Alastair Willis

Grammy-nominated conductor Alastair Willis is the music director of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, and principal conductor and artistic adviser of the Symphonia Boca Raton.

In past seasons, Willis has guest conducted orchestras around the world, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica de Rio de Janeiro, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, China National Orchestra (Beijing) and Silkroad Ensemble (with Yo-Yo Ma), among others. His recording of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with Nashville Symphony and Opera for Naxos was Grammy nominated for best classical album in 2009.

Last season, Willis was re-engaged by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic, Pacific Northwest Ballet, La Porte County Symphony and “Salute to Vienna,” and made his debut with the Rockford (Ill.) Symphony. This season, he will return to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Northwest Ballet and “Salute to Vienna.”

Previous positions include music director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor with the Florida Orchestra’s Coffee Concert series, associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony, assistant conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, and music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Born in Acton, Massachusetts, Willis lived with his family in Moscow for five years before settling in Surrey, England. He received his bachelor’s degree with honors from England’s Bristol University, an education degree from Kingston University and a master’s of music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

Willis currently resides in South Bend, Indiana, with his wife and daughter.

September 2022

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