“After full immersion in the first weekend of Cabrillo’s talks, discussions, and the brilliant, complex and technically superb music making, it seems evident that Macelaru is an ideal match for this important festival. He said he adores Santa Cruz and the warm, open reception the community has given him.
Watching Cristi at the podium last weekend, there can be no doubt…he is a consummate master of this realm, a daredevil maybe, but one who knows exactly how fast to take the hairpin curves, when to ease the pace and reengage full throttle. It’s an exhilarating ride and returns you to your seat in one piece, probably changed a little from the journey.” —Santa Cruz Sentinel
Cristian Măcelaru is one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world, appointed Music Director and Conductor of Cabrillo Festival in September 2016 and soon thereafter appointed Chief Conductor Designate of the WDR Sinfonieorchester in Cologne, Germany. He takes on this new position at WDR, one of Europe’s leading orchestras, effective with the 2019-20 season.
Cristian Măcelaru attracted international attention for the first time in 2012, when he stepped into the breach with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, deputizing for Pierre Boulez. In the same year, he received the “Solti Emerging Conductor Award” for young conductors, followed in 2014 by the “Solti Conducting Award.” Since then, he has performed regularly at the podium of the best American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony and National Symphony Orchestra. A particularly close collaboration connects him with the Philadelphia Orchestra: Since his subscription debut in 2013, he has been on the podium of this orchestra over 100 times and served there for three seasons as Conductor-in-Residence. Prior to that, he was their Associate Conductor for two seasons and previously Assistant Conductor for one season from September 2011. He continues a close relationship with the orchestra in leading them on annual subscription programs and other special concerts.
In Europe, Măcelaru has been in great demand as a guest conductor with many well-known orchestras and festivals, among others the Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
In 2018-19 Măcelaru made debuts with the Orchestre National de France, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP). He returned to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, City of Birmingham Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Dresden Philharmonie, Hallé Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and Detroit Symphony. In January 2019, he brought the National Symphony Orchestra of Romania on their first-ever tour to the States in commemoration of Romania’s centennial, culminating a 7-city tour at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center in performances with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. On the opera front, he led a Kasper Holten production of Don Giovanni at the Houston Grand Opera.
Cristian Măcelaru was born in Timișoara, Romania and comes from a musical family. As the youngest of ten children, he received instrumental lessons at an early age–as did all his siblings–in his case on the violin. His studies took him from Romania to the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, University of Miami in Florida and Rice University in Houston, where he studied conducting with Larry Rachleff. He then deepened his knowledge in Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival in masterclasses with David Zinman, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Oliver Knussen and Stefan Asbury.
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 19. He also played in the first violin section of the Houston Symphony for two seasons.
He now resides in Cologne, Germany with his wife Cheryl and children Beniamin and Maria.
Find out where in the world Cristi will perform next! Visit this link and click the tab for “Concerts.”
Photo: rr jones