"The beginning of this concert, a novelty, was probably the most difficult passage of the dramatic symphony that French Hector Berlioz composed on the famous story of Romeo and Juliet ... But if this part of the symphony was shocking for Salta, there were no less than two highlights: first the musicality, the mastery of the technical details and the talented driving pulse of Maestro Mauffray; second, the ductility of the local orchestra that irreproachably responded to the requirement of the conductor. ... he was able to create a stream of communication with his conducting to the point that the orchestra responded to his requirements in an exciting way."
- José Mario Carrer, Salta Cultura y Actualidad
"There is no question that his ensemble is steeped in the style and sound-world of Janacek in ways that most non-Eastern European orchestras are not, but that is not enough to explain the quality of the playing, the tightness of the ensemble and the musicality of the rendition here provided. Mauffray is the key to the success in such technically difficult music, which simply does not play itself."
- David Katz, chief judge - The American Prize
"The arduous task of locating and editing the dispersed performance materials is due to the patient investigative and musical work of conductor Paul Mauffray ... Anyone with an interest in the American musical theater owes a real debt of gratitude to Paul Mauffray for pursuing the performing materials, undertaking the detailed research to put them in performable shape, and seeing to it that they actually reached performance. ... Conductor Paul Mauffray directed everything with elan, shaping the singing and the playing with just the right pacing for both the comic and the sentimental numbers from the lively overture to the finale. ... And for experiencing this aspect of Chadwick’s music—and to have a wonderfully good time of it, too—warm thanks are due to Paul Mauffray and the New Orleans Opera for a truly unexpected treat."
- Steven Ledbetter, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, Feb. 10, 2018
"A cast of seven principals, 20 chorus members, four dancers and a 30-member cohort of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Mauffray brought composer George Whitefield Chadwick’s musical work “Tabasco: A Burlesque Opera” back to life under the auspices of the New Orleans Opera Association. ... Mauffray, a New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and LSU graduate whose New Orleans roots stretch back to the 1720s, did a masterful job piecing together original score fragments that his exhaustive research was able to uncover over the past eight years. ... In the orchestra pit, Mauffray was lively, animated and fully in control of the musicians in front of him and the singers onstage above him. He clearly appeared to be relishing the satisfaction of seeing his years of work finally coming to fruition."
- Dean Shapiro, The Daily Advocate, Jan. 25, 2018
"Kudos to Paul Mauffray for exceptional scholarship (and fine musicianship) researching, creating materials for, and then reviving this charming operetta [Tabasco] by one of the early masters of American music. ... When it is conducted with as much spirit and commitment as it is here - so much of it memorized! - one is eager for a fully-staged revival. The recording captures lots of the fun, while it makes a very good case for that revival ... The conductor produces a lovely, robust sound from the entire ensemble, with generally good balances, lively tempos, and plenty of energy ... and he is often clearly "in the moment" as far as the spirit and fun of the piece is concerned. Bravos all round, but especially to maestro Mauffray, who, if he has the inclination, could make his name sharing this work with audiences around the country ... and surely a Carnegie Hall performance, in front of New York critics."
- Jury evaluation for The American Prize Competition, 2016
"Impressive all Janáček program with the Hradec Králové Philharmonic, an ensemble clearly well-versed in the complexities of the composer's unique sound world. ... the orchestral sound is tightly together and richly hued ... the conductor displays an elegant beating style and appears deeply committed to the sound he is hearing."
- Jury evaluation for The American Prize Competition, 2015
“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.”
"I would like to recommend Mr. Paul Mauffray who was my Assistant in this year’s production of Kat’a Kabanova at the Theater an der Wien and who demonstrated an outstanding knowledge of Janacek’s music. He was very supportive to me throughout the production and I was satisfied with his musicality, his clear conducting technique, and his sensitive ear. Paul Mauffray also proved to be a friendly partner and a very musicological and detail oriented colleague, foremost in regard to the balance and vocal pronunciation, but also regarding questions of general opera hand-work. For all of these reasons, I can warmly recommend Paul Mauffray."
- Kirill Petrenko, Vienna, June 10, 2008
“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
"I met Mr. Paul Mauffray professionally during the preparation work of the opera “Jenůfa” by Leoš Janáček at the National Theater in Prague. He was serving as my assistant, and I can state with great pleasure that he has proved to be a gifted musician, very diligent, and always well prepared, with a genuine sense for vocal line and dramatic situation. I do recommend to support this young conductor, and I am sure he will contribute to the music scene in the future."
- Jiří Bělohlávek, April 27, 1997
"I first met Paul Mauffray in 1996 when I was conducting Janáček’s Glagolitc Mass with the Czech Philharmonic in Prague. Naturally, I was intrigued to hear about his interest in Czech music and Janáček in particular.
As a result of this meeting and because of his knowledge of both Káťa Kabanová and the Czech language, I engaged him as my assistant on the recording of Káťa which I made with Supraphon in March 1997. Throughout the recording and at all rehearsals he was extremely useful and helpful, both as a musician and as a linguist. After the recording, a concert performance was given of Káťa in the Rudolfinum. This was “semi-staged”, and Paul was extremely helpful in directing the singer’s movements. In my opinion, he is a very promising young conductor, and I wish him every success with his career, both in the Czech Republic and elsewhere."
- Sir Charles Mackerras, April 8, 1997
“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
Дирижер – Пол Моффрей
Paul Mauffray recently made his New York conducting debut at Merkin Hall in 2019 with New York Concert Artists & Associates. This year he also conducted in Argentina for the first time in a program of Berlioz and Janacek with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Salta, and next season he conducts the Prague Chamber Orchestra. In 2018 he conducted the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in the New Orleans Opera premiere of George W. Chadwick's opera Tabasco which he reconstructed from the original 1894 manuscript. He has recently conducted return engagements in Hradec Králové, Zlin, and Hainburg in programs featuring music of Janáček, Smetana, and Bruckner in his fifth concert with a soloist from the Vienna Philharmonic. During recent seasons he conducted The Devil & Daniel Webster at Mobile Opera and made his Russian debut conducting performances of Dvořák's Rusalka at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. He has recently conducted a studio recording of the opera The Scarlet Letter by Fredric Kroll in a return engagement with the Brno Philharmonic, where he previously conducted the Mozart Requiem and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring on 24 hours notice. Other recent conducting appearances of his have been in: Bear Valley, Bratislava, Brno, Chattanooga, Hradec Králové, Hukvaldy, Ostrava, Pardubice, Zlin, and with the Schloss Schönbrunn Orchester in Vienna.
He is a five-time finalist for The American Prize for Professional Orchestral Conductors winning 2nd prize in 2018, 3rd prize in both 2016 & 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 17 countries on 4 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).