Juan José Mena
born on 21/9/1965 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Baskenland, Spain
Alias Juanjo Mena
Links www.juanjomena.com (English)
|Born||September 21 1965
Juanjo Mena (also known as Juan José Mena; born 21 September 1965, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, Spain) is a Spanish conductor. His brother Carlos Mena is a countertenor and his sister Elena is a research chemist.
Mena began his music studies at the Vitoria-Gasteiz Conservatory. He later attended the Madrid Royal Conservatory, where his teachers included Carmelo Bernaola (composition and orchestration) and Enrique García Asensio (conducting). He also studied conducting with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich on a Guridi-Bernaola scholarship. In 1997, the Basque Government selected Mena to form the Youth Orchestra of Euskal Herria. He subsequently became associate conductor of the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra.
From 1999 to 2008, Mena was artistic director and principal conductor of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra. With the Bilbao orchestra, he conducted commercial recordings for Naxos Records of music by Jesús Guridi and Andrés Isasi. His guest-conducting debut in North America was with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2004. Mena served as principal guest conductor of the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa from 2007 to 2010. He has been principal guest conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007, and his current contract with the Bergen orchestra is through 2013. He is scheduled to relinquish the Bergen orchestra's principal guest conductorship on 1 June 2013.
In July 2010, the BBC Philharmonic announced the appointment of Mena as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2011-2012 season, with an initial contract of 3 years, leading 12 concerts per year. Mena directed the BBC Philharmonic in 4 concerts prior to his appointment. Mena and the BBC Philharmonic have commercially recorded music of Gabriel Pierné for the Chandos label.
Mena and his wife Noemi have two children. The family resides in Legutiano.
- Baltimore Symphony (9 March 2010). Audience Favorite Juanjo Mena Leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Nielsen's "The Inextinguishable," April 15, 17 & 18. Press release. Retrieved on 2010-07-24
- Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (18 February 2013). Edward Gardner ny sjefdirigent for Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester. Press release. Retrieved on 28 February 2013
- BBC (6 July 2010). BBC Philharmonic announces new chief conductor. Press release. Retrieved on 2010-07-24
- Juanjo Mena named chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, Gramophone, July 2010. URL accessed on 2010-07-24.
- Íñigo Gurruchaga, La Filarmónica de la BBC nombra a Juanjo Mena su director titular, El Correco, 2010-07-07. URL accessed on 2010-07-24.
- Andrew Clements, Pierné: Piano Concerto; Ramuntcho Suites Nos 1 & 2; etc review, The Guardian, 2011-01-06. URL accessed on 2011-09-03.
- Official Juanjo Mena homepage, English-language link
- Sullivan Sweetland agency biography of Mena
- Veronique Jourdain agency page
- Schmidt Artists agency page
- Richard Wigley, BBC Radio 3 Blog page on appointment of Mena as chief conductor
- ClassicsToday.com review of Naxos CD 8.557631
- ClassicsToday.com review of Naxos CD 8.557110
- ClassicsToday.com review of Naxos CD 8.557584