Cristian Măcelaru

Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Interlochen Arts Camp

Music Director Designate, Orchestre National de France; Chief Conductor, WDR Sinfonieorchester; Music Director and Conductor, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music

“He is the most insightful and serious young conductor out there today.” 
-Chicago Sun-Times


Newly appointed Chief Conductor Designate of the WDR Sinfonieorchester, Cristian Măcelaru is one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world. He takes on this new position at WDR, one of Europe's leading orchestras, effective with the 2019-20 season.

Măcelaru is Music Director and Conductor of the internationally renowned Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. In August 2018, he led his second season in premiere-filled programs of new works by an esteemed group of composers. Among the 2018 season's highlights were three world premieres, a record-breaking 16 composers-in-residence, a stunning roster of international guest artists, and two special tributes to commemorate William Bolcom's and John Corigliano's respective 80th birthdays.

Măcelaru attracted international attention for the first time in 2012, when he stepped into the breach with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, deputizing for Pierre Boulez. In the same year, he received the Solti Emerging Conductor Award for young conductors, followed in 2014 by the Solti Conducting Award. Since then, he has performed regularly at the podium of the best American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and National Symphony Orchestra.

A particularly close collaboration connects him with the Philadelphia Orchestra: Since his subscription debut in 2013, he has been on the podium of this orchestra over 100 times and served there for three seasons as Conductor-in-Residence. Prior to that, he was their Associate Conductor for two seasons and Assistant Conductor for one season. He continues a close relationship with the orchestra in leading them on annual subscription programs and other special concerts.

In Europe, Măcelaru has been in great demand as a guest conductor with many well-known orchestras and festivals, among others the Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Danish National Symphony Orchestra.