Christopher Para

A frequent guest conductor of orchestras in North America and Europe, Christopher Para has made many appearances in the Czech Republic, conducting the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, the Marienbad Symphony Orchestra, and the Hradec Králové Philharmonic Orchestra.  In recognition of his compelling interpretations of Czech masterworks, Charles University of Prague invited Mr Para to conduct a concert celebrating the 645th anniversary of the university's founding including a performance of Dvořák's New World Symphony. Para has also made European conducting appearances with orchestras in England, Italy, Poland, and Bulgaria. Christopher Para is no stranger to the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra, having played viola with the ensemble for a number of concerts, and guest conducted the orchestra in 1997.

A native of the United States, Christopher Para began his musical studies with the viola.  After receiving his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Viola Performance from the Eastman School of Music, he undertook private conducting studies with Michael Charry, former Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, and later studied at the Pierre Monteux School for Advanced Conductors, and the Aspen School Conducting Program. One of five conductors chosen to study with Pierre Boulez at the 1991 Pierre Boulez International Conducting Master Class, he traveled to London in 1992 to study conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Alan Hazeldine.

Mr Para's awards and distinctions include the 1995 Marienbad Conductor's Prize.  He was honoured in 2001 by being named The Pennsylvania/Delaware String Teachers' Association's Orchestra Conductor of the Year.  A member of the Music Faculty of Bucknell University (USA), Professor Para conducts the Bucknell University Orchestra, and teaches violin, viola, and conducting.