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Royal Conservatoire Antwerp

Kessels to Royal Ballet, Covent Garden

Koen Kessels has been appointed Music Director of The Royal Ballet, succeeding Barry Wordsworth who becomes Principal Guest Conductor from the 2015/16 Season.

Koen Kessels will continue in his role as Music Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet where he also succeeded Barry Wordsworth.

Kessels joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2010 and has been a regular guest conductor for The Royal Ballet since 2008, conducting ballets including The Nutcracker, Giselle and the world premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Raven Girl.


He has also been a regular guest conductor for Opéra National de Paris since 2005, and conducted at the Wiener Staatsoper, the Bolshoi, Brussels Opera de Munt, Antwerp Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro Real, Madrid;  Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, New York City Ballet, Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse; and Het Nationale Ballet Amsterdam. Kessels is on the artistic direction team at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp and is Artistic Director of the HERMESensemble (specializing in contemporary music), Artistic Director of Inspiratum and Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham.