The Romanian Culture Ministry decided that Măcelaru would take over from Vladimir Jurowski, who held the role between 2017 and 2021.
George Enescu Festival is one of the most prominent classical music events in Eastern Europe and has been running since 1958.
Born in Timișoara, Romania, Măcelaru began his career as a violinist. At the age of 19 he became the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Miami Symphony Orchestra.
His break into the conducting world came in 2012 when he filled in for Pierre Boulez at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra — and later that year he won the Solti Emerging Conductor Award. Since then he has worked with many of the major American orchestras.
Măcelaru is is currently in his second year as the Chief Conductor of the WDR Sinfonieorchester, and has served as Music Director of the Orchestre National de France since 2020.
"The nomination of conductor Cristian Măcelaru as Artistic Director of the Enescu Festival is auspicious for preserving this event in the top 5 classical music festivals worldwide," said Mihai Constantinescu, the festival's outgoing Executive Director.
"I am confident that Cristian Măcelaru has the talent and the ability to contribute to the further development of the Festival, capitalizing on what has been built well so far and finding new artistic directions to enrich the offer to the public."