Cristian Macelaru has established an exciting and highly regarded presence through his thoughtful interpretations, poise and energetic conviction on the podium.

Associate Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Macelaru began his tenure at the Philadelphia Orchestra as Assistant Conductor in September 2011; in recognition of his artistic contributions to the orchestra, his title was elevated to Associate Conductor in November 2012. In addition to continuing to assist Yannick Nézet-Séguin and leading several non-subscription performances, Macelaru will conduct his own subscription week in the 2013-14 season, after having stepped in on an unexpected subscription debut in April 2013 in place of Jaap van Zweden. Of the substitution, the Chestnut Hill Local said: “[Macelaru] led a stunning performance of ‘Death and Transfiguration’ and a charming reading of the Suite from the opera ‘Der Rosenkavalier’…. And the Philadelphians sounded fabulous – like some of us remember them to once have been – indisputably the greatest orchestra in the world.”

Macelaru recently made two overwhelmingly successful appearances with the Chicago Symphony on subscription programs two seasons in a row as a replacement for Pierre Boulez. The first was in February 2012 and the subsequent was in March 2013, with the Chicago Sun-Times exclaiming: “Macelaru is the real thing, displaying confidence without arrogance and offering expressiveness without excess demonstration.”

In addition to a subscription week in Philadelphia, Macelaru’s 2013-14 season will include a subscription debut with the National Symphony Orchestra with Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist, a return to the Chicago Symphony, and appearances with the Florida Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Alabama Symphony and San Antonio Symphony. His summer appearances included the Houston Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and multiple performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Vail Festival, Saratoga Performing Arts Center and at the Mann Center, including a special Van Cliburn tribute program. He also returns to his home country to lead the National Radio Orchestra of Romania in performances of Mozart’s Requiem.


His 2012/13 season started with his Carnegie Hall debut and a return to Chicago’s Orchestra Hall in October both at the invitation of the Solti Foundation, conducting a work on the Solti World Orchestra for Peace program shared alongside Valery Gergiev in celebration of the centennial of Solti’s birth. The 2012-13 season continued with debuts with the Atlanta Symphony, Orchestre Métropolitain, Florida Orchestra and Alabama Symphony, plus returns to the Baltimore Symphony and Chicago Symphony. Highlights of the previous season included engagements with the Baltimore and Houston symphony orchestras and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, in addition to his inaugural season with the Philadelphia Orchestra where he assisted then-Music Director Designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit.

Macelaru made his professional 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, Macelaru led the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in the U.S. 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, 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, 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, Macelaru has served as a conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony, where he also conceptualized and created a successful chamber music program.

Last year Macelaru received the 2012 Sir George Solti Emerging Conductor Award, a prestigious honor only awarded once before in the foundation’s history. He 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 Larry Rachleff at Rice University, where he received his Master of Music degree in conducting as well as a Masters in violin performance. He completed undergraduate studies in violin performance at the University of Miami.

Cristian Macelaru currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Cheryl and children Beniamin and Maria.