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Maestro JUANJO MENA returns to the USA in the 2012-13 for re-engagements with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony and appearances with the orchestras of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. He is a frequent visitor to American Orchestras having also conducted the orchestras of Philadelphia, Houston, and Indianapolis.
Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester and Principal Guest Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, Juanjo Mena is one of Spain’s most distinguished international conductors.
Worldwide, Juanjo Mena has appeared with the Dresden Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de Lyon, Oslo Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de São Paulo, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and the BBC Scottish Symphony too name only a few.
A guest of international festivals, Maestro Mena has appeared at the BBC Proms, Stars of White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Hollywood Bowl, Grant Park (Chicago) and La Folle Journee (Nantes). His future engagements include the Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Orquesta Sinfónica de Barcelona, and The Cleveland Orchestra.
Also active in opera, Juanjo Mena has led productions of Billy Budd, Eugene Onegin, Le Nozze di Figaro, Erwartung, Bluebeard’s Castle, Ariadne auf Naxos, Elektra, Salome, and Der Fliegende Holländer.
Two of Juanjo Mena’s most recent Chandos releases with the BBC Philharmonic were awarded Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice: “The Three-cornered Hat” by Manuel de Falla (May 2011), and his album of Gabriel Pierné works (March 2011). Mo. Mena has also recorded a collection of Basque symphonic music for Naxos with the Bilbao Symphony. Upcoming projects and releases include works by Montsalvatge and Weber, along with Messiaen’s Turangalila-Symphonie for Hyperion with the Bergen Philharmonic. Juanjo Mena’s Messiaen interpretation is said to “utterly redefine the terms under which past/current/future Turangalilas need to be judged.” (Gramophone, October 2012).
Born in Vitoria, Juanjo Mena began his musical training at the Vitoria-Gasteiz Conservatory (Basque Country). He studied composition and orchestration with Carmelo Bernaola and conducting with Enrique Garcia-Asensio at the Royal Higher Conservatory of Music in Madrid, where he received the Prize of Honor. Awarded a Guridi-Bernaolo Scholarship, he pursued further conducting studies in Munich with Sergiu Celibidache.