Born in Bulgaria and a graduate of the Hochschule für Musik, Berlin, Yordan Kamdzhalov was unanimously chosen as General Music Director by the City of Heidelberg in 2011. At the age of 30 this appointment involved his becoming Chief Conductor of the Opera Theater, the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra and Heidelberg’s Schloss Festival; the same year, after a successful series of concerts with the National Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, he was also invited to become Principal Guest Conductor. In December 2013 he made his Tokyo-debut with the New Japan Philharmonic and was at once re-invited.
Amongst other concert and operatic engagements prior to his Heidelberg appointment he conducted Carmen with great success at the Komische Oper Berlin and was re-invited for Tales of Hoffmann, the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra (immediately re-invited), the Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa, the English Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, USA tour with MusikFabrik Köln in Boston and in New-York an international concert tour with Helsinki Baroque and the Mezzo Soprano Veselina Kasarova. Also there were concerts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin at the Philharmonie Berlin (broadcast live 2011), with the Philharmonia Orchestra at London’s Festival Hall (2010), the Orchestra Toscana at the Teatro Verdi in Florence (broadcast live 2011) and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra.
In 2009 he was unanimously awarded 1st Prize at the Jorma Panula International Conducting Competition and the following year 3rd Prize at the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, Bamberg; he was also selected to work over an extended period with the Philharmonia and London Philharmonic Orchestras as part of the Allianz Cultural Programme; this involved working with well-established conducting mentors including Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Jurowski and Esa Pekka Salonen (who subsequently invited him to act as Cover Conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra).
More recently he has conducted Carmen and Turandot (Theater Magdeburg), Maria Stuarda (Staatstheater Darmstadt), Tosca (Wintherthur) and made his debut at the Theater Bonn and at the Lisbon Opera. As General Music Director in Heidelberg he opened the rebuilt Opera Theater in 2012 conducting Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa and his subsequent performances of Wolfgang Rihm’s new opera Dionysos earned him Opernwelt’s nomination for “Best performance of the Year”. His time at Heidelberg has seen highest number of sell-outs in the history of the Opera and the orchestra. Orchestrally, he has recently made debuts in Sweden, Singapore, Riga and Japan, and has an upcoming concert in St Petersburg with the State Hermitage Orchestra. In Heidelberg a forthcoming Bartok 3rd Piano Concerto with Plamena Mangova will be broadcast nationally and at the International Heidelberger Frühling Festival in 2014 will see Das Lied von der Erde with Christianne Stotjin.
Kamdzhalov has a particular interest in contemporary music and is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Berlin Group International Ensemble Innorelatio. Chosen by Peter Eötvos, he took part in the Lucerne Festival Academy (2007) which involved workshops with Pierre Boulez as well as a public performance of Stockhausen’s Gruppen for three orchestras, and his German debut (2005) was the World Première of B. Schweitzer’s opera Informationen über Bartelsby in cooperation with the Komische Oper Berlin.
In order to have more flexibility with international engagements Yordan Kamdzhalov has reluctantly decided not to renew his contract but has been invited by the City of Heidelberg to become Principal Guest Conductor.