Our Conductors

Gyula [Jules] Cseszkó

Gyula Cseszko

Born in Adelaide to Hungarian and Dutch parents, Jules obtained a Bachelor degree in Music Performance on the viola and made his conducting debut at the Adelaide Town Hall.

Conductor Henry Krips commented after observing Jules at this performance, that the “young man showed great promise”.

Moving to Melbourne in 2002, he commenced a Master’s degree in Conducting at Melbourne University, and while studying under  Professor John Hopkins OBE he conducted the  Melbourne University Orchestra on numerous occasions. Jules has also studied with conductors Nicholas Braithwaite, Carl Crossin, Shalom Ronly-Riklis, Carlo Felice Cillario.

Significant performances include the Geelong Advertiser’s Concerto Competition, a program including the Barber Violin Concerto, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 2 and the Vine Piano Concerto. Other performances included the Melbourne premier performance of Natalie William’s Chambers of the South, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and Schumann’s Piano Concerto.

Jules has conducted the Ballarat Symphony, the Victorian Youth Symphony, the Preston Symphony, the Heidelberg Symphony, Apollo Health Music Society, the Diamond Valley & Eltham Community Orchestra and directed the Henri Touzeau Strings and Margaret Sutherland Melbourne Youth Music.

From mid 2003, Jules spent two years conducting and teaching in America, including the role Director of the Orchestral program at Greater Atlanta Christian School and as conductor of the Da Salo Solisti.

Australia called Jules and his family back to Melbourne; and now being more appreciative of his home country, he enjoys being engaged as permanent conductor for the Frankston Symphony Orchestra & Peninsular Music Society Choir after stepping in for the last rehearsal to perform Haydn’s Oratorio “The Creation”. He has also been busy as a replacement conductor at Canterbury Girls Secondary College Orchestra; the Monash Chorale; and as Tutor for Melbourne University undergraduate conducting class. Jules has also served as Conductor and Manager of the University’s Conductor’s Orchestra.

Jules considers it a joyous privilege to make music with The Orchestra of U3A Hawthorn.

Willem van der Vis

Willem Van Der Vis

New Zealand born Willem van der Vis gained a B.Sc (Hons) in physics before focusing on music, playing principal cello with the Dunedin Sinfonia and New Zealand Symphony Training Orchestra.

In 1979 he moved to Australia, where he became a member of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Other orchestras he has played with include the New Zealand, Tasmanian, State Orchestra of Victoria, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.

As an orchestral cellist, he was always fascinated by how a conductor interacted with and communicated music to an orchestra. This led him to complete his B.mus. (conducting) at the WAAPA and the VCA (Robert Rosen); and subsequent conducting studies in Moscow, England, and the Czech Republic. He is presently enjoying further study with John Hopkins in Melbourne.

Willem is now Musical director of the Maroondah Symphony Orchestra, the Murray Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra, and Margaret Sutherland Strings. He has also conducted the New Monash and Stonnington Symphony Orchestras, the Ballarat Symphony Orchestra and Choral Society, the Murray River Three Choirs Festival, the Kooyong Chamber Players, and many stage shows.

He works actively in music camps and workshops around Australia, including Orchestra Victoria's mOVe Bendigo 2004, where he also led workshops in the practice of conducting.