Maestro puts in payback time

Maestro puts in payback time


norman lebrecht

November 18, 2019

Cristian Măcelaru, the youngest of 10 in an impoverished Romanian family, opened an envelope one day to find he’d been offered a full scholarship to attend the Interlochen Academy in the USA.

He spent two years at Interlochen, 1997-99, one of them as concertmaster of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Today, he became artistic director and principal conductor of the Interlochen orchestra.

Elsewhere, he’s music director of the Orchestre National de France, the WDR Sinfonieorchester and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.



  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    It’s stories like this, like ‘coming home’ from one’s youth to adulthood, being the mentor now. How beautiful is that! Congratulations, Cristian!

  • Rob says:

    And here are the “impoverished” making music in 1992…

  • Chris says:

    I worked in the mailroom at Interlochen during that time. Every program went through our office, and I remember seeing his name as concertmaster every week 🙂

  • Symphony musician says:

    He’s such a nice guy in front of an orchestra and a brilliant musician, but why do so many conductors want to be the MD of several different institutions? It’s often not great for the institutions because their MD is spread too thin, and in the long run it’s often not as good for the conductors’ career & reputation (except financially!) as sticking to one leadership position at a time.