Gilles Michels (1961) has studied Educational Music B at the Sweelinck Conservatory Amsterdam. In 1988 he started to study choral conducting with Barend Schuurman at the Conservatory of Rotterdam, where he graduated in 1992. For several years afterwards, he has worked with the Geert Groote-school in Amsterdam, where he conducted the school choir. He also conducted several choirs in Haarlem, Amsterdam, Purmerend, Leiden and Alphen aan den Rijn. He was also associated with the Koorschool St. Bavo in Haarlem as teacher and conductor for 17 years.
Toonkunstkoor Bekker invited him to conduct the Matthäus-Passion in Groningen in 2006 and 2008. Gilles Michels has been a teacher and course leader at the Kurt Thomas course for choir conductors in Utrecht between 1996 and 2009. He has been chairman of the National Choir Festival 2007-2008, that bi-annually awards the title of ‘choir of the year’ to an amateur choir of outstanding level.
The last couple of years he his conducting focus has shifted from primarily a capella music to vocal-instrumental works, especially the cantatas and other large scale works of J.S. Bach and other large scale compositions by Handel, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Verdi, Britten and Poulenc.
Gilles is the principal conductor of the Utrecht Student’s Choir and Orchestra, the Haags Barokensemble, the Cantorij van de Badkapel Scheveningen, Collegium Musicum Traiectum and the Nijmegen Student’s Choir Alphons Diepenbrock.
He oftentimes conducts professional choirs as well, during funerals organised by 'Casuquo Vocaal' and 'Fermate Live Uitvaartmuziek'.