Cristian Măcelaru

Associate Conductor 

Cristian Măcelaru began his tenure as assistant conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra with the 2011-12 season. He was promoted to associate conductor in November 2012, and his contract was extended through the 2013-14 season. In this role he conducts special non-subscription performances and covers concerts for Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and many of the ensemble’s guest conductors. A native of Romania, Mr. Măcelaru comes to the Orchestra from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he served on the conducting staff and completed his Master of Music degree in conducting.

Recently Mr. Măcelaru received the 2012 Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award, a prestigious honor awarded only once before in the foundation’s history. In February 2012 he made his Chicago Symphony subscription debut as a replacement for Pierre Boulez with overwhelming success and rave reviews. Other previous highlights include engagements with the Baltimore, Houston, and San Antonio symphonies and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Mr. Măcelaru’s 2012-13 season brings highly anticipated debuts with Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain, the Florida Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, and the Naples Philharmonic, as well as a return to the Baltimore Symphony.

Mr. Măcelaru has been a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival and served as assistant conductor at Dallas Opera. He made his Houston Grand Opera debut leading performances of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly in the 2010-11 season. While completing his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Miami, he was assistant conductor of the University of Miami Symphony, associate conductor of the Florida Youth Orchestra, conductor and founder of the Clarke Chamber Players, and concertmaster of the Miami Symphony. In 2006 he received a Master of Music degree in violin performance from Rice University, during which time he was also a member of the Houston Symphony.

A strong supporter of music education, Mr. Măcelaru has served as a conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony, where he created a successful chamber music program. As the founder and artistic director of the Crisalis Music Project, he spearheaded a program in which young musicians perform in a variety of settings, side by side with established, renowned artists. Mr. Măcelaru started studying violin at the age of six in his native Romania. After winning top prizes in the National Music Olympiad of Romania, he attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he furthered his studies in both violin and conducting. He resides in Philadelphia with his wife, Cheryl, son, Beniamin, and daughter, Maria.