The Kennedy Center

Cristian Macelaru


Newly appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Cristian Macelaru 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. Macelaru 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. Conductor-in-Residence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he made his Philadelphia Orchestra subscription debut in April 2013 and continues to conduct them annually on subscription programs and other special concerts. In September 2016, he was announced Music Director of Cabrillo Festival, America's longest running festival dedicated to new music for orchestra, to succeed Marin Alsop with immediate effect.  In August 2017, Macelaru led his inaugural season at the Cabrillo Festival in premiere-filled programs of new works and fresh re-orchestrations by an esteemed group of composers.  Among the 2017 season's highlights were seven world premieres, 11 composers-in-residence, a stunning roster of international guest artists, and two special tributes – one to commemorate Lou Harrison's centenary and another honoring John Adams' 70th birthday.
The 2017/18 season sees Macelaru opening the National Symphony Orchestra's season in Washington D.C. and returning to the Philadelphia Orchestra on three subscription programs plus Messiah concerts.  He guest-conducts the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Atlanta, Seattle, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, San Diego and Vancouver.  Internationally he leads the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Swedish Radio Symphony, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Halle Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.  In Summer 2017, Macelaru made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival and returned to the Grand Teton and Interlochen Festivals.  Additionally he led the Philadelphia Orchestra in two programs at the Mann Center.
Cristian Macelaru made his Carnegie Hall debut in February 2015 on a program with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Anne-Sophie Mutter.  A keen opera conductor, in June 2015 he led the Cincinnati Opera in highly acclaimed performances of Il Trovatore.  In 2010, he made his operatic debut with the Houston Grand Opera in Madama Butterfly and conducted 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 2019, he returns to the Houston Grand Opera on a Kasper Holten production of Don Giovanni.
Winner of the 2014 Solti Conducting Award, Macelaru previously received the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award in 2012. Previously, he received his master's degree in conducting and violin performance from Rice University. He completed undergraduate studies in violin performance at the University of Miami.
Cristian Macelaru resides in Philadelphia with his wife Cheryl and children Beniamin and Maria.
Cristan Macelaru