I INTERNATIONAL CONDUCTING COMPETITION “LLÍRIA, CITY OF MUSIC” Jury
Chief conductor of Orquesta de Valencia (1983-1997).
(Llíria, 1940), he began his musical studies at the Ateneo Musical y de Enseñanza Banda Primitiva de Llíria. At the Conservatorio Superior de Música y Declamación de Valencia, he obtained a degree in Oboe, Piano, Composition and Conducting. He took post-graduate courses in Conducting with the maestros Volker Wangheneim, head of the Bon Symphony, and later with Igor Markevitch, of whom he was a student and collaborator, conducting many of his pieces. He has conducted most of the Spanish orchestras: ONE, RTVE, OBC, Sinfónica de Madrid, Bilbao, Las Palmas, Seville, etc. Outside Spain: Monte Carlo Opera, Dresdner Philarmonie, Hungarian Philharmonic, French Nationale, English Chamber, Nuremberg Symphony, Miami Festival Orchestra, the orchestras of Montevideo, Turkey, Croatia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Japan, etc. He has recorded numerous programmes for the historical archive of RNE, RTVE, Suisse Romande of Switzerland, Radio France, Venezuela TV, NHK from Tokyo…
His wide repertoire ranges from Bach’s baroque, classicism, romanticism, impressionism, culminating symphonism, with the premiere of Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 5 in Spain, Mahler and his emblematic Symphony No. 8 at the Teatro Real, Bartók, Stravinsky… operas by Mozart, Bizet, Puccini, Verdi, Strauss, Wagner, etc. His discography includes Falla and his La vida breve, Manuel Palau with his opera Maror, Oscar Esplá and his Sinfonía Aitana, all the works by Joaquín Rodrigo, Amando Blanquer and his opera El Trionf de Tirant, even those of the last generation, César Cano and his magnificent Te Deum, Andrés Valero or Francisco Coll, Carlos Fontcuberta, with his opera White Nights. Prestigious soloists performed under his baton such as Christian Ferrás, Isaac Stern, Igor Oistrac, Mstislav Rostropovich, Maximin Venguerov, Alicia de la Rocha, Alexis Weissenberg, Achúcarro, J. Soriano, Maria Joao Pires, Narciso Yepes, Pepe Romero Nicanor Zabaleta, Maurice André, Victoria de los Ángeles, Teresa Berganza, Renata Scotto, Mirella Freni, Enedina Lloris, Alfredo Kraus, etc.
He is a corresponding academician of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando de Madrid, of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes Santa Isabel de Hungría in Sevilla, and a tenured academician of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos de Valencia. In 2014, the Llíria City Council awarded him the “City Medal”. In 2018, the Llíria City Council granted him the “Premio Jaume I de la Villa de Llíria”.
Chief and artistic conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia.
One of the most versatile conductors on the national scene, Virginia Martínez has developed her career as artistic director and chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Region of Murcia and the Youth Orchestra of the Region of Murcia, for 11 and 18 seasons, respectively.
She begins her musical studies at the age of six. After graduating in Piano, Harmony and Counterpoint, she soon received a scholarship from the Seneca Foundation to further study conducting in Vienna, which she ends in 2003 conducting Stravinsky’s Fire Bird for the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and earning the grade of “Magna Cum Laude with special mention”. This is followed by premieres with the Contemporary Music Ensemble of the Vienna Conservatory and her official presentation in Murcia at the head of the Symphony Orchestra of the Region of Murcia.
In January 2004, she was awarded “Youth of the Year” by the Department of Youth of the Region of Murcia and was appointed assistant to Bertrand de Billy at Barcelona’s Gran Teatro del Liceu. with Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. In the 2005/6 season, she is assistant conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, combined with the artistic direction of ESMUC Orchestra. In 2006/7 she is assistant conductor with the Valencia Orchestra, together with Yaron Traub.
She has conducted the main Spanish orchestras, as well as tours with the Wiener Kammerorchester, the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic, where she collaborates with Philippe Entremont, the Brasilia National Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Mexico, tour in the USA (McCormick Place in Chicago and New York Lincoln Center).
In 2016, the city of Molina de Segura inaugurated the “Virginia Martínez Fernández Auditorium” in her honour. Since then, she has received numerous mentions for being “one of the youngest and most important and orchestra conductors of the international scene”, as well as “for her exceptional human qualities and for her teaching works”, a result of her extraordinary work to bringing closer the classical music to the young audience.
Chief Conductor of the Braga Philharmonic Orchestra (Portugal)
Filipe Cunha has been Chief Conductor of the Braga Philharmonic Orchestra (Portugal) since 2014. Braga is a UNESCO Creative City.
He has many years of experience as an instrumentalist and as a conductor. He studied transverse flute and clarinet, becoming principal clarinet soloist in the Symphonic Band.
He completed the Higher Conducting Course and specialized in orchestral conducting with Jean-Sebastien Béreau. He is regularly invited to direct orchestras outside of his country and to give conducting masterclasses. His musical career includes concerts in Portugal (continent and islands), Spain, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Brazil, the USA, Canada, China, Mexico, Poland and Cuba.
He is a member of the Samnium University of Music (Italy) as guest conductor, he is Honorary Conductor of the Korean Orchestra and a member of the Giuseppe Verdi Musical Society (Mexico) as an international maestro. In 2022, apart from concerts with the Braga Philharmonic Orchestra, he conducted the Ponta Delgada Sinfonietta Orchestra (Azores); Italian Opera Florence Orchestra (Italy); Malaga Camerata Orchestra; Symphony Orchestra of the State of Puebla (Mexico) and Lutoslawski Chamber Orchestra (Poland).
In 2023, in addition to the concerts with the Braga Philharmonic Orchestra, he has concerts outside his country as the Municipal Symphonic Band of Seville (Spain); National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba; Symphony Orchestra of the Lyceu Mozarteum of Havana; San Remo Symphony Orchestra (Italy); Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra (Bulgaria); Orchestra Harmonie Ensemble (Valencia) and Orchestra San Giovanni (Naples).
In 2024 he will conduct concerts in Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Spain (Oviedo, Malaga, Badajoz, etc…), Poland, the USA, Italy and the Azores.
ANDRÉS DAVID ASCANIO
Musical Academic Director of El Sistema.
He began his musical studies with the piano at the age of 4. At the Emil Friedman School at the age of 11 he began his trumpet studies. In the year 2000, after auditioning, he entered the National Children’s Symphony of Venezuela, with which he made numerous tours throughout Europe, North and South America.
In 2004, he was selected for the trumpet row of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, with which he has performed under the baton of Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle and Gustavo Dudamel, among others, and is also a member of the Simón Bolívar Trumpet Ensemble. In 2008 he began his studies in Orchestral Conducting with maestro José Antonio Abreu and has taken lessons with maestros Eduardo Marturet and Pablo Castellanos.
He has participated as a conductor in important festivals and international tours, with various orchestral groups from El Sistema. He works as Musical Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, with which he performed in the city of Vienna in 2018, and of the National Children’s Symphony of Venezuela, with which he made his debut in Geneva, Switzerland, in April 2023. He frequently conducts the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and the Juan Jose Landaeta Symphony Orchestra in El Sistema.
He is currently the Musical Academic Director of El Sistema.
Artistic director of “Llíria City of Music” Conducting Competition.
Considered one of the most important conductors of his generation, Cristóbal Soler has developed a career made up of a wide repertoire, both symphonic and lyrical. The critics are unanimous in highlighting his charisma and interpretive depth, as well as a precise and consolidated technique, the result of solid and rigorous training in Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Graz and Zurich from the hand of great conductors such as Harnoncourt, Sawallisch, Prêtre, Vladimir Fedoseyev or Mariss Jansons.
He has conducted an extensive catalogue of operas and zarzuelas, with outstanding mentions and awards, during six seasons as Musical Director of the Teatro Nacional de la Zarzuela, as well as premieres and recoveries of forgotten operas. He is invited by the most representative Spanish orchestras: Orchestra and Choir of the Spanish National Radio and Television Corporation, the OBC, the JONDE, the Valencia Symphony Orchestra, Galicia Symphony Orchestra, Community of Madrid Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestras of Bilbao, Seville, Castilla y León, Navarre Symphony Orchestra, Granada City Orchestra, etc., performing at halls such as the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Palau de la Música in Barcelona and Auditorio Baluarte in Pamplona.
He has conducted the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra (Victoria Hall in Geneva and Salle Metrópol in Lausanne), as well as international tours in Austria (Mozarteum in Salzburg; Austria Centre in Vienna); France; Portugal; Poland; Czech Republic; Slovenia; Romania; Cuba; Venezuela (Caracas Symphony Orchestra); Mexico, Brazil or Argentina.
Cristóbal Soler is the founding president of AESDO, Spanish Association of Orchestra Conductors, and Artistic Director of IOCC, International Orchestra Conducting Competition “Llíria City of Music”.