Hans Leenders


Hans Leenders (the Netherlands, 1971) studied percussion and conduction at the Rotterdam Conservatoire. He started his career as a percussionist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, where he became Valery Gergiev’s assistant in 1999. His career took off when he substituted for Gergiev in 2001 during the opening of the Gergiev Festival. At that time, he worked with orchestras such as the Noord Nederlands Orkest, the Brabants Orkest, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 2008, he conducted the Codarts Symphony Orchestra for the National Liberation Day Concert, which was attended by Queen Beatrix. Abroad, he conducted orchestras such as the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the Orchestra of the Mariinski Theatre in Saint Petersburg.

He cares deeply about the future of classical music, as a result of which he is a sought after conductor for the more adventurous programming of symphony orchestras.


The opening of the Gergiev Festival at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, which was broadcast on television; concert with the Orchestra of the Mariinski Theatre in Saint Petersbug; opera Bonifacius with the Noord Nederlands Orkest; festival Besançon with Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse and Nelson Freire; National Liberation Day Concert with Codarts Symphony Orchestra; touring the US with ‘brass KCO’.


Why do you believe students should come to Codarts?

“I think Codarts is an attractive school because it is the only school where a student can discover and develop his own niche by using and being inspired by all the disciplines that are present. It is also a school where ‘caring’ for the students is very important.”

What will you teach them?

“I teach the students the professional skills and I also start the process of self-exploration. When a student knows where his unique qualities lie, I help him use these in a career after the conservatoire.”

How are you going to teach them?

“For me, teaching is finding a balance between guiding a student and stimulating the student to take responsibility, to gradually work towards complete independence when the education is completed. In this, a good personal bond based on trust is essential.”


1992 Kranichsteiner Musikpreis (Darmstadt) 1993 Special percussion prize International Gaudeamus Interpreter’s Competition 1998 Second prize Internationaal Kirill Kondrashin Conducting Competition 2004 Winner Cadaquès Conductors Competition