Stanley Dodds

Stanley Dodds is the designated Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the newly founded Cavatina Philharmonic Orchestra, resident in Cavatina Hall in Bielsko-Biała, Poland. In the inaugural season 2024/2025 he will conduct 20 programs with the city's first ever full-time professional orchestra.

He is the Principal Conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra since 2014, resident in the Philharmonie Berlin. Annual season highlights include the New Year's Day concert with Beethoven's ninth symphony, an opera gala, themed symphony concerts and showcase concerts featuring instrumental concertos. This popular series is now in its seventh decade and plays consistently to a full house in the Philharmonie.

In 2024 he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Sydney Youth Orchestra, and has been artistic director of the State Youth Orchestra of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania since 2014.

His passion for contemporary music led him to found the ZeMu! Ensemble in 2021, which gave its inaugural performances at the Singapore International Arts Festival the following year premiering the multimedia work "The Once and Future", with further performances at the New Vision Arts Festival in Hong Kong in 2023. His recordings of works by Wolfgang Rihm with musicians of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra were nominated in the category "Conductor of the Year" in Germany's 2022 Opus Classic Awards. Further important performances and recordings include Martón Illés Violin Concerto with Patricia Kopatschinskaya and the Karajan-Academy Orchestra, a "Baltic Roots" project with Baiba Skride, the world premiere of “Alavò” by Vito Žuraj and works by Esa-Pekka Salonen with members of the Berlin Philharmoniker.

He has conducted opera productions of Mozart “Cosi fan tutte”, Bizet “Carmen”, Viardot “Cendrillon”, Weill “Mahagonny Songspiel” and Hindemith “Lehrstück”, Offenbach “The Princess of Trapezunt”, Haydn “Il mondo della luna”, Mozart/Tarkmann “Die Zauberflöte” and Albrecht “Ritter Parceval”.

When the Berliner Philharmoniker cancelled live performances during the shutdown from March until July 2020 Stanley Dodds created and produced "The Berlin Phil Series", an eleven episode series of weekly online concerts for the Digital Concert Hall, where members of the Berliner Philharmoniker played and presented thematically conceived programs, complemented with selections from the Digital Concert Hall archive.

A highlight of the 2016 season was the invitation to conduct a concert with the Australian World Orchestra in the Sydney Opera House. Inaugurated in 2011 the orchestra annually brings together Australia's successful classical musicians from around the world, including members of the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra, amongst many others. Previous conductors have been Simone Young, Alexander Briger, Zubin Mehta and Sir Simon Rattle.

Past guest conductor appearances include the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Halle, Hamburger Symphoniker, Sendai Philharmonic, Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique Luxembourg,  Jena Philharmonic, Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicale Milano, ensembles of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Karajan-Academy Orchestra and the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin. He appears at major Festivals in Salzburg and Baden-Baden, at the Musikfest and MaerzMusik in Berlin, Musica Viva in Munich and the Summer Festival in Mecklenburg Western Pomerania.

Stanley Chia-Ming Dodds was born in Canada, grew up in Australia and as a dual German-Australian citizen is now based in Berlin. He began playing violin and piano in Adelaide at age four, attended the Bruckner Conservatorium and Musik High School in Linz before studying at Lucerne Conservatorium. He continued violin studies at the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic before receiving tenure as a violinist in the orchestra in 1994. In 2024 he left the orchestra after 30 years to focus solely on conducting. 

He studied conducting in Australia, Switzerland and Germany, his most important mentor being the acclaimed Finnish professor Jorma Panula. Other important influences on his conducting career have been the chief conductors of the Berlin Philharmonic, Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle and Kirill Petrenko.

Stanley Dodds is dedicated to youth music and orchestral pedagogy. From 2013-2018 he directed the Young Concerts Festival for youth orchestras in Neubrandenburg. For the Berliner Philharmoniker he led for many years the Schools Orchestra Concert and Youth Composition Workshop. On the occasion of the Berliner Philharmoniker's annual 2017 European concert in Pafos he initiated a bi-communal orchestra project, conducting young musicians from the entire island of Cyprus together with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, in a gesture of the universal language of music.