Alondra de la Parra

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Alondra de la Parra
Alondra de la Parra 2014.jpg
Alondra de la Parra in 2014
Background information
Born (1980-10-31) October 31, 1980 (age 34)
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) conductor
Instruments Piano, Cello
Years active 1999-present

Alondra de la Parra (born October 31, 1980) is a Mexican conductor. She was also the founder and artistic director of the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Currently she is the artist director of the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra. She stepped down at the end of the 2013 season.


Born in New York City and raised from the age of two years in Mexico City, de la Parra began her piano studies at age 7 and the cello at age 13. During adolescence she discovered her passion for conducting and at the age of 16 moved to London to pursue high school and music studies at the St Leonards-Mayfield School.

In the year 2000 at age 19, de la Parra moved to New York City to study Piano and Conducting at Manhattan School of Music. She obtained a BM in Piano Performance under the direction of Jeffrey Cohen and studied conducting with her mentor, Kenneth Kiesler, receiving an MA in Conducting in 2008. De la Parra has also been coached by Marin Alsop, Charles Dutoit, and Kurt Masur.[1]


De la Parra's conducting highlights include appearances with the New World Symphony,[2] Houston[3] and San Antonio Orchestras,[4] concerts with the Singapore Sun Festival Orchestra working with Geoffrey Rush, the Russian National Orchestra collaborating with Joshua Bell and Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway,[5] and Venezuela's Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra. She was also awarded that orchestra's highest honor given to a musician.

De la Parra has presented more than twenty world premieres by composers not involved in the contemporary avant-garde, but in popular, easy to understand modern and film music, including Enrico Chapela, Paul Brantley,[6] Paul Desenne,[7] Eugenio Toussaint, Ernesto Villa-Lobos. Her apparent rejection of modern musical trends in America has raised strong debate, at the level of music criticism, about a conformist conception of modernity.[8]

De la Parra has appeared as guest conductor with the Westchester Philharmonic, the Napa Valley Symphony, the New World Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Japan Virtuoso Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Veracruz, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes, Uruguay’s Montevideo Philharmonic and Mexico’s National Symphony Orchestra, among others. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as guest conductor of the New York Pops Orchestra.

Future engagements include performances with the Quad City Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Roosevelt University Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Albustan Festival in Lebanon, among others.

De la Parra has launched two records with Sony Music, Mi Alma Mexicana – My Mexican Soul, which got the Platinum Award in the first three months, and Travieso Carmesí an album of Mexican Music with the voices of Denise G.M. ("Lo Blondo"), Ely Guerra, and Natalia Lafourcade.[9]

Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas[edit]

It was during her undergraduate studies at Manhattan School of Music that de la Parra created what would be the start of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. In 2004 the Mexican Consulate asked de la Parra to produce a concert featuring Mexican music for the Mexico Now Festival. A 65-piece orchestra concert was produced to critical acclaim from major publications.[10] [11] It was at this event that de la Parra became the first Mexican woman to ever conduct a concert in New York City.[12] Since its inception, POA has accomplished two international tours [13] ,[14] initiated a Young Composers' Competition, and established an Arts and Education Program, while also presenting an annual season in New York City.

As of June 3, 2011 the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas has suspended operations due to a difficult economic environment.[15]


  • Pablo Casals Award, Manhatthan School of Music
  • New York Women’s Agenda – Rising Star of 2007[16]
  • 1010 Wins “Newsmakers of Tomorrow” Award – winner in the Arts and Entertainment category[17]
  • “Banda de Honor”, highest honor given to conductors by the Venezuelan System of Orchestras (FESNOJIV)
  • Manhattan School of Music Taki Concordia Fellowship for Conductors Honorable Mention Award
  • “El Micrófono de Oro” Award, (Highest prize given yearly from the Mexican Broadcasting Association)[18]
  • 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


  1. ^ Andrew Calow. "Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition". Calow Classics. Archived from the original on 2007-09-02. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  2. ^ DANIEL FERNANDEZ (January 20, 2009). "Alondra de la Parra, una estrella del podio". El Nuevo Herald. 
  3. ^ HENRY FOGEL (September 12, 2008). "Joyful Community Engagement at the Houston Symphony". On the Record, Arts Journal. 
  4. ^ MIKE GREENBERG (October 25, 2008). "A Conductor with Rare Insight, Musicality". Incident Light. 
  5. ^ REBECCA COLEMAN (March 16, 2008). "Acclaimed Conductors Replace Ailing Teodor Currentzis". Boca Raton News. 
  6. ^ Paul Brantley website
  7. ^ Paul Desenne website
  8. ^ JOSE MANUEL RECILLAS (August 5, 2011). "El tsunami que viene: Alondra de la Parra vs. Carlos Miguel Prieto.". BLOG, fonoteca y música de Jose Manuel Recillas. 
  9. ^ "Mexican-American Classical Crossover: De La Parra's 'Travieso Carmesi'" (June 21, 2011) NPR
  10. ^ ALEXIS SWERDLOFF (2004-12-16). "Her Gestures Speak Louder Than Words". New York Sun. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  11. ^ Barrymore Laurence Scherer (2004-04-01). "YOUNG CONDUCTORS LEARN FROM MASUR". THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  12. ^ "26-Year-Old Woman Leads Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas". 2007-06-05. Archived from the original on 18 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  13. ^ POA Staff (2007-12-10). "POA's No-Borders Concert Tour". POA Blog. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  14. ^ Marisa Treviño (2007-11-19). "Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas performing in Dallas". Pegasus News. Archived from the original on 7 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  15. ^ The New York Times - Arts Beat - Money Woes Force Hiatus for Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas
  16. ^ New York Women's Agenda. "Bringing individuals and organizations together to affect public policy issues in New York City". New York Women's Agenda. Archived from the original on 24 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  17. ^ 1010 WINS Blog (2007-09-23). "Tomorrow's Newsmakers Awards". 1010 WINS. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  18. ^ National Arts Centre (2006-06-22). "The NAC Orchestra presents a free concert on June 29...". National Arts Centre. Retrieved 2008-01-25. [dead link]

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