Paul Mauffray is currently conducting performances of the opera Tabasco by George W. Chadwick which he is reconstructing from the original 1894 manuscript. Recent conducting appearances have been in: Bratislava, Chattanooga, Hradec Králové, Hukvaldy, Ostrava, Pardubice, Zlin, and with the Schloss Schönbrunn Orchester in Vienna.
He is a twice finalist for The American Prize for Professional Orchestral Conductors winning 3rd prize in 2015 and awarded Honorary Mention in 2014. As 2nd Prize Winner in the 2007 Bartók International Opera Conducting Competition, Mauffray has conducted performances of Bluebeard’s Castle and La Traviata, as well as scenes from La bohème, Carmen, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Rigoletto, Samson et Dalila, & Tosca in Romania. He then appeared as a guest conductor at the Bucharest National Opera in 2010, and he was invited by Valery Gergiev in 2011 to coach singers and conduct orchestra rehearsals at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg.
While engaged as Associate Instructor / Assistant Conductor at Indiana University Opera, he also conducted Pictures at an Exhibition in return engagements with the Janáček Philharmonic in Ostrava, Hansel & Gretel at Opéra Louisiane, and was invited for return engagements in Zlin, Žilina, and Hainburg Austria with violin-soloist Tomas Vinklat, member of the Vienna Philharmonic.
He has conducted in 16 countries on 3 continents and developed his symphonic repertoire with regular engagements predominantly with Czech orchestras since 1994. He has also conducted Così fan tutte at the Schleswig-Holstein Landestheater, and subscription concerts with the Augsburg Philharmonic, Slovak Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de Lyon.
Mauffray has been engaged as Studienleiter /Assistant Conductor at the Janáček Opera/National Theater in Brno, where he conducted Don Carlos. His successful performance of Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps (taken over on 24 hours notice) with the Brno Philharmonic led to an immediate return engagement in Mozart’s Requiem.
Paul Mauffray’s passion for the operas of Leoš Janáček led him to study in the Czech Republic and work as assistant to conductors Bohumil Gregor, Jiří Bělohlávek, and Sir Charles Mackerras. He has worked as assistant conductor on over eight productions of Janáček operas including, Jenůfa, Káťa Kabanová, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Makropulos Case, and the American premiere of Osud (Fate).
Mauffray has been an assistant conductor at the Prague National Theater, with the Czech Philharmonic on recordings of Káťa Kabanová, Rusalka, and at the Salzburg Festival with Sir John Eliot Gardiner on Jenůfa. He has also conducted at the Bard Music Festival in New York as assistant to Leon Botstein. In 2008, he was engaged as Studienleiter/Assistant Conductor and Czech Language Coach on Káťa Kabanová with Kirill Petrenko and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at Theater an der Wien.
A native of Louisiana, Mauffray began his music studies at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and Louisiana State University. He studied conducting in Germany with Sergiu Celibedache, at Indiana University with Arthur Fagen and David Effron, was a conducting fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, and has conducted in Masterclasses under the guidance of Larry Rachleff, David Zinman, James Conlon, David Robertson, and Jorma Panula.
He was awarded First Prize in the 1996 Freedman Conducting Competition, and was semi-finalist in: Bonn, Cadaques, and in the Prague Spring Conducting Competition where he earned Honorary Mention. He was the only American conductor admitted to the orchestra rounds of the 2001 Besançon conducting competition. He has also been one of a select number of conductors invited to participate in Masterclasses with Michael Tilson Thomas in Miami (2001), with Esa-Pekka Salonen in Singapore (2008), and with Franz Welser-Möst in Indiana (2010).
“Mauffray’s chamber-sized ensemble, drawn from the ranks of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, was joined by the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, and a cast of pleasing soloists to bring ‘Tabasco’ back to life for the first time in 120 years. The hour-long taste of the work left the audience eager for more. ... Throughout, Mauffray drove the work with a sprightly pace and a nice attention to the colorful details Chadwick has woven throughout the score.”
“Mauffray’s repeat appearance was made thanks to his earlier successful performance as guest conductor. His admirable Czech, sympathetic delivery, and his sensitivity to the music won the audience’s attention.”
- Hradecke noviny, Czech Rep. Jan. 24, 2002
“The young guest conductor Paul Mauffray engaged in the Bavarian meter changes with agility [Werner Egk]. Rhythmically gifted, as American musicians are, he quickly slipped into the Bavarian costume. Mauffray succeeded in bringing together the stoicism of the rhythmically ticking percussion [Ravel -Boléro], as well as the harmonically more and more bizarrely overlaid instrumental textures, to such a well-planned climax, that the orgiastic release with the famous ‘break point’ arrived right on time and led to wildly enthusiastic applause.”
- Augsburger Allgemeine, April 4, 2001
“An exceptional performance that the strings of the Orchestre National de Lyon, under the eloquent conducting of Paul Mauffray, raised to its zenith.”
- Fabrice Arfi, Lyon Figaro, March 3, 2001
“In the pit, guest conductor Paul Mauffray led the Oakland East Bay Symphony in a crisp, flexible rendering of the Tchaikovsky score.”
- Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 14, 2000
“Mauffray shined foremost with a clear sense of style, precision, maximum expression, and naturalness in every piece, whether it was the effective Tchaikovsky, polyphonic Mahler, impressionistic Vaughan-Williams, or the academic festive Brahms. The entire evening’s concept deserved admiration, and the theme ‘Folk Song in the Symphony’ under Mauffray’s inspiring direction became at once completely clear. The philharmonic came together for an extraordinary performance and played for their lives. The director of the Hradec ensemble said that ‘Paul Mauffray wants to be a Czech Bernstein!’, and he is succeeding without any reservation.”
- Jiri Vanicek, Mlada Fronta Dnes, Feb. 9, 2000
“The conductor gave his commentary in Czech. This along with his conducting wasn’t the only thing with which he dazzled. During the concert he performed many excerpts on the piano from the orchestra works, among which he played the Tchaikovsky in an especially stunning manner!”
- Marcela Chadimova, Hradecke Noviny Feb. 4, 2000
“Conductor Paul Mauffray, making his professional American debut after working in Europe for the past few years, has a deft feel for the music, adding pep and paying close attention to the intricacies of the orchestration.”
- Ted Mahne, Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Feb. 25, 2000
“His inner relationship to the composition was more than clear. Mauffray showed the listeners an entire spectrum of artistic qualities. His spirited ‘Firebird’ was indeed a real experience!”
- Mlada Fronta Dnes, Czech Republic, Feb. 23, 1999
“Alone the conductor is a show! He raged, danced, and with the gestures of his whole body he animated his musicians to peak performance.”
- The Haldensleben People’s Voice, Germany, Aug. 16, 1996