Cristian Macelaru has established an exciting and highly regarded presence through his thoughtful interpretations, poise and energetic conviction on the podium. In September 2011, he began his tenure as Assistant Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra where he works with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and visiting conductors. In November 2012, the Philadelphia Orchestra elevated his title to Associate Conductor in recognition of his artistic contribution to the orchestra. As associate conductor, he will now conduct his own subscription week in the 2013-14 season and will continue to assist Nézet-Séguin and conduct special non-subscription performances.
Recently, Mr. Macelaru received the 2012 Sir George Solti Emerging Conductor Award, a prestigious honor only awarded once before in the foundation’s history. In February 2012, Mr. Macelaru made his Chicago Symphony subscription debut as a replacement for Pierre Boulez with overwhelming success and rave reviews. Other 2011-12 season highlights included engagements with the Baltimore and Houston symphony orchestras and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, in addition to conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra and assisting Music Director Designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit. Mr. Macelaru’s 2012-13 season brings highly anticipated debuts with Atlanta Symphony, Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, Windsor Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Alabama Symphony and the Naples Philharmonic, as well as a return to the Baltimore Symphony.
Mr. Macelaru made his debut conducting the Houston Grand Opera in performances of Madama Butterfly in the 2010-11 season, after collaborating with Patrick Summers on the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick as assistant conductor for the Dallas Opera. Previous seasons have also seen him with the Pittsburgh and San Diego Symphony Orchestras, Banatul Philharmonic, DaCamera of Houston, Syzygy ensemble, Oberlin Orchestra and at the Sarasota Music Festival. With a passion for diverse repertoire, Mr. Macelaru led the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in the US premiere of Colin Matthews’ Turning Point in 2010, as part of the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival.
As the Founder and Artistic Director of the Crisalis Music Project, Mr. Macelaru spearheaded a program in which young musicians perform in a variety of settings, side by side with established, renowned artists. Their groundbreaking first season produced and presented concerts featuring chamber ensembles, a chamber orchestra, a tango operetta, and collaborations with dancer Susana Collins, which resulted in a choreographed performance of Vivaldi/Piazzolla’s Eight Seasons.
An accomplished violinist from an early age, Mr. Macelaru was the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and made his Carnegie Hall debut with that orchestra at the age of nineteen. He also played in the first violin section of the Houston Symphony for two seasons. Formerly, he held the position of Resident Conductor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he was Music Director of the Campanile Orchestra, Assistant Conductor to Larry Rachleff and Conductor for the Opera Department. A proponent of music education, Mr. Macelaru has served as a conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony, where he also conceptualized and created a successful chamber music program.
Mr. Macelaru has participated in the prestigious conducting programs of the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival, studying under David Zinman, Murry Sidlin, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Robert Spano, Oliver Knussen and Stefan Asbury. His main studies were with renowned teacher Larry Rachleff at Rice University, where he received his Master of Music degree in conducting. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of Miami.
Mr. Macelaru currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Cheryl and children Beniamin and Maria.