Cristian Macelaru appointed as Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music



The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, America’s longest running festival dedicated to new music for orchestra, has appointed Cristian Macelaru as its new Music Director and Conductor. Cristian takes on the position with immediate effect and will conduct his inaugural season in August 2017.

A fast-rising star of the conducting world, Cristian has established himself for his musical insight and assuredness on the podium. Winner of the 2014 Solti Conducting Award and now Conductor-in-Residence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he came to public attention in February 2012 when he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a replacement for Pierre Boulez. These performances were met with widespread critical acclaim and launched an international career. An accomplished violinist from an early age, he grew up in Romania as the youngest of 10 musical siblings and immigrated to the United States at the age of 17 to pursue his musical studies. This marks Cristian’s first Music Directorship.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have found Cristian Macelaru,” said Executive Director Ellen Primack. “His curiosity and genuine passion for new music, coupled with his skill and dynamism on the podium, make him a perfect fit for the Festival. Cristi understands and respects Cabrillo’s important role in the music world. He is confident and charming, and eagerly embraces the special spirit and ethos that has distinguished the Festival and allowed it to thrive.”

“On behalf of the Cabrillo Festival’s Board of Directors, I’m very gratified that we’ve been able to find such a worthy successor for the helm of Cabrillo Festival,” said Liza Culick, Chair of the Artistic Leadership Transition Team. “Cristian Macelaru is a great young talent. We’re confident that he will lead the Festival into a new era that will be marked by all the passion, excitement, and community that have been the hallmark of the Cabrillo Festival from its earliest days.”

“I am excited and humbled by the prospect of joining this beautiful artistic family,” said Cristian. “Cabrillo’s vision is unique––it has contributed immensely to the creation and performance of great art. It is an organization that nurtures innovation while maintaining the highest professional standards. I look forward to working with the incredible Festival Orchestra and building on the great legacy established by my illustrious predecessors, including Marin Alsop whose work I deeply admire. I hope to expand our artistic vision while ensuring that the Festival continues to be a destination for those seeking a unique experience and a deeper understanding of a truly remarkable art form.”

Watch Cristian introduce himself to the Cabrillo audience here, and to the orchestra here.

Macelaru will celebrate his first season with the Festival July 30 – August 12 2017. Full press release here.

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