American born conductor Scott Sandmeier is celebrating his 25th season as Artistic Director of the Orchestre de Chambre de la Gironde, a chamber orchestra and festival located in southwestern France.
A critic has commented in the newspaper Sud-Ouest that Mr. Sandmeier has "brought the Orchestra de Chambre de la Gironde to a very high level of quality."
Mr. Sandmeier has appeared as guest conductor with several French orchestras including the Orchestre National d'Ile de France, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Orchestre de Bretagne, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Orchestre d'Avignon Haute Province, the Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy, the Festival de l'Orangerie de Scoaux, and the Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux. Outside of France, his guest conducting engagements have included the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin and the Opera/Ballet Orchestra of Vietnam in Hanoi. Mr. Sandmeier's career in opera has been equally successful. He conducted the world premiere of Dupin's Narcissus at the Theatre De la Commune in Paris as well as the French premiere of Britten's Owen Wingrave at the Opera comique, also in Paris. As part of the inauguration of the Cite de la Musique in Paris, Mr. Sandmeier led a performance of Prokofiev's The Love of Three Oranges.
Also active as a music educator, Mr. Sandmeier was appointed Music Director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra in 2013. Of his work there, Stephen Smolian of the San Francisco Classical Music Examiner said, “Sandmeier evoked a fresh immediacy in the performance [of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite] by the Conservatory Orchestra that could not have been a more satisfying conclusion to his first season.” Prior to his appointment in San Francisco, he was Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany for thirteen years, and continues his affiliation there. He has also appeared as a guest conductor and professor at both the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin and the Paris Conservatory, and has returned several times to conduct the Orchestre de Formation Professionnelle, a training orchestra in Lille, France. Back in the U.S., Mr. Sandmeier also served as conductor in residence for the summer season at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina from 1998 to 2006.
After beginning his schooling in the United States, Mr. Sandmeier went to the historic American Conservatory in France to participate in master classes with Leonard Bernstein. He returned to the United States to pursue graduate studies at the Juilliard School and then continued his studies at the Paris Conservatory. He has attended festivals at Tanglewood, Aspen, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and has participated in master classes with Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Gustav Meier, Yo-Yo Ma, and Sir Yehudi Menuhin.
Mr. Sandmeier made a successful return to the U.S. for a guest engagement with the Milwaukee Symphony, and made his debut with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. He made his Spanish debut conducting the Orquesta de Cámera Reina Sofia in Madrid in a concert for the Queen. He has guest conducted the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra on multiple occasions, and returns again this season. He has made six appearances as guest conductor for the Indiana University Orchestras, and twice has guest conducted the DePaul Symphony Orchestra.