“Engaging, rhythmically inspired, precise in its execution, the “Mambo” was equal to a performance by Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra!”
-Austrian Press

Daniel Alfred Wachs has gained recognition as a conductor, pianist and educator. His work has been lauded by such publications as Musical America, Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register which in its review of a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and the West Coast Premiere and co-commission of Mark Anthony Turnage’s “Frieze” wrote: “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.”

Wachs made his debut on the international stage with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg 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 “. In July 2022, Wachs conducted Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony at Waldsassen Abbey in Germany and held conducting master classes at the Wolfgang Sawallisch Institute in Munich. In the fall of 2021, he led the Swedish chamber ensemble Musica Vitae to critical acclaim on a tour that concluded at the Reina Sofia Auditorium in Madrid. Wachs has conducted the Auckland Philharmonia, the National Symphony in Washington D.C., the Fort Worth Symphony, the Oakland Symphony, the Sarasota Orchestra, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, the Spartanburg Philharmonic, and was a resident conductor at New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. Wachs also served as assistant conductor at the Cincinnati Opera and for the French première of Bernstein’s Candide at the Théâtre du Châtelet.

In demand for his expertise and creative vision, Wachs served as Music Director & Conductor of The Philharmonic Society of Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra (OCYSO) in Southern California where he was also Director of Orchestral Activities at Chapman University. Concurrently, Wachs directed the only undergraduate conducting program in the United States. During Wachs’ tenure, OCYSO toured Europe twice and performed on the stage of the Walt Disney Concert Hall at the invitation of the LA Philharmonic. Wachs facilitated residencies by the Kronos Quartet and Midori as well as collaborations with the Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles and the Royal Philharmonic Society of Great Britain. His original scripts for the iconic “Concerts for Fifth Graders: Kids Playing for Kids”, presented annually by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, were performed by the Monterey and the Palm Beach Symphonies. Both OCYSO and The Chapman Orchestra were broadcast on PBS and were recipients of the American Prize.

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 as Aspen, Tanglewood and Verbier, where he worked with Christof von Dohnanyi, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Hans Graf and David Zinman. Wachs has prepared 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 and Sir Colin Davis. Additionally, he served as cover conductor for the Houston Symphony and for the Rotterdam Philharmonic on tour.

Wachs is also an accomplished opera conductor and collaborative pianist. He presently resides in Europe and serves as an Artistic Consultant for Alban Berg Ensemble Wien.


Hans Graf

Kurt Masur

Peter M. Lloyd

Subscribe to Daniel's Channel