Juanjo Mena

Juanjo Mena

Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, United Kingdom, Juanjo Mena is one of Spain’s most distinguished international conductors.  He has been Artistic Director of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Chief Guest Conductor of the Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa and Principal Guest Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has worked with many prestigious orchestras such as the Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Milan, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Turin, Münchner Rundfunk Orchester, Dresden Philharmonic, Goteborg Symphoniker, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.

His European highlights in the 2014-15 season include his debuts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Nash Ensemble, as well as concerts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orquesta Nacional de España and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Following his recent concerts with the symphonies of Los Angeles, Boston, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Toronto, Maestro Mena’s busy North America 2014-5 season includes return visits to Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as his debuts with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

A guest of international festivals, he has appeared at the Stars of White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Hollywood Bowl, Grant Park (Chicago), Tanglewood and La Folle Journée (Nantes). He recently led the BBC Philharmonic on two tours of Europe and Spain, including performances in Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Madrid, and performs with them every year at the BBC Proms in London.

His operatic work includes The Flying Dutchman, Salome, Elektra, Ariadne auf Naxos, Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung and productions including Eugene Onegin in Genoa, The Marriage of Figaro in Lausanne and Billy Budd in Bilbao.

He has made several recordings with the BBC Philharmonic, including a disc of works by Manuel de Falla, which was a BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Month, Gabriel Pierné, which was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice, and recent releases of music by Montsalvatge, Weber and Turina which have gained excellent reviews from the specialist music press. He has also recorded a collection of Basque symphonic music with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra for Naxos, and a critically acclaimed rendering of Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony for Hyperion with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.  Juanjo Mena’s Messiaen interpretation is said to “utterly redefine the terms under which past/current/future Turangalîlas need to be judged”. (Gramophone, October 2012).

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