Christian Fritze has recently taken over the presidency of the BCCO Board. By dint of his musical education, experiences and finely honed abilities in numerous other areas, he is well positioned to continue the traditions and practices of BCCO’s excellent leadership and rich fifty-year history, and also to explore and make commitments to appropriate new ventures.
Christian grew up in a family, where members played different instruments (his was and is the cello) to form a family musical group. During his childhood years in New Jersey, he played in the local Community Orchestra comprised of students as well as community members. His excellent high school record led him to Harvard and an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. While at Harvard, he was part of the student-led Bach Society Orchestra where he performed with a string group which specialized in Brahms’ piano trios, quartets and quintets.
The University of Chicago was his next academic stop and a doctoral degree in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology It was at Chicago that he met Catherine Atcheson, his wife and great supporter of twenty years. Catherine, too, is well known at BCCO where she has been a board member, editor for many years of the weekly newsletter, Chorus Notes, and a leading singer in the alto section.
Christian’s professional life has centered on the use of antibodies as tools for future basic research and development of new medicines.
Christian joined BCCO in 2003 and quickly became a strong member of the bass section, a section leader and showed himself able not only to be to sing with accuracy and understanding, but also able to convey the joy of the musical experience. Upon a few occasions, he switched from being a member of the bass section to playing cello in the BCCO orchestra and was first chair on at least one occasion.
He brings an incisive mind and a courteous and pleasant persona to the role of president; he has already showed his extraordinary organizational skills in running the Looking Forward self-examination project, in putting together the highly successful fundraising event last spring and, most recently, this month’s board retreat.
Christian’s ability to deal with a large number of issues at one time will stand him in good stead as he comes to grip with the many-faceted issues that face BCCO not only in this celebratory Fiftieth Anniversary Year but also in preparing the organization to be strong and continue to thrive as BCCO enters its second half century.
No description of Christian would be complete without mentioning two non-BCCO activities. He is a devoted and supportive father to his and Catherine’s daughter Hannah (now entering her sophomore year at Wesleyan) and their son Matt (a high school senior) who, like his father, is becoming an active cyclist. Christian has been an avid cyclist since high school. The summer just past, for instance, he and a long-time friend completed an 800-mile competitive ride through Germany.
BCCO is fortunate to have such a talented, musical and committed leader at the helm at this time.