Alondra de la Parra

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Alondra de la Parra
Alondra de la Parra 2014.jpg
Alondra de la Parra in 2014
Born (1980-10-31) October 31, 1980 (age 39)
Years active1999–present

Alondra de la Parra (born October 31, 1980) is a Mexican American conductor and the current Music Director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the first female principal conductor of an Australian symphony orchestra.[1] De la Parra is also an official Cultural Ambassador of Mexico.

Personal life[edit]

De la Parra was born in New York City, the daughter of Manelick de la Parra, a writer and editor, and Graciela Borja, a sociologist and educator.[2] Her father was a film student at New York University and her mother a sociology student at The New School at the time of her birth and early childhood, through age 3.[3] Her grandmother was the writer Yolanda Vargas Dulché, and her aunt is the actress Emoé de la Parra. Her brother is Mane de la Parra.

She is mother of two sons, Luciano (born 2016) and Julián (born 2018)


The family subsequently moved to Mexico City, where de la Parra began her piano studies at age 7 and the cello at age 13. She also developed an interest in conducting around age 13. After a year of study at St Leonards-Mayfield School,[3] she studied composition at the Centre of Research and Musical Studies in Mexico City.[1] At age 19, de la Parra returned to New York City, to study piano and conducting at the Manhattan School of Music. She obtained a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance under the direction of Jeffrey Cohen and studied conducting with Michael Charry and Kenneth Kiesler, receiving an MA in Conducting in 2008. Her other conducting mentors include Marin Alsop, Charles Dutoit, and Kurt Masur.[4] She served as an apprentice conductor with the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra.[2]

In 2003, de la Parra founded her own ensemble, the Mexican-American Orchestra, at the behest of the Mexican Consulate, which asked de la Parra to produce a concert featuring Mexican music for the Mexico Now Festival.[3] The resulting 65-member orchestra was renamed in 2004 the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (POA).[5] The POA toured to Mexico in 2007.[2] The orchestra and de la Parra released two commercial recordings, Mi Alma Mexicana – My Mexican Soul, and Travieso Carmesí.[6] In June 2011, the POA suspended operations because of financial difficulties.[7] De la Parra was artistic director of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco from 2012 to 2013.[8][9]

In May 2015, de la Parra made her first guest-conducting appearance with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO).[10] In October 2015, the QSO announced the appointment of de la Parra as its first-ever music director and first-ever female conductor in its principal conducting post, effective in 2017.[11] Her appointment is for 3 years, where she will work for 14 weeks each year.[12]


  • Pablo Casals Award, Manhattan School of Music
  • New York Women's Agenda – Rising Star of 2007
  • 1010 WINS "Newsmakers of Tomorrow" Award – winner in the Arts and Entertainment category
  • "Banda de Honor", highest honor given to conductors by the Venezuelan Fundación del Estado para el Sistema Nacional de las Orquestas Juveniles e Infantiles de Venezuela (FESNOJIV)
  • Manhattan School of Music Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship – Honorable Mention Award
  • El Micrófono de Oro Award, (Highest prize given yearly from the Mexican Broadcasting Association)
  • Presser Merit Scholarship Award, Manhattan School of Music
  • Amigos de la Música Music Award, Cuernavaca, Morelos
  • Luna Award, Auditorio Nacional México
  • Poder Award, ABC Foundation and Poder magazine
  • 2017 Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction – "Olympic Suite" for ESPN Deportes 2016 Summer Olympics coverage
  • 2018 Woman of the Year (Mexico)


  1. ^ a b Clive Paget (2015-10-23). "Meet the Queensland Symphony's trailblazing new Music Director". Limelight. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  2. ^ a b c Matthew Gurewitsch (2008-06-01). "A Baton for the Youth of the Americas". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  3. ^ a b c Alexis Swerdloff (2004-12-16). "Her Gestures Speak Louder Than Words". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
  4. ^ Barrymore Laurence Scherer (2004-04-01). "Young Conductors Learn from Masur". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
  5. ^ Anne Midgette (2006-06-10). "A Conductor's Do-It-Yourself Project: Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  6. ^ Carlos Reyes (2011-06-21). "Mexican-American Classical Crossover: De La Parra's Travieso Carmesi". National Public Radio ( blog). Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  7. ^ Daniel J. Wakin (2011-06-03). "Money Woes Force Hiatus for Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas". The New York Times (ArtsBeat blog). Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  8. ^ "Alondra de la Parra dirigirá la Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco". El Economista (in Spanish). 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  9. ^ "Florence Cassez y Alondra de la Parra: el fin de dos historias". Union Jalisco (in Spanish). 2013-01-24. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  10. ^ Matthew Westwood (2015-10-24). "QSO's Alondra de la Parra: first woman to head a state orchestra". The Australian. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  11. ^ "Queensland Symphony Orchestra announces acclaimed Conductor Alondra de la Parra as Music Director" (Press release). Queensland Symphony Orchestra. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-28.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Cosic, Miriam (2016-07-21). "Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra fires up Queensland Symphony Orchestra". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 2017-10-03. (subscription required)

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Héctor Guzmán
Artistic Director, Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco
Succeeded by
Marco Parisotto
Preceded by
Johannes Fritzsch (chief conductor)
Music Director, Queensland Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by