Joolz Gale | Conductor & arranger

Recent winner of the OPUS Klassik, 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 for 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. Upon graduation 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 became a finalist at the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, resulting in an immediate invitation by Jonathan Nott to conduct and record his debut EP with the Bamberg Symphony and Bavarian Radio.

Joolz Gale furthered his conducting studies with Sir Roger Norrington, with whom he developed a close relationship as assistant conductor with orchestras such as Mahler Chamber Orchestra, SWR Symphony Stuttgart and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as well as several of the world’s leading period instrument orchestras. He also conducted Brahms and Schumann with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as assistant to Paavo Järvi, going on to take masterclasses with him at the Järvi Academy in Estonia. More recently, Joolz Gale has conducted the RIAS Kammerchor Berlin and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in various projects as cover and assistant for Justin Doyle.


Joolz Gale has meanwhile made conducting debuts with choirs and orchestras throughout Europe and Asia, 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 Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Turkey and Venezuela. Recent guest engagement highlights for Joolz Gale have included a return to Bamberg Symphony for the theatre production “Die Deutsche Seele”, Handel’s “Messiah” at Barcelona’s Palau de la Música and a Germany-wide tour of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie (for which he was subsequently nominated for the OPUS Klassik).


Joolz Gale is founder and artistic director of Freigeist Ensemble (comprised of soloists from Germany’s top orchestras), performing with a wealthy array of artistic partners including RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, Sarah Connolly, Regula Mühlemann, Ferhan & Ferzan Önder, Marlis Petersen, Gerhild Romberger, Christian Tetzlaff, Tanja Tetzlaff, Ruth Ziesak and Elisa Carrillo Cabrera. As well as the ensemble’s 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), Rheingau Musik Festival (Bruckner) and Musikfest Stuttgart (Mahler), 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.


Joolz Gale and Freigeist Ensemble (formerly 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 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 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.


With over 40 works so far to his name, projects with Freigeist Ensemble often include newly commissioned arrangements by Joolz Gale for chamber orchestra (such as Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin, Bruckner’s 9th, Debussy’s La Mer, Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, Prokofiev’s 5th, Shostakovich’s 10th, Strauss’ Suite from Der Rosenkavalier and Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements), for which he is represented and published by Schott and Boosey & Hawkes. Plans for the upcoming season include new arrangements of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, Shostakovich’s 8th Symphony and Bruckner’s 6th Symphony.


© 2023-24 Joolz Gale. Updated: 01.08.23.
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