Gone are the days when Cristian Macelaru (pronounced match-a-law-roo) was described as being among the most promising conductors of his generation. He's now simply one of the finest. In April 2014, Macelaru received the highly coveted Solti Fellow, one of the largest grants currently awarded to American conductors. Macelaru received the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award in 2012, and despite becoming more established, says he’d be happy to be called a young conductor for some time to come.
Macelaru has been called upon to stand in for many high-profile conductors including Pierre Boulez in Chicago, Jaap van Zweden in Philadelphia, and most recently Pablo Heras-Casado when he had to return home to Spain for a family emergency just hours before the concert.
This Sunday at 1 pm on The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI, Macelaru, the Orchestra's conductor-in-residence, takes to the podium in another performance he was asked to conduct on very short notice. He will conduct Ravel's Rapsodie espagnole, Tchaikovsky's sérénade mélancolique and Valse-scherzo, and Stravinsky's Petroushka.
Macelaru is not quite done substituting for big-name conductors. In February 2015 he'll make his official Carnegie Hall debut with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. This appearance, though, will be on a more somber note since he’ll be replacing the orchestra’s recently deceased Chief Conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.