Manuel Visser is a Dutch-born conductor and viola player who grew up in a musical family with a flutist as father and harpist as mother who formed his musicality already at an early age. Later in his development, his musical identity and taste are influenced through the connections with personalities like Anner Bijlsma and Frans Brüggen.


In his early youth Manuel started playing the violin and piano after which he switched to the viola at the age of 15. He studied with Michael Gieler at the Conservatory of Amsterdam for several years after which he changed to Jürgen Kussmaul at the same school, who became eventually the biggest influence on his viola playing.

 

After his time in Amsterdam he continued te study with Garth Knox in Paris and with Peter Langgartner at the 'Universität Mozarteum' in Salzburg. As a viola player Manuel Visser was prizewinner at several competitions like 'the International Competition for Young Violists' in Slovenia and enjoys an international career as chamber musician in many 'historical informed performance' and 'contemporary music' groups.

 

Some years after his viola studies, Manuel developed an increasing interest in orchestral conducting and started studying for this with Lucas Vis at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. He was active participant in masterclasses by Jorma Panula, Charles Olivieri-Munroe, Achim Holub and Toby Purser with orchestras like the Philharmonie Südwestfalen, the Kammerphilharmonie Graz and the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.  

 

In the past years Manuel worked as assistent-conductor with the Orchestre de Chambre du Luxembourg and with conductor Jan Willem de Vriend.

He regularly conducts projects with members of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra combined with the most promising young musicians of the Netherlands.

Manuel is founder and conductor of the 'Utrecht Chamber Orchestra'.