Koen Kessels (°1961) studied at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music. He is the artistic leader of HERMESensemble and music director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet since 2010 and of the Royal Ballet Covent Garden from the start of the 2015/16 Season.
Kessels is a regular guest conductor for Dutch National Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Ballet Opéra National de Paris, Théâtre du Capitole and Kunliga Operan Stockholm. He has conducted and collaborated with composers such as Kaija Sariaaho, Max Richter, Gabriel Yared, Steve Reich, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Nicholas Lens, Wim Henderickx and Luc Vanhove on world premieres.
Kessels is also an honorary professor of Birmingham University, Artistic Director of Inspiratum and a president of the artistic direction team at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.