Starting with season 2023/2024, Cristian Mandeal assumes the role of Orchestra’s principal conductor.
In over 40 years of uninterrupted conducting activity, Cristian Mandeal has conducted most of the Romanian orchestras, as well as prestigious orchestras on the international stage.
Cristian Mandeal studied piano, composition (with Ștefan Niculescu) and conducting (with Constantin Bugeanu) at the “Ciprian Porumbescu” Conservatory in Bucharest, and then perfected his skills with Herbert von Karajan (Berlin) and Sergiu Celibidache (Munich). His professional career began as an accompanist at the Bucharest Romanian Opera (1974/1977), and later he became the conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestras of Târgu-Mureş (1977/1980), Cluj (1980/1987) and Bucharest (1987/2009). Furthermore, Mandeal’s commitment to the music community extended to his role as Artistic Director of the “George Enescu” International Festival and Competition, in 2001 and 2003 editions.
Alongside his positions in Romania, Cristian Mandeal was also Artistic Director of the Northern Israeli Orchestra in Haifa (1999/2002) and of the Basque National Orchestra in San Sebastián, Principal Conductor of the Haydn Orchestra in Bolzano e Trento (2000/2003), Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester (2005/2010), of the Belgrade Philharmonic (2006/2007) and of the Copenhagen Philharmonic.
The extensive list of international orchestras with which he has collaborated includes some of the leading ensembles: Wiener Oper Orchester, Deutsche Oper Orchester Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, Dresdner Philharmonie, Münchner Philharmonie, Bayerisches Rundfunk Orchester, Hessisches Rundfunk Orchester, Oper und Museumsgesellschaft Orchester Frankfurt, Südwest Rundfunk Orchester Baden Baden and Saarbrücken, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Liverpool, RTE-Dublin, Orchestre Nationale de Belgique, Czech Philharmonic, Prague Symphony Orchestra and Radio Orchestra, Slovenian Radio Orchestra of Ljubljana, Orchestra della Santa Cecilia, RAI Milano, Orchestra National de Catalunya, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Aviv, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra and Portuguese National Orchestra, Göteborg Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestras of Tokyo, São Paulo, Mexico City, Helsinki, Monte Carlo, Copenhagen, Moscow, Warsaw, Sofia, Belgrade, Zagreb.
Cristian Mandeal’s exceptional talent has brought him invitations at numerous prestigious festivals worldwide, such as the George Enescu International Festival, the Prague Spring and Prague Autumn Festivals, the Bloomington Festival in the USA, the Tivoli Festival in Copenhagen, the Quincena Musical in San Sebastián, the Hannover 2000 Festival, the Janáček Festival in Ostrava, the BEMUS Festival in Belgrade, festivals in Istanbul, Ankara, Athens, Thessaloniki, Lisbon, Santander, Brescia-Bergamo, Ravello, Brno. In the halls where he had the opportunity to perform – Wiener Staatsoper, Festspielhaus Salzburg, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Berliner Philharmonie, Schauspielhaus Berlin, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Rudolphinum Prague, Gran Auditorio Madrid, Usher Hall Edinburgh, Gasteig and Herkulessaal Munich, City of Birmingham Concert Hall, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Santori Hall Tokyo – Mandeal collaborated with the most renowned artists of the international music world: Radu Lupu, Ileana Cotrubaș, Renato Bruson, Mstislav Rostropovich, Alicia de Larrocha, Ivo Pogorelić, Krystian Zimerman, Bruno Leonardo Gelber, Nelson Freire, Gerhard Oppitz, Grigory Sokolov, Ivry Gitlis, Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin, Julian Rachlin, Victoria Mullova, Shlomo Mintz, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Isabelle Faust or Maurice André.
Conductor Cristian Mandeal’s vast repertoire (both symphonic and operatic) focuses mainly on the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. He has conducted more than sixty world premieres, works by Romanian as well as by foreign composers, some of them dedicated to the conductor himself. He is a tireless promoter of George Enescu’s creation, promoting it on all continents. A special chapter is the opera Oedipe, which he premiered in the UK at the Edinburgh Festival (2002) and in Italy at the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari (2005). In 2008, he became President of the George Enescu Society in London.
Among the hundreds of minutes released on record labels such as Electrecord, BMG Ariola (Germany), AIX Record (USA), Claves (Switzerland), Bis (Sweden) and Halle Label (UK), there are the complete symphonies of Anton Bruckner (with the Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra). Cristian Mandeal has received numerous awards and distinctions: the Italian Order “Star of Italian Solidarity” in the rank of Grand Officer, Knight and Member of the Council of Honour of the National Order “For Merit – Grand Cross”, the Prize of the Romanian Composers and Musicologists Union, the Prize of the Romanian Cultural Foundation, the Radio Cultural Prize, the “Ionel Perlea” Prize, the “Dinu Lipatti” Prize or the “George Enescu” Medal.
A point of maximum interest in Cristian Mandeal’s recent period of activity is represented by his collaboration with the Romanian Youth Orchestra, which he has been constantly educating and conducting since its foundation (2008), bringing it, in record time, to an emblematic level for the Romanian culture.

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