Belgian conductor Ayrton Desimpelaere, born in 1990, graduated in piano and conducting from the National and Regional Conservatories of Paris and Versailles and the Royal Conservatories of Brussels and Mons. He also graduated in musicology from the Sorbonne and the Free University of Brussels (ULB). Since 2017 he has been guest conductor at the Belgian Royal Conservatory IMEP, where he is also a professor of orchestral conducting, choral singing and vocal coaching.
In June 2015, he conducted the orchestra of Yuri Beshmet's Moscow Soloists at short notice during the piano semi-final of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Only a few months later, he was hired for four seasons by the Royal Opera of Wallonia (ORW) as assistant conductor and guest conductor. After conducting Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) for younger audiences at the ORW, he conducted the world premiere of the opera #Folon (Nicola Campogrande, 2018), as well as the operas Don Quixote (Massenet, Le Hérissier, 2019), Little Red Riding Hood (Le Petit Chaperon rouge, Stefano Guagnini, 2020), Ursule et Hirsute (Borbé, Polis, 2021) and The Last Sorcerer (Le Dernier Sorcier, Pauline Viardot, 2022).
This year he will also conduct the ballet Sinfonia eroïca by Michèle Anne De Mey and the opera Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera of Wallonia. In 2018, he conducted The Secret Marriage (Il Matrimonio segreto, Cimarosa), in the staging of Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera, as well as the performances of Aida (Verdi) and Madama Butterfly (Puccini).
As assistant conductor he worked with many renowned conductors and musicians, such as Speranza Scappucci, Paolo Arrivabeni, Daniel Oren, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Rinaldo Alessandrini, José Cura, Massimo Zanetti, Giampaolo Bisanti, Wolfgang Dörner, Tatiana Samouil, Jodie Devos, Michele Mariotti, Christophe Rousset, Mikhaïl Faerman, Vineta Sareika, Marianne Cornetti, Donata D’Annunzio Lombardi, Marcello Giordani, Sabina Willeit, Jordi Bernàcer and Arnold Rawls. His opera repertoire includes La Bohème, Turandot, Nabucco, Don Giovanni, Orpheus in the Underworld (Orphée aux enfers), The Damnation of Faust (La Damnation de Faust), The Newspaper (La gazzetta), Dido and Aeneas, Otello, Manon Lescaut, Norma, The Favourite (La Favorite), Rigoletto, Carmen, The Black Domino (Le Domino noir), The Marriage of Figaro, The Lady of the Lake (La donna del lago), Macbeth, The Troubadour, Tosca, Faust, Don Quixote, Aida, The Clemency of Titus (La clemenza di Tito), The Puritans (I Puritani), Anna Bolena, Count Ory (Le Comte Ory), Madama Butterfly, Orpheus and Eurydice, Cinderella, Alzira, Don Carlos, The Sleepwalker (La sonnambula) and Lakmé. He has been regularly working with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera of Wallonia, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra (Turkey), the Belgian National Orchestra, the Sicilian Symphony Orchestra (Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana) and others. He also conducted an enviable number of works from the sacred music repertoire: Fauréje's Requiem, Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C Minor, Rossini's Little Solemn Mass (Petite Messe Solennelle) and Stabat Mater, Puccini's Glorious Mass (Messa di gloria), Schubert's Mass No. 5, Dvořak's Stabat Mater, Verdi’s Requiem and Gounod's Solemn Mass/St. Cecilia Mass (Messe solennelle de Sainte-Cécile). In 2018, he took part in the recording of the complete works by Debussy, published by Warner. He also recorded Golijov's Three Songs with the soprano Jodie Devos. Ayrton Desimpelaere received several prizes for his work and among others the Medal for Merit (Médaille du Mérite) from the Belgian government.