Willem van der Vis
New Zealand born Willem van der Vis gained a B.Sc (Hons) in physics before he decided to focus on his real passion, which was music. Soon he was playing principal cello with the Scolar Musica (New Zealand Symphony Training Orchestra) and the Dunedin Sinfonia.
In 1979 he moved to Australia, where he became a member of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra for 7 years. In addition he has played with Orchestra Victoria and the New Zealand, Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. As an orchestral cellist, he was always fascinated by how a conductor interacted with and communicated music to an orchestra and this led him to complete his B.Mus (conducting) at the WAAPA and the VCA (Robert Rosen). Conducting studies followed in Moscow, England and the Czech Republic. He enjoyed further studies with Professor John Hopkins in Melbourne.
Willem has conducted the Stonnington, Heidelberg, New Monash, Ballarat and Derwent (Hobart) Symphony Orchestras. In addition, he has conducted the Murray Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra and Choral Society (Albury, NSW), Two Murray River “Three Choirs” Festivals, Percy Grainger Youth Orchestra, Margaret Sutherland Strings as well as many stage shows.
Willem is now Musical Director of the Maroondah Symphony Orchestra. He regularly conducts the U3A Hawthorn Symphony Orchestra as well as the Kooyong Chamber Players. Every year he conducts at orchestral workshops and music camps around Australia. Willem is also in demand as an adjudicator and holds workshops in orchestral conducting.