Born in Venezuela, Dr. Cristian Grases earned degrees from the Simón Bolívar University (MM) in Caracas, Venezuela and the University of Miami (DMA). He joined the University of Southern California faculty in the fall of 2010 and is currently a professor of choral music, conductor of the USC Thornton Concert Choir and Vice-Dean of the Classical Division.

Dr. Grases is a sought-after conductor, clinician, academic and adjudicator, who has traveled to Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, conducting in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and presenting in numerous international conventions and symposia. He is an award-winning composer, whose works have been commissioned and sung by numerous well-recognized and respected ensembles around the world. In addition, Grases continues to serve on many international committees including the artistic committee for the World Youth Choir and the World Symposium on Choral Music.

Throughout his career, Dr. Grases was vice president for Latin America with the International Federation for Choral Music (ICFM) and chair of the Ethnic Music Repertoire and Resources Committee for the Western Division of the American Choral Directors Association (2009-2018). In addition, he served as interim director of choral activities at Central Washington University, assistant professor in choral music at California State University - Los Angeles and national coordinator of choirs for the internationally renowned EL SISTEMA program under Maestro José Antonio Abreu.

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