father to become chairman in 1958 when he was just 23 and held the position until 1999, when he was succeeded by his son, Gus Christie. Sir George was knighted in 1984 for services to music and was subsequently made a Companion of Honour in 2001.