Sir George Christie
(c) Glyndebourne Opera

Sir George Christie, a major figure in UK classical music has died today at the age of 79. The only son of Glyndebourne founders John Christie and Audrey Mildmay, Sir George Christie succeeded his father to become Chairman of Glyndebourne in 1958 when he was just 23.  He held the position until 1999, during which time he and his wife Mary transformed his family business into the world-renowned opera house it is today.

In 1968 Sir George launched Glyndebourne Touring Opera, widening Glyndebourne’s audience, accessibility and reputation. In 1986 he established Glyndebourne’s award-winning education department renowned for its work in the community, with schools and youth opera programmes, and launching new works. Under his direction the Festiuval built a new opera house, which was inaugurated in 1994.

Sir George is survived by his wife, Lady Mary, sons Hector, Ptolemy and Gus (current Chairman of Glyndebourne), and his daughter Louise.

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