Koen Kessels, Music Director, studied at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Music, Antwerp. He made his debut with the Royal Ballet of Flanders with Cinderella and has been a regular guest conductor for Opéra National de Paris (Le Parc, Coppélia, Proust, Cinderella, Hurlevent, Hommage à Jerôme Robbins, Giselle, La Petite Danseuse de Degas) since 2005 and with The Royal Ballet (Nutcracker, Giselle) since 2008. This season he makes his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper and the Bolshoi and is back with the Brussels Opéra de Munt (Hanjo) and Antwerp Opera (L'Amour de loin). He made his opera debut with Rouen Opera, France, conducting Il barbiere di Siviglia. His standard repertory contains the main Verdi, Mozart and Puccini operas, although there is a definite accent on contemporary opera. He founded and is Artistic Director of HERMESensemble, specialising in contemporary music. He is Music Director of Zomeropera Alden Biesen, Belgium and on the artistic direction team at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp. He joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in September 2010.Proust (Roland Petit), Cinderella (Nureyev, Paris Opéra Ballet) and Nutcracker(Peter Wright, The Royal Ballet) have all been released on DVD.