Music

Juanjo Mena

The Rite of Spring Changing Faces: Stravinsky's Journey Juanjo Mena conducting. Content supplied by Albion Media.

Paris, 1913: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring changes the course of modern music. It wasn’t just that a riot broke out at the premiere: the rhythmic power and primal energy of Stravinsky’s volcanic score are so ferocious that a century later, we’re still dealing with the aftershock. With Juanjo Mena conducting, this should be electrifying. Benedetto Lupo, meanwhile, is the soloist in the dark, defiant Piano Concerto that Ravel wrote for a pianist who lost an arm in the Great War. This is music at its most uncompromising; and in its quieter way, Debussy’s sensuous Printemps is every bit as subversive.

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 Berlin Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, 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 as well as regular appearances with all the major Spanish orchestras.

Since his American debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2004 he has conducted most of the leading orchestras in the United States, including Chicago, Boston, Houston, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

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.

His recent and future highlights include his debuts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra, as well as return visits to the Boston and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, the Oslo and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestras and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

He has led the BBC Philharmonic on tours of China and South Korea, Europe and Spain, including performances in Beijing, Seoul, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Madrid, and performs with them every year at the BBC Proms in London.

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, a Gabriel Pierné release which was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice, and works 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, and a critically acclaimed rendering of Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony for Hyperion with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Rite of Spring Changing Faces: Stravinsky's Journey

Wednesday 21 February Royal Festival Hall

Debussy Printemps
Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
Delius Idylle de Printemps
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

Juanjo Mena conductor
Benedetto Lupo piano
London Philharmonic Orchestra

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