Christopher Thibdeau

Conductor Cellist Teacher

Biography

Recently named Conductor and Master Teacher at the El Sistema-inspired music program Bridge Boston, Christopher Thibdeau has also served as the Music Director of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestras of Atlanta, the Interim Music Director of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Assistant Conductor of the Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra, the Conductor and Artistic Manager of Orchestras for the Atlanta Music Project, the Conductor of the Atlanta Chamber Music Festival, Associate Conductor of the Brighton Symphony Orchestra (New York), and Cover Conductor of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and Firelands Symphony Orchestra (Ohio).

Christopher's work with Bridge Boston involves teaching over 300 students that are often the most economically and socially disadvantaged in the city: 20% have been homeless, 20% have received support from the Department of Children and Families, 22% receive Special Education services, 39% are English Language Learners, and all are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Through their studies in music, the students learn how to persevere through challenges, to hold themselves to high standards, and to achieve in ways they may not have expected.

In addition to his educational work in Boston, Christopher has presented workshops and concerts in New York, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and other areas across the US. He was a panel speaker at the 2007 Connecticut State Music Teachers Association State Convention and has been featured as a guest speaker and moderator for the Eastman School of Music Polyphonic.org webinar series. Mr. Thibdeau also spent ten days as a guest artist at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul where he taught cello and conducting lessons and also had the opportunity to instruct the first ever female Afghan conductor, Negin Khpolwak.

Christopher has participated in many conducting workshops and seminars, including the Conductors Retreat at Medomak under the direction of Kenneth Kiesler, the New England Conservatory Summer Institute where he studied under Frank Battisti and Charles Peltz, and the International Conducting Institute with the Round Rock Symphony under Maestro Peter Bay. As a cellist, he has also performed in masterclasses for esteemed cellists including Steven Doane, Richard Aaron, and Stephen Thomas.

Mr. Thibdeau began studying the cello at the age of 8 and conducting at the age of 13. As an undergraduate Christopher was accepted into the conducting studio of Neil Varon and twice conducted the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra in concert. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from the Eastman School of Music where he studied cello with Alan Harris and orchestral conducting with Neil Varon, and a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Carl Topilow.

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