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Benoît Willmann

clarinet | piccolo clarinet | assistant principal

Artists list
Benoît Willmann
© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

Born in Paris, Benoît Willmann studied the clarinet in Paris and then at the CNSM in Lyon. At the age of 21, in 1988, he joined the ranks of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande as a substitute soloist and E-flat clarinet solo. While still pursuing his instrumentalist activities, he obtained his orchestral conducting degree from the Haute école de musique de Genève, where has been teaching the E-flat clarinet for many years.

As an orchestra conductor, he is equally at home accompanying dancers (the Studio Flay Ballet in Geneva) and choirs (Horizon, Opérami, Orphée vocal ensemble) as he is soloists (notably Sonya Yoncheva, Gautier Capuçon, Joel Marosi, Carine Sechaye, Svetlin Roussev, Philippe Cassard, François Guye, Baptiste Trotignon, and Innhyuck Cho). He has also produced numerous pieces by young composers and assisted many conductors such as Armin Jordan, Stefan Asbury, Fabio Luisi, Klaus Weise, Jurjen Hempe, and Jonathan Nott. Benoît Willmann conducted the Sinfonietta de Genève, the Orchestra of the Haute école de musique de Genève for the composition and orchestration classes (Michael Jarrell), the Orchestre Symphonique Rhône-Alpes Auvergne, the Camerata du Leman, the orchestra of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, the Orchestre Symphonique Bienne Soleure, the orchestra of Opéra du Caire, the Camerata Armin Jordan, the Orquestra sinfônica da Bahia with whom he inaugurates the year of France in Brazil, the Fanfare du Loup, the Orquestra Sinfônica do Cairo, the Contrechamps ensemble, the 2E2M ensemble, the Orchestre Victor Hugo Franche-Comté, the Lemanic Modern Ensemble, and he collaborated with the Neojiba Orchestra of Bahia.

Because of his great love of theatre, he collaborated with stage director Omar Porras in Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale. He conducted Donizetti’s first Swiss Dom Sebastian King of Portugal as well as Don Pasquale, Puccini’s La Bohème, Bizet’s Carmen, Les Contes de Perrault (Fourdrain), Aida, Verdi’s La Traviata and La Trovatore, and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

His recent appointments paved the way to collaborations with the Orchestre Victor Hugo Franche-Comté, the Orchestre de Cannes-Alpes-Provence-Côte d’Azur, the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, the Ensemble Operami, the Orchestre Victor Hugo Franche-Comté youth orchestra, and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (concert in 2021, with the musical adaptation by Thierry Huillet of Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince) and in 2022 with an Orchestre en classe project that brings together young instrumentalists and musicians from the OSR. He made his debut with Puccini’s Tosca in the season of 2022–23, took part in the Going-home Project festival in Seoul in Korea, was invited to perform by Svetlin Roussev, and conducts Un Ballo in Maschera at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva with the Opermi company, as well as Bizet’s Carmen at the Toûno festival in July 2023.

OSR Live

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphonie N° 4 en si bémol majeur op. 60

Jonathan Nott


Recorded on 30 July 2020 at Victoria Hall, Geneva

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Jonathan Nott | Sergey Khachatryan

Concerto pour violon et orchestre

Recorded on 30 July 2020 at Victoria Hall, Geneva