Kes, Willem , Dutch conductor and composer; b. Dordrecht, Feb. 16, 1856; d. Munich, Feb. 21, 1934. He studied violin with various teachers in the Netherlands, then with Ferdinand David at the Leipzig Cons. (1871), Wieniawski in Brussels (1873), and Joachim in Berlin (1875); also composition with Reinecke, Bargiel, and Kiel in Berlin. In 1876 he was made 1st concertmaster of Amsterdam’s Park-Orkest; was its conductor in 1883 and also conductor of Dordrecht’s orch., choir, and music school (1877–88). He became the first conductor of Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orch., leading its inaugural concert on Nov. 3, 1888, and remaining with it until 1895. In 1895 he succeeded Henschel as conductor of the Scottish Orch. in Glasgow. In 1898 he went to Russia, where he conducted the Moscow Phil. Soc. (1901–05); subsequently was conductor of the Koblenz Orch. and director of the music school there (1905–26). Among his works are a Sym., overtures, Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto, Der Taucher for Chorus and Orch., chamber music, piano pieces, and songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire