Willem de Bordes studied conducting with the legendary Jorma Panula in Finland. For his studies he received scholarships from the Dutch National Kersjes Foundation for young conductors. In 2012 Sir Mark Elder invited Willem to join him as assistant conductor for a few projects. Since then he worked as assistant conductor of Sir Mark Elder and Yannick Nézet-Séguin with the Radio Philharmonic, Netherland Philharmonic and the Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestra. Willem has also worked as assistant conductor with Dutch National Opera. Recently Willem worked side by side with composer/conductor George Benjamin and Franck Ollu in the production of the highly acclaimed new opera Written on Skin at the National Opera in Amsterdam. Previous season Willem assisted conductor Daniel Harding with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. For the coming season conductor Ivan Fischer has invited Willem as assistant conductor with the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
Recently Willem conducted orchestras such as Vaasa Chamber Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Pori Sinfonietta, Athens State Symphony Orchestra and the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra in Finland. In September 2012 Willem was appointed principal conductor of the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra Con Brio, conducting a series of concerts with Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Brahms Schicksalslied and Villa Lobos Choros X in cooperation with the Amsterdam Great Concert Choir. Last season he conducted concerts with concertos by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov and Beethoven as well as symphonic works by Sibelius, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Ravel and Shostakovich. Willem gained considerable experience in conducting contemporary repertoire with ensembles like Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Biennale Ensemble and the American Cello Band from New York in works by composers such as Hans Werner Henze, Tristan Keuris, Ivan Fedele and Uljas Pulkkis with soloists like Jean-Guihen Queyras, Candida Thompson, Lavinia Meyer and Rafael Wallfish. Later this season he will conduct programmes with lieder by Mahler and symphonic works by Shostakovich, Borodin, Adams and Ginastera.
Willem holds a degree in master of music, having studied violin with excellent teachers such as Lex Korff de Gidts, Alexander Kerr (ex concertmaster of the Concertgebouw Orchestra) and following lessons and masterclasses with Victor Lieberman (ex concertmaster of Concertgebouw Orchestra), Thomas Brandis (ex concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker), Charles-Andre Linale (Orpheus Quartet) and baroque performance by Jurgen Kussmaul. He also holds a degree in Master in Law and lectured at the faculties of Law and Economics of the University of Amsterdam.
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