Conductor Daniel Alfred Wachs emerged on the international scene following his debut with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg in November 2010, leading a world première by Toshio Hosokawa at the Grosses Festspielhaus. The Austrian press praised: “Engaging, rhythmically inspired, precise in its execution, the “Mambo” was equal to a performance by Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra!” Wachs has guest conducted Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, the Auckland Philharmonia, the National Symphony Orchestra (as part of the National Conducting Institute), the Sarasota Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, the Oakland Symphony, the Monterey Symphony, the Spartanburg Philharmonic, the Palm Beach Symphony and New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. Wachs has also served as assistant conductor at the Cincinnati Opera and for the French première of Bernstein’s Candide at the Théâtre du Châtelet, a Robert Carsen co-production with La Scala and the English National Opera. In 2015, Wachs made his debut on the acclaimed new music series Jacaranda: Music at the Edge in Santa Monica, conducting works by Weill and Stravinsky.

A pianist as well as a conductor, Wachs’ performance with the Minnesota Orchestra “proved a revelation, delivering a technically impeccable, emotionally powerful performance of two Mozart piano concertos and a pair of solo works,” raved the St. Paul Pioneer Press. With the encouragement of Zubin Mehta, Wachs began his studies with Enrique Barenboim in Tel Aviv before pursuing studies at the Zürich Academy and graduating from The Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. He has also participated at such festivals at Aspen, Tanglewood and Verbier. Wachs has also been entrusted with preparing orchestras for Valery Gergiev and Vladimir Spivakov, and has served as Assistant Conductor to Osmo Vänskä at the Minnesota Orchestra and at the National Orchestra of France under Kurt Masur. Additionally, he has served as cover conductor for the Houston Symphony and for the Rotterdam Philharmonic on tour.

Committed to the cause of music education, Wachs leads the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra (OCYSO) and is Music Director of The Chapman Orchestra at Chapman University. Of a recent OCYSO performance, The Los Angeles Times states, “The performance was smashing thanks in no small part to the exceptionally well-practiced pre-professionals.” Both the OCYSO and The Chapman Orchestra were finalists for the 2012 American Prize in Orchestral Performance and OCYSO was the 2012 winner in the youth category. In May 2014, OCYSO was presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County to a sold-out Renée & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in a performance that included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and the West Coast Premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s “Frieze”.  This concert was selected by both the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times as top picks during the 2013-2014 season and was later broadcast on PBS SoCal. The Orange County Register exclaimed: “Wachs guided the ensemble with energy, precision, and a welcome sense of clarity and poise. The performance wasn’t just good by standards for younger performers, but forceful and exuberant by any standard: genuinely inspiring, technically proficient, structurally sound. The combined choruses were a powerhouse.” During the 2015-16 Season, Wachs and  OCYSO joined forces with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles, presenting the United States Premiere of Turnage’s “Passchendaele”, an OCYSO co-commission on the LA Phil’s Sounds About Town series on the stage of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The concert received ecstatic reviews from Musical America, the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register. Wachs also led a joint concert with members of OCYSO and YMF at the acclaimed Sundays Live Series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He then took OCYSO on its second international tour with concerts throughout Spain in summer 2016.

Under Wachs’ leadership, The Chapman Orchestra completed a survey of Mahler song cycles with baritone Vladimir Chernov and initiated a partnership with LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. The Chapman Orchestra’s annual Holiday Wassail Concert continues to be distributed nationally on PBS. In Orange County, Wachs was featured in the January 2016 edition of Modern Luxury and selected as one of OC Metro’s 2014 “40 Under Forty” most impressive young professionals.

An accomplished opera conductor and collaborative pianist, Wachs has led Albert Herring, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi Cosi fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, The Impresario, Amahl and the Night Visitors, acts from La Traviata and Die Fledermaus and the operas La Divina and Signor Deluso by Pasatieri. During the 2017-18 season, he will lead Hansel and Gretel, L’enfant et les sortileges and Sweeney Todd.  He has accompanied tenor William Burden in recital and recently made his debut on the LA Philharmonic Chamber Music Series at Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Wachs has brought elegance, passion and a golden tone to The Chapman Orchestra, and has infused the OC Youth Symphony with precision and grace. Think of him as Orange County’s Dudamel.

– Orange County Register