Brandon Phillips – Artistic Director and Conductor CPYO; resident conductor CPO
Winner of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra’s Inaugural Len van Zyl Conductor’s Competition in 2010, Brandon Phillips began his music career in the New Apostolic Church where he learned various instruments and choral training. He studied bassoon and viola at the University of Cape Town, receiving his Diploma for orchestral studies and B Mus Honours in solo bassoon in 2005. Phillips currently is also principal bassoon of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
As a result of the Len Van Zyl competition, Phillips studied conducting in the United States at the Northwestern University in Chicago under Maestro Victor Yampolsky in 2010. While in the US, Phillips was a conducting intern with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he conducted the Miagi Orchestra in Berlin and Amsterdam to critical acclaim.
Phillips is regularly invited as an adjudicator and conductor for various competitions such as the ATKV, Artscape National Youth, Unisa Winds, and the Schock Singing competitions.
He works with many of South Africa’s orchestras and choirs. These include the Miagi Youth Orchestra Festival and Sasol National Youth Festival as well as the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Unisa Symphony Orchestra, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Free State Symphony Orchestra, Black Tie Ensemble, the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town, the New Apostolic Symphony and Choir and, of course, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also conducted at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival. In 2012, Phillips received a prestigious award from the Minister of Arts and Culture Ivan Meyer for “outstanding achievements by the youth.” In 2017 he received another prestigious award, ‘Skouerklop’, at the Suidoosterfees.
Phillips has also become a sought-after conductor of ballet, conducting Cape Town City Ballet in various productions and will debut in his first opera, The Magic Flute, for CTO/UCT in December. Phillips conducted the CPYO in the Hollywood film, ‘The Last Face’ directed by Sean Penn, with Charlize Theron, and Javier Bardem. More recently, he joined forces with film composer/musician Kyle Shepherd conducting the music for the South African award-winning film, ‘Noem my Skollie’.
Phillips was appointed resident conductor of the CPO in 2015, and is supported by RMB Starlight Classics. He shares the stage with Richard Cock in the RMB Starlight Classics each year in Cape Town and Johannesburg.