Elias Grandy’s international profile is rapidly rising by conducting first-class orchestras and opera productions in Europe, America, and Asia. Hailed by the press as “passionate and full of temperament,” “vigorous and equally precise,” and praised for his ability to “grasp psychological subtleties under a microscope,” the German-Japanese conductor recently gave highly successful debuts with renowned orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic, and Minnesota Orchestra.
In 2023/24 Grandy will return to the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, National Youth Orchestra of Germany, and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Tokyo and give debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken. Furthermore, he will take the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz on a tour to Poland as their “conductor in residence” for 2023/24 and appear frequently with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he has enjoyed a close relationship for many years.
Grandy is equally devoted as an opera conductor, with his passion for theatre informing his musical shaping of each drama’s narrative. In recent years he has conducted highly acclaimed productions of Elektra and Carmen at the Minnesota Opera, Werther and A Village Romeo and Juliet at the Frankfurt Opera, Un ballo in maschera at the Aalto-Theatre Essen, Carmen at Opera Nikikai Tokyo and Rusalka at the Portland Opera. Future engagements include the Semperoper Dresden and reinvitations to the Frankfurt Opera and Opera Nikikai Tokyo.
Last season he finished his tenure as music director of Heidelberg’s Opera and Philharmonic orchestra where he significantly raised the caliber of both, providing thoughtful, innovative programming and burnishing the city’s fast-growing reputation as a vital musical hub. Enthusiastic about making music more accessible, he introduced several highly popular concert formats for young people and an educated audience. His final season program included Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 and a series of unknown works by female composers.
Born of German-Japanese parents, Grandy studied cello and conducting in Munich, Basel, and Berlin. He worked as a cellist in orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Komische Oper Berlin. He started his conducting career as Resident Conductor at Staatstheater Darmstadt and shortly after won the prestigious Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. In 2015 he was named music director in Heidelberg, a position he held until 2023.
He has been selected by the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra to be their Chief Conductor, starting in April 2025.
Grandy was a member of the Orchestra Academy (cello) in 2004, and of the Conducting Academy in 2012. In 2024 he makes his return to PMF as Guest Conductor.