Alondra de la Parra

Music Director

Alondra de la Parra has gained widespread attention for her spellbinding and vibrant performances, making her one of the most compelling conductors of her generation.

She holds the distinction of being the first Mexican woman to conduct in New York City, and is an official Cultural Ambassador of Mexico. She has been heralded by Plácido Domingo as “an extraordinary conductor” and the French newspaper Le Monde states that “there is no doubt that, with Alondra de la Parra classical music has arrived into the XXI Century”.

Frequently in demand as guest conductor, Alondra de la Parra has led more than 70 orchestras around the globe including some of the most prestigious orchestras of France, Germany, USA, Japan, Brazil, Sweden and Russia including the Orchestre de Paris, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, RSB Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Milan’s Cameristi della Scala. She also undertook a tour across China with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Tolouse. In Latin America, de la Parra works frequently with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and with the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra, from whom she received their highest award. She has also conducted Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, the Buenos Aires Philharmonic in Argentina, Montevideo’s Philharmonic in Uruguay and in Mexico, the orchestras of Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Sinaloa, Xalapa, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Estado de México and the National Symphony.

Highlights of season 2014-15 were return invitations to conduct RSB Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris as well as her debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Mexico. She also conducted the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Cameristi della Scala, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin. Last summer she conducted West Side Story with a live projection of the film in Mexico’s Auditorio Nacional to an audience of 10,000 people. Moreover, she worked together with Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna and composer Enjott Schneider on a new CD project. Her recording projects also include the most recent Sony Classical release of the piano and orchestra works by Stravinsky with the RSB Berlin Symphony Orchestra and Alexej Gorlatch as well as two albums with the Sao Paolo State Symphony featuring Brazilian Symphonic works. In January 2016 she will conduct Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich as well as her subscription debut with the NHK Symphony.

Born in New York City in 1980, de la Parra moved to Mexico with her parents at age 2. She began playing the piano at age 7 and the cello at 13, and it was then when she decided she wanted to become an orchestra conductor. She returned to Mexico City and studied composition at the Centre of Research and Musical Studies (CIEM). After she moved New York City at age 19 and attended the Manhattan School of Music where she became recipient of the Presser Scholarship. There, she obtained her BM in piano performance with Jeffrey Cohen and her Masters degree in Orchestra Conducting with Kenneth Kiesler, both with the highest honors. In 2004 at age 23 Alondra de la Parra founded the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (POA). Her mission was to create an orchestra that would serve as a platform to showcase young performers and composers of the Americas, giving the continent’s music an unquestioned place in the standard orchestral repertoire. With POA de la Parra recorded her debut Album “Mi Alma Mexicana” (“My Mexican Soul released in 2010 by Sony Classical) which celebrates Mexico’s Bicentennial anniversary with 200 years of Mexican orchestral music. The album was amongst the top 10 on the US Billboard Classical Chart and was the first classical recording in more than a decade to earn Platinum Record Status in Mexico in less than two months. In the same year de la Parra and the POA performed during Mexico’s Bicentennial celebrations in the Monumento a la Independencia (Independence Monument, commonly known as “El Ángel”), an event that was attended by hundreds of thousands and seen around the world by an estimated 200 million households.

Alondra de la Parra is an avid supporter of education programs across the world. Since 2003, she has developed several education programs in public schools of NY. In Oaxaca she worked with the Benito Juárez Youth Philharmonic Band. She developed and directed a 10-day clinic program, assisted by members of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in which she worked with the children of the Orquesta Renacimiento in the state of Guerrero in Mexico. She is working on continuing these programs all around Mexican territory. She also organized a free conducting programme with Kenneth Kiesler for Mexican rising talents that celebrated its second edition this year.

She has been recently appointed as one of 11 people selected internationally as Patrons of the Arts 2015 by the Cultural Foundation of Montblanc which recognizes the major drivers of the arts in specific regions of the planet; this award will allow her to help young talent to continue their development and showcase their musical artistic potential. She has collaborated with artists including Geoffrey Rush and Robert Redford, filmmaker Michel Gondry, choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and musicians such as Plácido Domingo, Pinchas Zukerman, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Gustavo Santaolalla and Gloria Estefan, among others.

For more information, visit alondradelaparra.com.

The QSO Music Director is proudly supported by Timothy Fairfax AC.