As Conductor-in-Residence, Cristian Măcelaru leads the Philadelphia Orchestra annually on subscription programs and special concerts since 2013. He is also Music Director of Cabrillo Festival, America’s longest running festival dedicated to new music for orchestra, and was announced Chief Conductor of the WDR Sinfonieorchester in Cologne with effect from the 2019/2020 season.
Cristian Măcelaru began his career as a violinist; he has been the youngest ever concert master of the Miami Symphony Orchestra. He has participated in the conducting programs of the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival, studying under David Zinman, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Oliver Knussen and Stefan Asbury. His main studies were with Larry Rachleff at Rice University, Houston. Winner of the 2014 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Măcelaru previously received the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award in 2012.
Cristian Măcelaru came to public attention in February 2012, when he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a replacement for Pierre Boulez in performances met with critical acclaim.
He has since conducted orchestras worldwide, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Baltimore, Seattle, Detroit and Indianapolis.
In 2017 Cristian Măcelaru made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with works by Mozart, Strauss and Wagner.