• Biography

Joolz GALE

Participant of 2018

The British conductor, Joolz Gale, feels equally at home with modern and period instrument orchestras, offering not only a historically-informed approach to baroque, classical and early romantic repertoire but also an extensive knowledge of 20th-century choral, ensemble and symphonic repertoire. His innovative programming has meanwhile seen him become one of the world’s leading arrangers of symphonic music.

Born in rural England, Joolz Gale initially studied as a violinist and read Music at the University of Oxford before furthering his studies as a singer at Royal College of Music, London. Graduating in 2007, he became an inaugural apprentice to the Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, at which time he began to develop his skills as a conductor.

In the same year, he took part in the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, resulting in an immediate invitation by Jonathan Nott to make his début radio recording with Bamberger Symphoniker and Bayerischer Rundfunk. He soon went on to make conducting debuts with choirs and orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America, including Orquesta de Cadaqués, Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid, China National Symphony, Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música Catalana, Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, Shanghai Symphony and Taiwan Philharmonic as well as further guest engagements with orchestras in Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela and Turkey.

Joolz Gale meanwhile continued his conducting studies and soon developed a close relationship to his mentor, Sir Roger Norrington, who he assisted in projects with orchestras such as Mahler Chamber Orchestra and SWR Symphony Stuttgart. In 2012, he conducted the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as cover conductor for Paavo Järvi and has since taken masterclasses with him at the Järvi Academy in Estonia. More recently, Joolz Gale conducted the RIAS Kammerchor and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin as cover and assistant for Justin Doyle.

As a guest conductor, recent highlights for Joolz Gale have included a Germany-wide tour of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie (nominated for OPUS Klassik), a return to Bamberg for the theatre production “Die Deutsche Seele” with Orchesterakademie of Bamberger Symphoniker and Handel’s “Messiah” in Barcelona’s Palau de la Música.

In 2010, Joolz Gale founded Ensemble Mini (comprised of soloists from the German orchestras) to build upon his vision to reach new audiences though new concert formats and alternative locations. Projects often include newly commissioned arrangements for ensemble by Joolz Gale himself (incl. Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, Suite from Der Rosenkavalier, Bartók’s Dance Suite, Debussy’s La Mer, Bruckner’s 9th, Prokofiev’s 5th and Shostakovich’s 9th & 10th Symphonies), for which he is represented and published by Schott, Sikorski and Boosey & Hawkes.

Joolz Gale and Ensemble Mini have collaborated together with artists such as Regula Mühlemann, Ferhan & Ferzan Önder, Marlis Petersen, Gerhild Romberger, Christian Tetzlaff, Tanja Tetzlaff, Ruth Ziesak, Alexander Iskin and Elisa Carrillo Cabrera. As well as their many late-night club concerts, guest performances have included both the Philharmonie and Konzerthaus in Berlin as well as Budapest Palace of Arts (Bartók), Auditorio Nacional Madrid, Philharmonie Essen (Mahler), Zaryadye Hall Moscow (Shostakovich), Mozarteum Salzburg (Prokofiev) as well as many other cities and festivals in Europe and Asia. Plans for 2021/22 include a return to Budapest of “Bartók Beyond Borders”, Stravinsky at Musikfest Berlin / Philharmonie Berlin and Konzerthaus Dortmund, Bruckner’s 8th at Rheingau Musik Festival, Mahler’s 3rd at Kasseler Musiktage and Zemlinsky with RIAS Kammerchor.

Joolz Gale and Ensemble Mini have been reviewed and featured widely in German media (such as 3sat Kulturzeit, ZDF Aspekte, rbb Stilbruch and WDR 3) and have recorded several live concerts for Deutschlandfunk Kultur, RBB Kulturradio, NDR Kultur and SWR Classic and an award-winning debut CD, Mahler’s 9th Symphony (ARS-Produktion). In December 2013, Joolz Gale performed and toured this same arrangement with the Camerata of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. A follow-up recording with Ensemble Mini – Mahler’s 10th Symphony – was released in March 2021 to great critical acclaim and was awarded the OPUS Klassik 2021 for best chamber music recording, as well as nominations in three other categories.

Joolz Gale is generously supported by Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media.



Works conducted in the Competition:

Round 1

Beethoven: Egmont Overture, Op 84 (excerpt)
Weber: Der Freischütz Overture (excerpt)