Cristian Măcelaru

Cristian Măcelaru is Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and, beginning with the 2019–20 season, Chief Conductor Designate of the WDR Symphony Orchestra. He was born into a musical family in Timișoara, Romania. As the youngest of ten children, he received violin lessons at an early age. His studies took him from Romania to the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, University of Miami in Florida, and Rice University in Houston, where he studied conducting with Larry Rachleff. He then deepened his knowledge at the Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival in masterclasses with David Zinman, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Oliver Knussen, and Stefan Asbury.

Mr. Măcelaru first attracted international attention as a conductor in 2012 when he led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in place of Pierre Boulez. In the same year, he received the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award for young conductors, followed by the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2014. He enjoys a close association with the Philadelphia Orchestra, with whom he served as conductor-in-residence and associate conductor. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in October 2018.

Highlights of Mr. Măcelaru’s third season with the Cabrillo Festival featured collaborations with twelve composers-in-residence, including Wynton Marsalis and a record-breaking nine women; the world premiere of Kristen Kuster’s orchestral tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, When There Are Nine, with Roomful of Teeth and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton; a new cello concerto by Anna Clyne; and Tan Dun’s symphonic documentary for harp and orchestra, Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women.

The 2019–20 season sees Mr. Măcelaru in his BBC Proms debut conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and pianist Seong-Jin Cho in music by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and compatriot Constantin Silvestri; season-opening concerts with the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne performing Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Dvořák’s Te Deum; and appearances with the Swedish Radio Symphony, Belgian National Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony. He also collaborates with the Barcelona Symphony and cellist Kian Soltani, Orchestre National de Lyon and pianist Beatrice Rana, Orchestre de Paris and violinist Nicola Benedetti, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and cellist Sol Gabetta, and the Dresden Philharmonie and violinist Sergey Khachatryan. Mr. Măcelaru makes his debuts with the Western Australian Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, and the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra in China. His debut with the Singapore Symphony marks the Asian premiere of a collaboratively composed cello concerto dedicated to and performed by Jan Vogler, and written by composers Nico Muhly, Sven Helbig, and Zhou Long. For more on Cristian Măcelaru, visit

Management for Cristian Măcelaru: Primo Artists, New York, NY

(Octiber 2019)