Winner of the 2014 Solti Conducting Award, Cristian Măcelaru has established himself as one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world. With every concert he displays an exciting and highly regarded presence, thoughtful interpretations and energetic conviction on the podium. Cristian Măcelaru came to public attention in February 2012 when he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a replacement for Pierre Boulez in performances met with critical acclaim. Since his Chicago debut, he has conducted that orchestra on subscription in three consecutive seasons including 14/15. The Chicago Sun-Times exclaimed: “Măcelaru is the real thing, displaying confidence without arrogance and offering expressiveness without excess demonstration.”
Recently appointed Conductor-in-Residence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Măcelaru made an unexpected subscription debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in April 2013. Since then, he has conducted Philadelphia in two further subscription programs in 13/14 and will lead two programs on subscription in 14/15. The 2014/15 season sees Măcelaru make his Carnegie Hall debut on a program with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Replacing the orchestra’s Chief Conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Măcelaru will have the honor of conducting the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in Denmark and on a German and U.S. tour in January and February 2015. The 11-concert project includes the Carnegie appearance which features Anne-Sophie Mutter as violin soloist.
This season Mr. Măcelaru also returns on subscription to Chicago and has subscription debuts with the Toronto, Baltimore, Houston, St. Louis, Seattle, Detroit, Milwaukee and Indianapolis symphony orchestras in North America; the U.K.’s Hallé Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony; and the Hague's Residentie Orkest in the Netherlands.
Guest-conducting highlights of the 2013-14 season included a subscription debut with the National Symphony Orchestra and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, a European debut stepping in at the last minute with the Gothenburg Symphony, and concerts in his home country to lead the National Radio Orchestra of Romania in Mozart’s Requiem. In March 2014, he returned to Chicago where he led overwhelmingly successful subscription appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, his third season in a row as a replacement for Maestro Boulez. His 2014 summer season commenced with an opening concert for the Caramoor Festival with the Orchestra of St. Luke's and Joshua Bell as soloist. Other summer appearances included festivals in Vail, Mann Center, Chautauqua and Saratoga Springs.
Cristian Măcelaru made his first conducting appearance at Carnegie Hall in 2012, leading a work on a program alongside Valery Gergiev in a Georg Solti Centennial Celebration. In 2010, Mr. Mǎcelaru made his operatic debut with the Houston Grand Opera in Madama Butterfly and led the U.S. premiere of Colin Matthews’s Turning Point with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra as part of the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival.
In addition to being appointed the 2014 Solti Fellow, Cristian Măcelaru previously received the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award in 2012, a prestigious honor only awarded once before in the Foundation’s history. He has participated in the 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 Larry Rachleff at Rice University, where he received master’s degrees in conducting and violin performance. He completed undergraduate studies in violin performance at the University of Miami.
An accomplished violinist from an early age, Mr. Măcelaru 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.
Cristian Măcelaru formerly 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, he has served as a conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony, where he also conceptualized and created a successful chamber music program. As Founder and Artistic Director of the Crisalis Music Project, Mr. Măcelaru spearheaded a program in which young musicians perform in a variety of settings, side-by-side with established artists. Their groundbreaking inaugural 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.
Cristian Măcelaru currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Cheryl and children Beniamin and Maria.