Joel Sandelson came to international prominence when he won the Herbert von Karajan Young Conductors Award at the Salzburg Festival in summer 2021. In 2022 he made his debuts with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London (Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Jonathan Dove’s Gaspard’s Foxtrot) and with the Orquesta de València (works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Cabanilles). Future engagements include his debuts with the Stuttgart State Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano and the Dresden Philharmonic.
Joel Sandelson has already conducted orchestras such as the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Camerata Salzburg, the Hallé Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century.
From 2018 to 2020 he held a Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; during this time he was assistant conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He has assisted conductors such as Mark Elder, François-Xavier Roth, Thomas Dausgaard, Edward Gardner and Yan Pascal Tortelier. He is also the founder and director of the orchestra Wond’rous Machine, which performs on period instruments.
Joel Sandelson graduated from Cambridge University in 2016 with the highest honours, and continued his training at London’s Royal Academy of Music with Sian Edwards. He received further encouragement at the renowned Tanglewood Music Center, and from conductors such as Roger Norrington, Thomas Søndergård, Joseph Swensen, Jorma Panula and Mark Stringer. In 2020 he won third prize at the Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition.
Joel Sandelson began his musical training as a cellist, performing in recitals and chamber music concerts at venues including the Wigmore Hall in London. He went on to give concerts as a soloist throughout Europe, participated successfully in several competitions, and performed as a Baroque cellist with leading British early music ensembles.