photo by Al Groft

photo by Al Groft

Christopher Para received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in viola performance from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Francis Tursi, Heidi Castleman, and John Celentano.   He completed additional post-graduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music (London).  A world traveler, he has concertized in Bulgaria, Canada, The Czech Republic, England, Italy, and Poland.

As a viola soloist, he has performed concerti with the Brighton Symphony, the Genesee Symphony, the Greece Symphony, and the University of Rochester Chamber Orchestra.  His recital appearances include performances in London on the prestigious St. James's Church series, and in Wolverhampton, England, and St. Louis.   He was also featured in a broadcast performance on National Public Radio's nationally syndicated program Music from Eastman.

A dedicated chamber musician, Para was a founding member of the Loeffler Trio, an ensemble specializing in repertoire for voice, viola, and piano.  With the Celentano Quartet and the Alma Quartet he has appeared in concerts throughout the Pennsylvania region.  He is currently violist with the Metta Quartet, a regional ensemble that enjoys an unique residency at the Hershey Medical Center, Hershey PA.  Para has a number of broadcast chamber music performances that include a CBC Radio-Canada broadcast of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 with Boston Symphony concertmaster Malcolm Lowe, Concertgebouw Orchestra principal viola Steven Dann, cellist Fred Sherry, and Awadagin Pratt; and broadcast concerts with the Celentano Quartet and the Metta Quartet, presented by WVIA Public Radio.  The Metta Quartet was recently featured in a televised concert on WVIA Public Television.

Para was principal violist of the Naples-Marco Philharmonic and the Rochester Festival Orchestra, and performed in the viola sections of the Rochester and Buffalo Philharmonic.  He has worked under the baton of conductors Pierre Boulez, David Zinman, Louis Lane and Leon Fleisher, Victor Yampolsky.  Maintaining an active career as a conductor, chamber musician, and teacher, he holds a faculty position at Bucknell University, where he conducts the university orchestra and teaches violin, viola, and conducting.