Christophe Chagnard, Conductor, Symphony Orchestra
One of the most sought-after conductors in the Pacific Northwest, French conductor Christophe Chagnard is an all-around musician acclaimed for his finely etched performances and charismatic approach to music. Mr. Chagnard received his musical training in composition and conducting from Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory where he graduated with Academic Honors. From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Chagnard served on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music and in 1993, he became the first Music Director of the New England String Ensemble in Boston.
Mr. Chagnard’s vast repertoire includes chamber, symphonic, operatic and ballet works of all styles and periods, and he has gained a distinguished reputation as a coach, educator and lecturer. He is also an active composer whose works have been heard widely in the USA and Europe. He has been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” and broadcast live on KING FM in Seattle. Mr. Chagnard also plays jazz guitar with the Panache Gypsy Jazz Quintet.
As co-founder of Northwest Sinfonietta, Mr. Chagnard has built the “finest chamber orchestra” in the Northwest and performs regularly with some of the biggest names in music, such as Lynn Harrell, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Richard Stoltzman, Awadagin Pratt and Lara St. John. Mr. Chagnard is also Music Director of the Lake Union Civic Orchestra and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra at the University of Puget Sound. His international guest appearances include performances in Russia and Japan. In January 2012, he will conduct in Cuba as part of a Nortwest Sinfonietta international tour. Mr. Chagnard’s awards include the Richard Levy Award for outstanding musicianship for three consecutive years, the Sigma Alpha Iota National Arts Associate Award and the 2006 ArtsFund Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award.
A gifted communicator, Mr. Chagnard draws audiences into a piece of music with a direct approach that is compelling and distinctly his own. He has been praised by The News Tribune as an “intensely musical conductor given sometimes to attempting unconventional performances.” With a repertoire that cuts across the symphonic, opera, ballet and choral repertories, Mr. Chagnard brings the finely-honed sensibilities of the chamber musician to orchestral performance. A commitment to music of our time, cross-genre collaborations, a keen interest in mentoring and encouraging young musicians, and an easy manner in front of audiences help make him the complete musician.
“The most notable aspect of the performance was Chagnard’s architectural conception, from the first measure through the end. With him, this is not simply gorgeous music, which, of course, it is, it is music with a point.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Puget Sound provides a dynamic, nurturing and inspiring creative environment", says Chagnard, "I am very proud to contribute to this fine institution."