Willem de Bordes studied conducting with professor Jorma Panula in Finland. For his studies he received scholarships from the National Kersjes Foundation for young conductors and the Prins Bernhard Foundation. In Finland he received opportunities to work with orchestras like Vaasa Chamber Orchestra, Pori Sinfonietta, Camerata Finlandia and Kuopio Symphony Orchestra.
In 2012 Sir Mark Elder invited Willem to join him as assistant conductor for a few projects. Since then he worked as assistant conductor with the Radio Philharmonic, Netherland Philharmonic and the Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestra. Last season Willem assisted composer/conductor George Benjamin and Franck Ollu in the production of the highly acclaimed new opera Written on Skin at the National Opera in Amsterdam. This season Willem has assisted conductor Daniel Harding with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. For next season conductor Ivan Fischer has invited Willem as assistant conductor with the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin and Bupapest Festival Orchestra.
In September 2012 Willem became principal conductor of the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra Con Brio, conducting a series of concerts with Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Brahms Schicksalslied and Villa Lobos Choros X in cooperation with the Amsterdam Concert Choir. This season he conducted concerts with Tchaikovsky Violin concerto, symphonies by Sibelius, Beethoven and Shostakovich, Stravinsky Firebird Suite, Ravel Ma Mere L’Oye. Later this season he will conduct several concerts with Mussorgsky’s Exhibition and Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto and a programme with Mahler and Shostakovich. Willem also has experience with contemporary repertoire, conducting contemporary ensembles like Amsterdam Sinfonietta in works by composers such as Hans Werner Henze, Lex van Delden, Ivan Fedele and Uljas Pulkkis with soloists such as Jean-Guihen Queyras, Candida Thompson, Lavinia Meyer and Rafael Wallfish.
Willem studied the violin at the Utrecht Conservatory with Lex Korff de Gidts and with Alexander Kerr (ex concertmaster of the Concertgebouw Orchestra). He also received lessons from Thomas Brandis (ex concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker), Charles-Andre Linale (Orpheus Quartet) and baroque performance by Jurgen Kussmaul. After finishing his post graduate music studies he went on to study music theory and analysis at the Utrecht Conservatory and worked as a professional violinist in orchestras like the Residentie Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Netherland Philharmonic, Asko-Schoenberg Ensemble and performed in Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Netherland Opera.