Cristian Măcelaru has been directing WDR since the 2019-2020 season. The following season, he accepted the post of music director of the Orchestre National de France in Paris. He is the music director and conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the world's leading festival dedicated to contemporary symphonic music.
Măcelaru first attracted international attention in 2012 when he replaced Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Pierre Boulez. Since then, Măcelaru has performed regularly with top American orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra. In Europe, Măcelaru is a sought-after guest conductor who‘s appeared with orchestras such as the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks; the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; the Dresdner Philharmonie; the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; the BBC Symphony Orchestra; and the DR Symphony Orchestra.
Cristian Măcelaru was born in Timișoara, Romania. As the youngest of ten children, he received violin lessons at an early age. His studies in Romania eventually brought him to the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan; the University of Miami in Florida; and Rice University in Houston, where he studied conducting with Larry Rachleff. Măcelaru also took masterclasses at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival with David Zinman, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Oliver Knussen, and Stefan Asbury.