Alongside a career as a classical guitarist (soloist with the RPO in concerts conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, recordings for Philips praised by Alfred Brendel), Dionysios Dervis-Bournias studied conducting, receiving advice from and attending rehearsals of Simon Rattle (London and Birmingham, 1993–94). After viewing a video of him interpreting Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony, Sir Georg Solti encouraged him to devote himself exclusively to conducting and recommended him to the Orchestre de Paris, where he held the exclusive position of assistant conductor to Semyon Bychkov (1996–99) with whom he continues his tuition. For his Florence début at the head of I Solisti Fiorentini, La Repubblica hailed him as ‘The new promise for conducting’. In 2000 he was appointed director of the Italian Chamber Orchestra. In November 2001, in the presence of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, he conducted the Orchestre Colonne in a concert in memory of the victims of September 11. In 2005 he represented France on the 60th anniversary of UNESCO at the head of his orchestra, Arca XXI, which specialises in the repertoires of the 18th and 21st centuries, conducting world premières by Nicolas Bacri and Yann Robin. Fascinated by 18th-century repertoire, he studied Baroque interpretation with Reinhard Goebel. His soloist partnerships include Brigitte Engerer, who chose him to conduct her first Bach performances, and Beatrice Uria-Monzon. Following this René Maillard recording he was invited to conduct the RPO in a programme consisting of works by Beethoven.