Skip to main content

Steamboat Magazine

Strings Announces New Music Director

01/22/2014 10:48AM ● By Deb Olsen

Steamboat Springs, CO – Strings Music Festival is pleased to announce that the Music Director’s baton is being passed to the capable hands of Michael Sachs, Principal Trumpet for the Cleveland Orchestra for 26 years. Cleveland continues to be one of the most sought-after performing orchestras in the world, and Strings couldn’t be more thrilled to have such an accomplished musician lead the Strings Classical Series. Praised by critics for his “spectacular chops” and “radiant tone,” he is recognized internationally as a leading soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, teacher, author and clinician.

Sachs will begin his contract in the fall of 2014 with concerts kicking off in the summer of 2015. His agenda includes adding a few of his favorite players from institutions and universities all around the world including the orchestras of Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, L.A. and even Vienna and Berlin, as well as bringing back many of the great chamber musicians, soloists and orchestral players that have been to Strings year after year.

“I will be devoted to making certain that we get high caliber artists and cultivate a strong vision for the Festival’s future,” says Sachs.

Despite descending from a lineage of businessmen, Sachs grew up with a passion for music. He played in the jazz band, marching band, chamber groups and even rock bands during his younger years. But it wasn’t until after he graduated from UCLA with a history degree that he delved fully into what would be a very successful career in the arts.


His vast repertoire spans from traditional chamber music to collaborations with great innovators like Arturo Sandoval. Career highlights include the 1996 world premiere of John Williams’ Concerto for Trumpet, commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra for Sachs with Music Director Christoph von Dohnanyi conducting. He has also appeared as guest soloist with numerous orchestras and chamber groups, including the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Along with his active performance schedule, Sachs serves as Chairman of the Brass division and Head of the Trumpet Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has served on the faculty of several summer festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Grand Tetons Music Festival, National Brass Symposium, National Orchestral Institute, Summit Brass and the Solti Orchestral Project and Carnegie Hall. 


“I’m looking forward to returning to Colorado and working with a Festival that has such a strong tradition in the community with so many great players coming through,” says Sachs.


Sachs fell in love with Colorado years ago when he spent a summer at the Aspen School of Music. He would later say his marriage vows with his wife, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, in that same spot. He has already felt the friendliness of the Yampa Valley and has grown quite fond of the Haymaker golf course. His 11 year old daughter is already scouting out the Alpine Slide and planning her summer adventures in Steamboat from afar. His time in Steamboat will be busy but he is planning to find time to enjoy all that this small town has to offer.

For information about upcoming winter concerts or events go to