Chief Conductor, BBC Philharmonic
Manager: R. Douglas Sheldon
Additional Management: Gabriella M. Campos
Management Territory: North & South America, Asia, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland
Mena loves to put a singing quality into phrases, to find little bends and breaths within a tempo, to make as big an effort for delicious pianissimos as for thunderous explosions. Baltimore Sun
Mena’s warm-blooded sound, maneuvers, and sharp orchestra discipline lifted Schubert’s symphonic testament up to a level you expect to hear in the greatest European concert halls. Haugesund's Avis (Norway)
The heart of the slow movement was perhaps the most revelatory instance, where cellos and basses march implacably onwards, regardless of the rest of the orchestra’s engagement with the agonies of temporal existence. Mena held the two worlds in perfect balance; it was as though everything beforehand had led to this moment, and everything afterwards would devolve from it. Similarly he drove the first movement fearlessly towards its climactic fierce exultation, while the finale was so eruptive from the word go that what sometimes comes across as mere quirkiness was utterly gripping. Rarely have I heard a Bruckner Sixth that displayed such masterful long-term vision, and never, I think, one that made the work seem so important UK Telegraph
Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, United Kingdom, Juanjo Mena is one of Spain’s most distinguished international conductors.
Following his recent concerts with the symphonies of Los Angeles, Houston, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Toronto, Maestro Mena returns to North America for a 2014-15 season that 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.
His European . . . highlights this season include his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra as well as concerts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orquesta Nacional de España and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.
A guest of international festivals, Maestro Mena has appeared at the Stars of White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Hollywood Bowl, Grant Park (Chicago), Tanglewood and La Folle Journee (Nantes). He recently led the BBC Philharmonic on 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.
Throughout Europe, Juanjo Mena has appeared with the Dresden Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Milan and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, as well as with all the major orchestras in Spain.
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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