Christopher StanicharChristopher Stanichar

Composer

Christopher Stanichar"...There was a long applause at the end of the concert, and Stanichar rewarded the audience with a performance of his work entitled Poem...Stanichar is a very romantic and sincere composer, whose works disprove the notion that the avant-garde aesthetic is the major musical trend in the United States...The author of the Poem has seemed to escape this tyranny. Stanichar prefers the romantics."
  — Petersburg: Letopice Kulturi I Iskusstva
(Petersburg: Chronicle of Culture and Arts)
January 2004, by Alexander Epishin

Christopher Stanichar resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and is an active composer, conductor and educator. He has written works for orchestra, choir, chamber ensembles (including many works for English horn), art songs, and works for solo piano (his main instrument). Christopher's musical style has been described as accessible and neo-romantic. As a boy, Christopher served as a cantor for the Byzantine Catholic Church (known as Carpatho-Ruthenian chant which can be heard in the villages of Eastern Slovakia), and many of his works incorporate these Eastern European influences. His main instrument is piano, which his mother began teaching him at age five, and he played viola in youth orchestra and college.

Christopher is a highly sought-after composer, and has received several commissions and grants. His works have been performed by esteemed ensembles throughout the world, including St Petersburg State Symphony (Russia), Sochi Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Chrysostomos Choir (Slovakia), Binghamton Philharmonic, Orchestra Omaha, the Wister Quartet (members of the Philadelphia Orchestra), Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil del Estado de Veracruz (Mexico), and many others.

You may also have heard his original work, Trisagion that was used in the Ric Burns' PBS documentary, Andy Warhol. More recent projects include a full-length cantata, St. Mark Passion, written for the 150th anniversary of Augustana College as part of a Granskou grant. Another original composition, Variations on a Theme by Handel for string orchestra is scheduled to be in the independent film, Dust of War, with a release date in late 2012.

Committed to writing repertoire for English horn (an instrument that his wife, Kristi, plays professionally), he has had several works for this instrument published by TrevCo-Varner Music, including Poem, Songs of Soul Mates, Purple Lullaby, as well as Bremen Town Musicians for chamber ensemble.

Christopher attended Central Washington University, where he was a student of Robert Panerio, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in music composition in 1991. He finished his doctorate work at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied conducting with Gerhard Samuel and took many graduate courses in compositional techniques, including advanced orchestration with Samuel Adler.

Christopher is an active conductor, and serves as Associate Professor and Director Orchestras at Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD), one of the region's top-ranked liberal arts colleges, where he conducts the Augustana Orchestra and Augustana College & Community Orchestra. Recognized for his excellence, he was awarded the Jane and Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship. He also conducts the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra (SDSYO), Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra (NISO), and Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra in Minnesota.

In his free time, Christopher's interests outside of music include Russian icons, foreign languages, biking, and he is an avid pinball player. The most important thing to Christopher is his family. He enjoys making music with his wife, Kristi, and they are blessed four wonderful children, all of whom are active in music.