He was born in Paris where he studied music. Starting as a member of an orchestra, he soon took on conducting. 1993-95 he was first Kapellmeister and Deputy Music Director at the Anhaltisches Theatre in Dessau, 1996-98 he held the same position at the Vienna Volksoper. 1999-2004 he was Music Director at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and 2002-2010 he was music director of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna.
At an early stage of his carrier engagements brought him to the state operas in Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Grand Théâtre de la Monnaie, Opéra National de Paris and at the opera houses in Washington and Los Angeles amongst others. Since 1997 he has been a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and since 2002 at the Salzburg Festival. Worldwide, he performed with leading orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchestre de Paris, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra as well as Museums Orchestra, Frankfurt, Philharmoniker Hamburg, the RSB Berlin, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, Dresdner Philharmoniker and many more. Bertrand de Billy conducts a wide repertoire from Bach to many world premieres and premieres. With the Theater an der Wien, the Wiener Musikverein and the Wiener Konzerthaus he is as closely connected as with the Vienna and Munich State Opera as well as the Frankfurt Opera.
Numerous CD and DVD recordings are documenting his work: with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna the much-discussed Mozart / Da Ponte cycle, d'Albert Tiefland, Dukas Ariane et Barbe-Bleue, 2 CDs of excerpts from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, as well as numerous orchestral works of different composers and styles from Haydn to contemporary music, including a cycle of Beethoven Symphonies. Also: Don Carlos from the Vienna State Opera in the full French version (CD + DVD), La Bohème with Netrebko and Villazon (film + CD ), Thomas' Hamlet and Debussy's Pelleas Melisande s (both with Nathalie Dessay on DVD), Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites (CD), Gounod's Faust (CD), Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia (with E. Gruberova - DVD), Mozart's Don Giovanni (DVD both from Barcelona as well as the Salzburg Festival), Massenet's Cendrillon from Covent Garden (DVD), the entire ring and Tristan und Isolde from Barcelona (DVD) etc.
Bertrand de Billy received the "Chevalier de l'ordre national de la légion d'honneur" as well as the "Ordre national du Mérite und Ordre des Arts et des Lettres"in France. In 2010 the government in Austria awarded him the "Goldene Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich". He is a boardmember of the "Europäischen Musiktheater-Akademie".
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