Principle bassoonist of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and, since 2015, its resident conductor, Brandon Phillips runs a tandem career as bassoonist and conductor. The winner of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s Inaugural Len van Zyl Conductor’s Competition in 2010 (now the SA Conductors’ Competition), he is also the music director of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
Phillips began his music career in the New Apostolic Church. He studied bassoon and viola at the University of Cape Town, receiving his Diploma for Orchestral Studies and B Mus Hons in solo bassoon in 2005.
He is regularly invited as an adjudicator and conductor for various competitions such as the ATKV, Artscape National Youth, Unisa Winds and the Schock Singing competitions.
He is a guest conductor of the Johannesburg Philharmonic and the KZN Philharmonic, and other orchestras in oratorio, opera and ballet, as well as cross-over concerts. Appearances with the Miagi Youth Orchestra Festival which he conducted in 2014 in Berlin and Amsterdam received critical acclaim. He has also conducted at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival. In 2012, Phillips received a prestigious award from the Minister of Arts and Culture Ivan Meyer for “ outstanding achievements by the youth”. In 2017 he received another prestigious award, "Skouerklop", at the Suidoosterfees. Phillips is supported by RMB Starlight Classics.
Phillips conducts the CPO’s popular community concerts which give performance platforms to talented local musicians, as well as the Rotary Concerto Festival with the CPYO. He was invited to conduct the German National Youth Orchestra at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn in 2019 and recently conducted the world premiere of a work by American percussionist Marcus Gilmore with the CP0 in Rolex Arts Weekend in Cape Town.
In 2021, under Covid-19 restrictions, Phillips conducted the CPO in its Youtube presentation for learners around the country, The Instruments of the Orchestra.