Chief Conductor, Sapporo Symphony Orchestra (from 2025/26)
Elias Grandy’s international profile is rapidly rising by conducting first-class orchestras and opera productions in Europe, America and Asia. Hailed by the press as “passionate and full of temperament”, “vigorous and equally precise” and praised for his ability to “grasp psychological subtleties under a microscope”, the German-Japanese conductor gave recently highly successful debuts with renowned orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic and Minnesota Orchestra.
In 23/24 the energetic, charismatic conductor will return to Frankfurt Radio Symphony, National Youth Orchestra of Germany and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Tokyo and give debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken. Furthermore, he will take the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz on a tour to Poland as their “conductor in residence” for 23/24 and appear frequently with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he enjoys a close relationship for many years.Read more
Elias is equally devoted as an opera conductor, feeling passionately about theatre and musically shaping the narrative of each drama. In recent years he has conducted highly acclaimed productions of Elektra and Carmen at Minnesota Opera, Werther and A Village Romeo and Juliet at Frankfurt Opera, Un ballo in maschera at Aalto-Theatre Essen, Carmen at Opera Nikikai Tokyo and Rusalka at Portland Opera. Future engagements include the Semperoper Dresden and reinvitations to Frankfurt Opera and Opera Nikikai Tokyo.
Last season he finished his tenure as music director of Heidelberg’s Opera and Philharmonic orchestra where he significantly raised the caliber of both, providing thoughtful, innovative programming and burnishing the city’s fast-growing reputation as a vital musical hub. Enthusiastic about making music more accessible, he introduced several highly popular concert formats for young people and an educated audience. His final season programme included Prokofjev’s Love for Three Oranges, Bruckner’s Symphony No.7 and a series of unknown works by female composers.
Born of German-Japanese parents Elias studied cello and conducting in Munich, Basel, and Berlin. He worked as a cellist in orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Komische Oper Berlin. He started his conducting career as Resident Conductor at Staatstheater Darmstadt and shortly after won the prestigious Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. In 2015 he was named music director in Heidelberg, a position he held until 2023.