Born in Venezuela in 1973, Cristian Grases started his musical studies in Caracas at age 11. He developed as a chorister and instrumentalist, and then as a composer, assistant conductor, and conductor of choral and instrumental ensembles. He has studied composition, arranging, choral conducting and orchestral conducting with national and international music masters. After two Bach-academie workshops with Helmuth Rilling in Venezuela, Rilling invited Grases under a scholarship to study choral and orchestral conducting at the Sommerakademie in Stutgart, Germany, in 1998.
In 2001, Grases finished his master’s degree with honors in choral conducting with María Guinand and Alberto Grau in the Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela, and in 2009 obtained his doctoral degree at the University of Miami in Florida.
Grases has served as guest conductor in concerts and workshops, nationally and internationally, and has been the coordinator of choral activities in the Youth Orchestra Foundation of Caracas under the direction of Jose Antonio Abreu. He has also taught choral conducting and methods, music history, world music and general music at the undergraduate and graduate programs in the Simon Bolivar University of Caracas, Central Washington University, University of Miami and California State University, Los Angeles.
Grases has participated in numerous festivals, workshops, and events as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator and conducting pedagogue in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Among the most recent ones are workshops and sessions as a guest conductor in France (Europa Cantat Jr.), Denmark (World Symposium on Choral Music), The Netherlands (Europa Cantat), and Caracas, Venezuela (conducting the Simon Bolivar Orchestra); masterclasses and adjudications in Indonesia, and commissions for ensembles in the San Francisco area.
During his tenure in Miami, Grases was the conductor for the Women’s Chamber Ensemble of the University of Miami; was the assistant conductor of the Miami Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Eduardo Marturet; and the conductor of the Young Musician’s Orchestra. Grases was selected to be part of the Board of Directors of the International Federation for Choral Music in 2008. He is currently assistant professor in the department of choral and sacred music and the conductor of the USC Thornton Concert Choir at the University of Southern California.