"It was as though he were telling a story with his hands."
— Pravda Cevera (Russia)
"One of the best musical conductors to appear in Latin America"
— Diario Xalapa (Mexico)
"The ever-smiling and extremely animated (Stanichar) guided the Everett Symphony through a superb performance filled with wit and charm...It was the kind of charismatic interaction with the audience and orchestra that showed the brilliance of Stanichar's directorial methods."
— Mukilteo Beacon (Seattle)
Christopher Stanichar (b. 1969) is an active conductor, composer, and educator. He is a popular conductor, having directed some of the finest orchestras in Europe, Russia, Mexico, and the United States. Stanichar is skilled at conducting all styles of music, whether it is the classical repertoire, new music, or pops, and he has accompanied a wide variety of artists, including Mark O'Connor, the rock band Kansas, and many other great musicians. He is also at home as an educator, working with ensembles of all ages, using his passion for music as a catalyst to get the best out of the orchestras he conducts, as noted in the Northwest Iowa Review: "[We] were impressed with his [Stanichar's] obvious energy, great joy of directing and outright enthusiasm."
Currently, Stanichar is the Music Director and co-founder of the highly successful South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra (SDSYO), which he has conducted since 2008 and involves more than 150 young musicians. Since 2011, Stanichar also serves as the Principal Conductor of the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra, semi-professional ensemble of some finest musicians from the region. Stanichar leads NISO in three concerts per season, in addition to the annual Concert for Children that is given each November for over 1100 area grade-school students. Finally, Stanichar is the Music Director of the Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra in Southwest Minnesota, giving exceptional musical opportunities to musicians of all ages, as well as bringing exciting symphonic music to hundreds of Minnesotans who attend these concerts at the newly renovated Memorial Auditorium.
Christopher is often invited to work as a guest conductor, and he has led the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Sochi Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Orquesta Sinfónico Juvenil del Estado de Veracruz (Mexico), Everett Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He is also a popular clinician, having conducted several youth festivals, including the high school orchestras for the International Music Camp in the International Peace Gardens in 2013.
Christopher earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in conducting at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he was a student of Gerhard Samuel. He has been selectively chosen as a participant in conducting master classes with some of the finest teaching pedagogues, including Ilya Musin, Daniel Lewis, Ken Keisler, Gerard Schwartz, John Farrer, and Donald Thulean. In 1996 he was awarded a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to study conducting in Slovakia, appearing as a guest conductor with many of the greatest orchestras in that country. In 1997 Christopher was appointed Conducting Assistant for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where he was mentored by Maestros Jesús López-Cobos and Erich Kunzel.
Stanichar has been an active conductor for two decades, having been the Music Director of the Seven Hills Sinfonietta (Cincinnati), Orchestra Omaha, and many other fine groups throughout the Midwest. He served as Director of Orchestras at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD), where he was recognized for his excellence in teaching and performance, and was awarded the Jane and Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship in 2011.
Christopher is an active composer and his works have been commissioned and performed throughout the world. You may 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 Theme by Handel is featured in the independent film, Dust of War. TrevCo-Varner Music publishes several of his works for English horn. His composition, Tales of Hans Christian Anderson, is the first concerto for nyckelharpa, a Swedish folk instrument, which premiered last year with the Hastings Symphony Orchestra in Nebraska.
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, and his children are active in music.