With expertise that includes commandeering some three dozen renowned orchestras and opera houses around the world, award-winning Dutch-based musician and orchestral leader Jules van Hessen (Jury Chair and Honorary Chairman of the IJMF) also offers career experience as a CD and DVD recording artist, lecturer and radio host. He has served as Artistic Director of the Netherlands Theatre Orchestra since its founding in 1987, where his ongoing acclaim has fostered the introduction of his own series conducting and explaining the genesis and structure of the orchestral masterpieces that are performed. This series is now performed in many concert halls (Concertgebouw Amsterdam, TivoliVredenburg Utrecht) with different Dutch and German Orchestras. The success of this concept (Maestro Jules Reveals) has led to three prime-time TV broadcasts with the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra on Dutch Public Television (AVROTROS).
Van Hessen is an expert and an ambassador of Jewish music: he was conductor of the PBS-production “Cantors, a Faith in Song” which was recorded in the beautiful, ancient Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam and was broadcast nationwide in the USA.
He has formulated numerous novel and entertaining lecture series for businesses, including “The conductor as a manager, the manager as a conductor,” and he has been a longtime host on Dutch Public Classical Radio (NPS).
Van Hessen earned his academic credentials from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where instructors included Edward Downes, Lionel Friend, Peter Eötvös, Karl Oesterreicher and Gennadi Rozhdjestvensky. He was awarded the Silver Flower at the San Remo International Competition, Second Prize & the Orchestra Prize with the Malko Competition in Copenhagen, and the Laureate prize for the Igor Stravinsky Conducting Competition in Austria. He was chosen to conduct the final Gala Concerts at the Dutch (NOS) International Conductors Course and remains the only Dutch conductor to ever be invited to the People’s Republic of China.
He has worked in Italy, France, Denmark, Belgium, the U.K., Germany, Austria, the U.S., China, the Middle East and Mexico, conducting alongside such artists as Frank Peter Zimmerman, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Pepe Romero, Nelson Freire and Giora Feidman. Van Hessen’s critically acclaimed recordings include the likes of the collected works of Danish composer Bent Sörensen. This April he is touring Israel, with the Philips Symphony Orchestra, which he is conducting since 1987. This Tour “Building Bridges” will include concerts in Rehovot, Rishon Lezion and the Tel Aviv Opera House.