Joolz Gale | Conductor & arranger

Winner of the OPUS Klassik 2021, Joolz Gale is a versatile British conductor who not only offers a historically informed approach to baroque, classical and early romantic repertoire but also an extensive knowledge of early 20th-century choral and symphonic repertoire. His passion to communicate and reach new audiences through special projects and 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 Sir Roger Norrington, whom he assisted in projects with orchestras such as Mahler Chamber Orchestra and SWR Symphony Stuttgart. In 2012, he also assisted Paavo Järvi, for whom he conducted Brahms and Schumann with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as cover conductor. More recently, he has taken masterclasses with Järvi at the Järvi Academy in Estonia. For the last two seasons, Joolz Gale has been invited to conduct rehearsals of RIAS Kammerchor and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin as cover and assistant for Justin Doyle.

Recent guest engagement highlights for Joolz Gale have included a Germany-wide tour of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie (nominated for the 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 Freigeist Ensemble (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 and Boosey & Hawkes.

Joolz Gale and Freigeist Ensemble (formerly Ensemble Mini) have collaborated together with RIAS Kammerchor, Regula Mühlemann, Ferhan & Ferzan Önder, Marlis Petersen, Gerhild Romberger, Christian Tetzlaff, Tanja Tetzlaff, Ruth Ziesak and Elisa Carrillo Cabrera. As well as their many late-night club concerts in Berlin and Hamburg, guest performances have included Musikfest at Philharmonie Berlin (Stravinsky), Konzerthaus Berlin (Debussy), Dortmund Konzerthaus (Mussorgsky), Essener Philharmonie (Mahler), Kissinger Sommer (Bartók), Kasseler Musiktage (Mahler) and Rheingau Musik Festival (Bruckner), which have been combined with various concerts abroad including Mozarteum Salzburg (Prokofiev), Budapest Palace of Arts (Bartók), Auditorio Nacional Madrid (Mahler) and Zaryadye Hall Moscow (Shostakovich) plus many other cities and festivals in Europe and Asia. Future plans for this season include Prokofiev’s symphonies 5 – 7 whilst plans for next season include Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder and Bruckner’s symphonies 6 – 9, all newly arranged by Joolz Gale.

Joolz Gale and Freigeist Ensemble 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 9 (ARS-Produktion). Upon its release, Joolz Gale also performed and toured this same arrangement with the Camerata of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. A follow-up recording – MAHLER 10 – was released in March 2021 to great critical acclaim and awarded the OPUS Klassik 2021 for best chamber music recording, as well as nominations in three other categories.

Joolz Gale’s upcoming album releases in 2023-24 feature his new series of live film concerts from the Meistersaal Berlin in collaboration with EuroArts.


© 2022-23 Joolz Gale. Updated: 01.03.23.
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