Ismael Sandoval is a Mexican-American conductor based in Chattanooga, TN. As a conductor, Ismael has directed several ensembles across the East Coast, all invested in the pursuit of bringing people together in the beauty and power of music. Ismael is currently the assistant conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera (CSO), the conductor of the CSO Youth Symphony, and music director at First Christian Church of Chattanooga.
Ismael is a collaborator and a bridge-builder between various organizations and his efforts span many disciplines and genres. In his efforts to give back to his community and promote the profound impact that music can have on people, Ismael frequently brings music to life in unorthodox performance venues such as homeless shelters, assisted living facilities, hospitals, parks, and anywhere else where music might be needed.
Ismael was the first Artistic Director/Conductor of the Women’s Chorus, an ensemble in Boston that connects women experiencing poverty and homelessness with the healing power of music. In addition to his work with the Women’s Chorus, he also served as the assistant conductor for both the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Eureka Ensemble. Ismael was also the conducting fellow with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra with Diane Wittry for the ‘17-’18 season. In 2017, Ismael won the College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference Conducting Competition and Workshop.
As a champion of new music, Ismael frequently premieres works by composers from all around the country in several different styles and genres. Ismael also believes in expanding the traditional canon of repertoire to include more representation from diverse composers of all walks of life and has programmed unique concerts that tastefully balance pieces from the classical canon with these new and exciting works.
Ismael is quite passionate about opera and has served as music director for several productions with various companies in Boston. Ismael’s work as an arranger and orchestrator were showcased in the 2019 season with a highly acclaimed arrangement and interpretation of Bellini’s La Sonnambula (Promenade Opera Project). Ismael also ventured into the digital music-making medium during the COVID-19 lockdown by music directing an online performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio (Promenade Opera Project), as well as producing several virtual choir projects.
Ismael has had recent engagements with Corsara Artists (Menotti’s The Medium), Commonwealth Lyric Theater Opera (Bizet’s Carmen), the Boston Philharmonic, Eureka Ensemble, MassOpera (Strauss’ Die Fledermaus), the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra (Lawrenceville, GA), the Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island (Langley, WA), the Medomak Festival Orchestra (Washington, ME), the College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference Orchestra, the Florida Keys Community Concert Band, the Berklee & Boston Conservatory Recording Orchestra, and the Boston Conservatory Composers' Recital Series.
Ismael received his Masters of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, under the tutelage of Bruce Hangen, and received his B.M. in Music Education and B.M. in Composition from the University of Florida.