In the past few seasons, Grammy-nominated conductor Alastair Willis has guest conducted orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica de Rio de Janeiro, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, China National Orchestra (Beijing), and Silk Road Ensemble (with Yo-Yo Ma) among others. His recording of Ravel’s “L’Enfant et les Sortileges” with Nashville Symphony and Opera for Naxos was Grammy nominated for Best Classical Album in 2009.
Willis recently completed a successful four-year tenure as Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Last season he was re-engaged by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Gyor Philharmonic in Hungary, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Symphonia Boca Raton, and made his debut with the Dresden Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony B.C., Orquestra Simfonica De Les Illes Balears in Mallorca, and Auburn Symphony.
This season he returns to the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Victoria Symphony B.C., North Carolina Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica Barra Mansa, Symphonia Boca Raton, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, and makes his debuts with the Wichita Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra and Roosevelt Contemporary Ensemble.
Previous positions include Principal Guest Conductor with the Florida Orchestra’s Coffee Concert series 2008–2011, Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony 2000–2003, 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 Masters of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
Willis currently resides in Seattle.