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Willis is currently the Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Previous positions include Principal Guest Conductor with the Florida Orchestra’s Coffee Concert series,


Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, Assistant Conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, and Music Director do the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra.In the past few seasons, Willis has guest conducted orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic, Orquesta 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.


Last season Willis was re-engaged by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (Houston), and had debuts with the Illinois Symphony, California Symphony and the Qatar Philharmonic.


This season he returns to the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic, Pacific Northwest Ballet, California Symphony, Elgin Symphony, and debuts with the Las Vegas Symphony and Billings Symphony.


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.





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MENOTTI – “Amahl and the Night Visitors”

Nashville Symphony and Opera,

Chicago Symphony Chorus


RAVEL - “L’Enfant et les Sortileges”


Nashville Symphony and Opera,

Chicago Symphony Chorus


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