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Brandon Phillips studied bassoon and viola at the University of Cape Town, from where he graduated in 2005. In addition to his instrumental teachers, the South African conductor Arjan Tien, who was his mentor, also had a significant impact on his further career as a conductor.

As the winner of the 2010 Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition put on by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in the city Phillips was able to study for three months at the Northwestern University in Chicago. He collaborated there with Victor Yampolsky among others and was given the opportunity to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra for a month. After a master course with his teacher Arjan Tien at the Fontys Conservatoire in Tilburg in 2014 Brandon Phillips travelled to Cologne as his assistant for a concert with the WDR Rundfunkorchester. One year later he was the first black musician to be appointed resident conductor of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

Brandon Phillips has worked with many South African orchestras and choirs, such as the MIAGI Youth Orchestra, which he conducted during a tour in Europe. He has also worked with the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, the Bloemfontein University Symphony and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he conducted at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival.

Brandon Phillips is regularly asked to serve on competition juries, for example the Artscape National Youth Music Competition and the Schock Foundation Prize for Singing. He himself received the Western Cape Government’s award for ‘outstanding achievements by the youth’ in 2012.

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