Stefan Sanders

music director


Stefan Sanders is the newly appointed Music Director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic. After a two-year search process and three riveting concerts, the Spartanburg Philharmonic was excited to announce on March 19, 2018 that Sanders won the title of Music Director. Sanders joins the Philharmonic as it celebrates its 90th season and is thrilled to be leading the organization during such a historic time. This August, Sanders along with his wife, professional harpist Kela Walton, will make Spartanburg their home.

This season also commences his second as Music Director for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra in North Carolina and his sixth season as Music Director for the Round Rock Symphony in Central Texas. He recently concluded a one year appointment as Principal Conductor for the Hot Springs Music Festival in Hot Springs, AK and a successful four year tenure with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Having joined the BPO as its Associate Conductor in 2014, after two seasons, Sanders was promoted to Resident Conductor. With the BPO, Stefan lead over 200 performances on the classical, pops, and educational series.

Stefan will return to the Naples Philharmonic this December for five performances and make his debut with the Stockton Symphony (CA) in October. In May of 2018, Sanders lead the National Orchestra of Cuba in a program of the legendary film music of John Williams. He has also served as cover/assistant conductor for the New York Philharmonic and was invited to work with high school orchestras in Ann Arbor, MI as a part of the New York Philharmonic's 17/18 residency at the University of Michigan. 

Sanders has collaborated with an array of distinguished orchestras and guest artists. Recent appearances have included the Sarasota Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica de Guayaquil (Ecuador), Filharmonia Warminsko-Mazurska (Poland), San Antonio Symphony, Symphoria (Syracuse, NY), Austin Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Austin Opera, Corpus Christi Opera, and the Round Top International Festival Institute.

Stefan was a featured conductor in the 2016 League of American Orchestras “Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview.” The prestigious conductor showcase is designed to feature talented young conductors poised for music directorships with American Orchestras and was hosted by Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony.

Prior to a career as a conductor, Stefan was an internationally renowned trombonist, having performed as a soloist in North America, Asia and Europe. His performance of Eric Ewazen’s Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra, with the Czech Philharmonic, can be heard on the Albany Records label. Mr. Sanders was a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic’s trombone section for seven seasons and has performed with several orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, and the Seattle Opera’s 2001 production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Stefan was a fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen under the tutelage of maestros, Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff and Hugh Wolff.  He is a graduate of the the Juilliard School, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Interlochen Arts Academy.