Cristian Măcelaru, newly appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, reflects on his own experience as a young musician and why it's important to inspire the next generation.
Photo credit: rr jones
Cristian Măcelaru has been named the inaugural Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO) at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey announced today. The appointment takes effect immediately.
“Cristi’s palpable joy for music-making and high artistic standards consistently bring out the very best in our emerging young musicians,” Devey said. “He is the ideal leader and artist to take our summer orchestral program to new heights.”
A conductor of international renown, Măcelaru is the newly appointed Music Director of the Orchestre National de France, Chief Conductor of the WDR Sinfonieorchester, and Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. In this newly created role, Măcelaru will lead the artistic development of Interlochen’s summer orchestra program, advise on repertoire selection, and help recruit guest conductors, soloists, and summer music faculty. He will also conduct WYSO and work with other large ensembles at Interlochen Arts Camp during a week-long residency.
The new role will enable Măcelaru to build on his long and meaningful history with Interlochen—and with WYSO. He first came to Interlochen from his native Romania as a young violin student at Interlochen Arts Academy, which he attended from 1997 to 1999. He also attended Interlochen Arts Camp, where he served as concertmaster of WYSO in the summer of 1998. He has since returned to the Interlochen campus many times, most recently as a guest conductor of WYSO for three summers.
Măcelaru’s appointment is the latest in a series of major investments in the music program at Interlochen. This fall, Interlochen unveiled a $24 million state-of-the-art Music Center that seamlessly integrates top-notch acoustical engineering with expansive rehearsal halls; spacious teaching, recording, and practice studios; and lounge areas to foster and encourage student and faculty collaboration.
“Interlochen was where I learned to dream,” Măcelaru said. “It taught me and countless others to have the audacity to believe in the impossible. But most importantly, it gave us the tools needed to achieve our goals. I find myself reminded of this every time I return to Interlochen. The desire to help inspire other young musicians to define their dreams, and help them fulfill their potential, has remained with me since my graduation 20 years ago. With this goal in mind I join my illustrious colleagues at Interlochen. Together, we will continue forging a path where our young artists can learn the language that unites us all—the arts.”
Măcelaru performs regularly at the podium of the best American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra—an orchestra he has conducted more than 100 times. In Europe, he regularly conducts the Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Czech Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony Orchestra.
About Cristian Măcelaru
After graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy in 1999, Măcelaru attended the University of Miami in Florida and Rice University in Houston, where he studied conducting with Larry Rachleff. He then deepened his knowledge at Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival in masterclasses with David Zinman, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Oliver Knussen, and Stefan Asbury.
Măcelaru first attracted international attention in 2012, when he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, stepping in 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 is in great demand in North America and Europe as a guest conductor with leading orchestras and festivals. He is the newly appointed Music Director of the Orchestre National de France, Chief Conductor of the WDR Sinfonieorchester, and Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
About the World Youth Symphony Orchestra
The internationally recognized home of the world’s most talented young classical musicians, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO) is the founding ensemble of Interlochen Arts Camp. Since 1928, top conductors and guest artists from around the world have joined WYSO to inspire young musicians to perform together at a level they’ve never experienced. Young WYSO musicians have played alongside leading professional artists Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, and Christine Brewer. To learn more about WYSO and the 2020 Interlochen Arts Camp season, visit camp.interlochen.org.