José Antonio MontañoPRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
The Madrilenian José Antonio Montaño is considered “among Spain´s orchestra conductors with the highest renown at the moment”, according to the specialized music press. Trained by great masters such as Jesús López Cobos, Evelino Pidò, Pinchas Steinberg and Arturo Tamayo, he made name for himself in theaters and auditoriums of international prestige, performing all genres (opera, ballet, symphony and chamber music), and covering an extensive repertoire starting with his first baroque performance until utterly contemporary debuts.
Since 1998, he has been highly active in opera conducting, with a special emphasis on 18th century works, performing in top-ranked theaters, both nationally and abroad. Among many others, we mention these outstanding titles: La vera costanza and Il mondo della luna by F. J. Haydn, W. A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni, D. Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto, V. Martín y Soler’s Il tutore burlato, C. Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, H. Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, J. A. Hasse’s La contadina, G. B. Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, C. de Rossi’s Il sacrificio di Abramo, A. Rodríguez de Hita’s Las labradoras de Murcia, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Il viaggio a Reims by G. Rossini, Don Pasquale and Rita by G. Donizetti, R. Carnicer’s Don Giovanni Tenorio, Bellini’s I Puritani, Puccini´sLa Bohème, X. Montsalvatge’s El gato con botas (Puss in Boots), C. del Campo’s Fantochines and The Little Sweep by B. Britten.
In Spain he has conducted in such renowned national theaters such as Teatro Real, Teatro de la Zarzuela, Teatro Monumental, Teatros del Canal, Teatro Español, Teatro María Guerrero, Fundación Juan March and Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid; Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao; Palacio de Festivales in Santander; Auditorio Baluarte in Pamplona; Teatro Romano in Mérida; Auditorio Ciudad in León; Teatro Principal in Mahón; Teatro Colón in La Coruña. In Italy he has conducted in Teatro Carlo Felice in Geneve, Teatro Valli in Reggio Emilia, Teatro Comunale in Ferrara, Teatro Comunale in Treviso and Palazzo Reale in Naples. In France he has conducted in the Opéra Théâtre de St Etienne. In Russia he has conducted in the Alexandrinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, and in Belgium he has conducted in the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège.
He participated in many festivals such as the Mozart Festival in La Coruña, Festival Internacional de Santander, Festival Internacional de Teatro Clásico in Mérida, Almagro, Lírico de Real Coliseo Carlos III in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Clásicos in Alcalá, Festival de Arte Sacro de la Comunidad de Madrid, Festival Vía Magna de Caja Madrid, Veranos de la Villa, Festival de Música de Vigo ARE-MORE, Semana de Música de Caja-Asturias in Gijón, Fifth International Choir Festival in Saint Petersburg, and many others.
He has conducted many orchestras as the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, l’Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “La Verdi”, l’Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice de Génova, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid, Sinfónica de Galicia, l’Orchestre de l’Opera Royal de Wallonie, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Saint-Étienne, Orquesta de Extremadura, Sinfónica de Navarra, Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, l’Orchestra Filarmonia Veneta, la Orquesta Escuela de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid (principal conductor 2003-2013), Orquesta de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (principal conductor 2007-2009), the period instrument orchestras La Madrileña and La Tropa Barroca de Madrid, among others.
He has worked closely with such internationally-renowned directors as Emilio Sagi, Ignacio García, Italo Nunziata, Elio De Capitani, Alessandra Panzavolta, Tomaz Pandur and Tomás Muñoz.
Between 2003 and 2013 he worked as principal conductor of the Orquesta Escuela de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid in the Teatro Real, where he was in charge of the musical direction of diverse opera productions, such as La vera costanza by J. F. Haydn, L’Orfeo by C. Monteverdi, La serva padrona by G. B. Pergolesi, The Little Sweep by B. Britten and El gato con botas by X. Montsalvatge. The Teatro Real entrusted him with many other productions as well, such as the world premiere of the ballet El laboratorio del Dr. Fausto by F. Palacios and concerts of such works as I. Stravinsky’s The Firebird (Crearte 2011 Prize, Ministry of Culture), Peter and the Wolf by S. Prokofiev, L´histoire du petit tailleur by Tibor Harsányi, El canto de Orfeo, El humor en Haydn, A propósito de la danza y el ballet, Cifras y cuerdas, and Tres familias vecinas, not to mention the tribute concert in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the reopening of the Teatro Real.
He has made several recordings, including Fantochines by Conrado del Campo for Televisión Española and Radio Clásica of Radio Nacional de España, the Suite Sevilla for Ballet Nacional de España and for the Centro Cultural de la Villa the soundtrack for the theatrical work Barroco under the stage direction of Tomaz Pandur, which was recorded with the Orquesta Escuela de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid and soloists of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, gaining him the nomination for a MAX award as best musical director.
Again collaborating with the Ballet Nacional de España, Maestro Montaño conducted the following productions: Clásicos de la danza española at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid with the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid in 2012, Medea at the Teatro Romano de Mérida with the Orquesta de Extremadura inaugurating the Festival Internacional de Teatro Clásico de Mérida in 2013, Suite Sevilla at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa (Italy) with his resident Orchestra in 2014, Zaguán & Alento again at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid with the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid in 2015, and with the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia at theTeatro Víctor Villegas in 2016.
As a composer, Montaño won second prize in the European composition competition Opera J his children’s opera Hamelin City. The Centro Dramático Nacional commissioned him to write the music for the drama Flor de Otoño by J. M. Rodríguez Méndez, with stage directing by Ignacio García, which was performed in Madrid at the Teatro María Guerrero. The Coro de Cámara de Madrid commissioned him with the composition of Arrión on the occassion of the XVI Canto Coral Great National Prize.
His interest and love for historical interpretation saw the light with the creation of La Madrileña, an orchestra of period instruments, with which he has recovered some excellent examples of the repertoire of 18th Century Spain; special attention being paid to baroque opera and zarzuela by composers born in or with close relationships to Spain. After his debut concert in the Real Academia de Bellas Artes of San Fernando, broadcasted on Spain´s National Radio, he conducted La Madrileña in eminent venues such as the Teatro Real de Madrid and the Palacio de Cibeles.
This career, in collaboration with specialized orchestras in early music, began years before with the musical direction of La Tropa Barroca de Madrid, with whom he collaborated in such important events as the reopening of theReal Coliseo de Carlos III de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, with the renowned singers María Espada and José Hernández Pastor, as well as the premier of Antonio Rodríguez de Hita’s zarzuela, Las labradoras de Murcia (composed in 1769), performed at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg.
His most recent project is the first musical record of the orchestra La Madrileña, the orchestra has been voted by the public to be finalist under “BEST SPANISH ANCIENT MUSIC GROUP” category in the GEMA AWARDS 2017 (Association of Spanish Groups of Ancient Music). Montaño has also engaged in many concerts in various festivals.
Among his latest performances, noteworthy is his return to the Teatro Real of Madrid to conduct the opera I Puritani accompanied by Evelino Pidò and the singers Diana Damarau and Javier Camarena. Remarkable, as well, is his latest collaboration with the Ballet Nacional de España, where he conducted the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia. Moreover, his debut with l’Orchestra Sinfonica de Milano Giuseppe Verdi was a total success. In 2017, he shall again conduct this prestigious orchestra, performing two concert programmes including works by Ravel, Falla, Bernstein, Gershwin, Piazzolla, along Al-Andalus by Juan Manuel Cañizares. In addition, Montaño will be again envited by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra in the Teatro Baluarte in Pamplona, also he will make his debut with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and l’Orchestra dell’Accademia Teatro alla Scala of Milan.