Since its foundation in 2012, Dick van Gasteren is the conductor and artistic leader of the string orchestra Ciconia Consort. Van Gasteren also is permanent guest conductor with the Venezolan 'El Sistema', where he regularly leads the famous orchestras Teresa Carreño, Simón Bolivar and Francisco de Miranda. During masterclasses he teaches orchestra conducting to talented young conductors of 'El Sistema'. Dick van Gasteren studied the cello, orchestra direction, art history and law. He star
ted out his musical training at the age of nine as a cello player and subsequenctly went to The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague with Anner Bijlsma (master's degree in 1988). He studied orchestra direction with Jan Stulen (High Certificate in 1990), followed by lessons from Bernard Haitink in London. He studied art history and law at the University of Leiden, where he became master of law in 2003. Van Gasteren attended master classes on the cello with - amongst others - Heinrich Schiff and Godfried Hoogeveen, was a stand-in at multiple Dutch orchestras and played recitals throughout Holland, among which the Kleine Zaal of the Concertgebouw. He was a laureate at the conductor master class of the 'Accademia Musicale Chigiana' in Siena with Ferdinand Leitner and at the Wiener Meisterkurs. As assistent of Haitink, he conducted the Fernorchester at a concert of the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest during the Mahlerfestival Amsterdam (1995).