B i o g r a p h y

Joel Sandelson’s engaging and insightful musicianship was recognised internationally in summer 2021 after winning the prestigious Salzburg Festival Herbert von Karajan Young Conductors Award. This success has firmly placed him as one of the most exciting emerging conductors and he will return to Salzburg this summer to lead the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. Other recent and upcoming engagements include debuts with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, Dresdner Philharmonie, Orquestra de València and Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck. 

Joel has previously worked with orchestras including the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Camerata Salzburg, Hallé, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, among others. In 2020 he completed two seasons as Assistant Conductor at the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Leverhulme Conducting Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is also founder and director of the London-based period instrument orchestra Wond’rous Machine, with whom he has made recent debuts at the Southbank Centre and St John’s Smith Square. He has assisted conductors including Sir Mark Elder, François-Xavier Roth, Thomas Dausgaard, Edward Gardner, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Jac van Steen.

Sandelson graduated from Cambridge University with a double starred First in music and went on to study conducting at the Royal Academy of Music with Sian Edwards, gaining the DipRAM prize. Joel has also studied at Tanglewood as well as in masterclasses with Sir Roger Norrington, Martyn Brabbins, Thomas Søndergård, Joseph Swensen, Jorma Panula and Mark Stringer. He won third prize at the Siemens-Hallé International Conductors Competition in 2020, and at Cambridge he won first prize in the Cambridge University Conducting Competition in 2014 and 2015, conducting concert tours in Europe as the university’s Conducting Scholar. Originally a cellist, early highlights included solo recitals at Wigmore Hall and concertos with orchestras in the UK and Europe.