Koen Kessels (Belgium) ← Back to list
Koen Kessels, born in Oostende, Belgium, studied at the Antwerp Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music.
He was appointed Music Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2010 and of The Royal Ballet Covent Garden from the start of the 2015/16 Season.
He is a regular guest conductor for Dutch National Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Ballet Opéra National de Paris, Théâtre du Capitole and Kunliga Operan Stockholm.
Kessels has conducted for such companies as New York City Ballet, Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma, Teatro Real Madrid, the New National Theatre Tokyo, the Brussels La Monnaie/deMunt, Bayerisches staatsballet Munich and la Scala Milan.
His ballet repertory includes Coppélia, La Source, Sylvia, Giselle, Don Quichote, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Firebird, Petrushka, Apollo, Les Noces, Jewels, The Prince of the Pagodas, Hurlevent, Carmina Burana, Bolero, La Valse, Suite en Blanc, L’Arlésienne, Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, After the Rain, etc. and World Premieres of Psyche, Untouchable, Flight Patterns, Frankenstein, Symphonic Dances, Strapless, Raven Girl, Yugen, Sunyata, Processen etc. DVD releases with Paris Opera Ballet, with The Royal Ballet and with BRB.
Opera repertory includes Saariaho’s L’Amour de loin (Antwerp Opera), Hosokawa’s Hanjo (De Keersmaeker), Lens/Cave/Cherkaoui Shell Shock (La Monnaie, Brussels) and operas by Mozart, Bizet, Verdi, Puccini, Britten and Maxwell Davies, among others.
Kessels is an honorary professor of Birmingham University, Artistic Director of Inspiratum and president of the artistic direction team at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. As Artistic Director of HERMESensemble he has collaborated with composers such as Abrahamsen, Bartholomée, Benjamin, Brewaeys, Ferrari, Henderickx, Hosokawa, Van Hove, Zev Gordon, Dusapin, Huber, Maresz, Murail, Pagh-Paan, Van Parys, Saariaho, Talbot and Yared.