The orchestra conductors who have impressed me most in my professional trajectory do not impose but propose; they do not give orders but show trust; they do not overrule but convince...
SMILE Artistic Management aims to be both an agency and a meeting place for artists and people who are unique both onstage and behind the scenes. Precisely those people who offer musicians and sensitive people what they need, i.e. inspiration instead of instructions.
Alberto Sampablo Lauro
JAN WILLEM DE VRIEND
(Italy, Spain and Latin-America)
• Main Conductor of the Residentie Philarmonic Orchest in The Hague
• Main Guest Conductor of the Symphonic Orchestra of Barcelona i nacional de Catalunya
• "Premier Chef Invit" Orchestra National de Lille
I met Jan in Barcelona. I was lucky to have him as the main guest conductor and to think with him programs by Mozart, Schubert, Haydn or Beethoven. From the first minute the tuning has been total and since then we have not stopped talking about music. For his great energy, always at the service of the collective and music, it is usual at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, at the Tonhalle in Zurich, in France and in Italy.
Jan is an intelligent mind and very kind person with a great sense of humour, who always stamps a great deal of character on his concerts. A specialist in baroque and classical repertoire, and early romanticism, he always provides a luxury addition to any orchestra and for the public in any kind of programme.
Not only is he a conductor who looks after the fine details of the music, he also knows how to lead the group by showing respect and making sure that each musician feels part of an important shared project. During concerts this results in a very effective circuit of trust and energy, giving the orchestra a great sense of unity.
(Italy, Spain and Latin-America)
• Artistic Director y Pricnipal conductor in Gustav Mahler orchestra (GMO), in Hong Kong
• Associated Conductor in Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
“He is a highly talented conductor
and I feel sure he will have a great career if given the chance.
I know you will not be disappointed with him." David Zinman
Wilson Ng has worked with leading orchestras in the world, including the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
In Hong Kong, Wilson Ng is the Founder, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Gustav Mahler Orchestra. He led the orchestra to have their first overseas performance at the Busan Maru International Music Festival in Korea in 2017. For his contributions to the development of arts and culture, he received a Certificate of Commendation from the Hong Kong Secretary for Home Affairs in 2017 and a Young Artist Award from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2018.
Highlights of Wilson Ng’s concerts in 2019 include, performance with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at the Seoul Arts Center Orchestra Festival 2019, and conducting the China National Symphony Orchestra at the opening concert of the Beijing Modern Music Festival. He will continued to be assistant and cover conductor of John Nelson for the Berlioz’s Requiem performance with Philharmonia Orchestra in London, as well as a Warner recording of Berlioz’s Damnation de Faust by Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg with mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato.
Not only is he a meticulous director with music, but he knows how to lead the group with respect, taking care psychologically that each musician feels part of a great common project. That builds in the concerts a very powerful circle of confidence and energy, giving a great sense of unity to the orchestra.
Principal Conductor of the ADDA Simfònica, an ambitious group based in the Alicante Auditorium, collaborating with soloists such as Juan Pérez Florestán, Viviane Hagner, Stefano Bollani and Juan Manuel Cañizares.
Very dedicated to contemporary music, he has premiered hundreds of new works to great acclaim. He was Artistic Director at The Amsterdam Percussion Group (Formed by soloists of the RoyalConcertgebouw Orchestra) and regularly conducts specialized groups such as the Cadaqués Orchestra Contemporary Ensemble.
Former assistant of Maestro Alberto Zedda he was named Best Young Music Performer by Jeunesse Musicales, and he received the Arts prize 2013 awarded by the City of Valencia and the Óscar Esplá City of Alicante Award. Furthermore, he was named International Ambassador for the Foundation Culture of Peace, chaired by Federico Mayor for his dynamic agenda with intercultural youth projects.
In the 2018/19 season, highlights include concerts with international ensembles such as Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi,London Symphony Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic, South Netherlands Philharmonic and the Chamber Orchestra of Chile. In the 2019/20 season he will conduct the Lille Orchestra and will perform a concert with WDR Funkhausorchester at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
In addition, he will continue his intense relationship with La Fura dels Baus and he will conductthe OBC, the Valencia Orchestra and the Symphonic Orchestra the Region of Murcia (OSRM) among other Spanish orchestras.
He knows how to use his smile to persuade the musicians. A great communicator, who knows how to win the loyalty of the public. An all-round conductor.
JAUME BLAI SANTONJA
Assistant Conductor: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Founder: AbbatiaViva music collective
Recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra CBSO, Jaume Santonja has lead concerts with the Orquesta de Extremadura, ADDA·Simfònica from Alicante, Orquesta de Córdoba, Spanish National Youth Orchestra JONDE, the Antwerp Symphony Youth Orchestra. He is the founder of AbbatiaViva music collective (Belgium) and has a regular collaboration with the Orquesta de Extremadura OEX (Spain).
Apart from the intense collaboration with the CBSO in Birmingham, highlights of his next engagements include debut concerts in the subscription series of the RTVE Orchestra in Madrid, the Orquesta de Extremadura and the Antwerp Symphony.
Recently Jaume has obtained remarkable results at different international conducting competitions including the second prize at 'V Concurso de Dirección Orquestal' in Córdoba (Spain).
Jaume holds a Master of Music in conducting from the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp (Belgium) and a Master of Music in percussion from the Amsterdam Conservatorium (Holland). Studied his Bachelor at ESMuC (Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain).
Jaume has also an activity as music arranger and orchestrator, even a small number of compositions, mainly for chamber music (another of his passions).
In association with Elisabetta Longardi, from RESIA ARTISTS.
DIEGO MARTÍN ETXEBARRÍA
• Winner of the 1st Prize, the Hideo Saito Prize and the Asahi Prize at the 17th Tokyo International Music Competition for Management
• Principal resident director and music director of Vicegeneral at the Krefeld-Mönchengladbach Theater.
• Principal Resident Conductor of the Chemnitz Opera House
Recently appointed Principal Resident Conductor of the Chemnitz Opera House he has been Principal Resident Conductor and Deputy Music Director of the Opera Houses in Krefeld and Mönchengladbach since 2016. Diego Martin-Etxebarria first came to international attention when he was awarded First Prize, the Hideo Saito Award and the Asahi Award at the Tokyo Conducting Competition in 2015.
Highlights of the season 2019/20 include the season opening concert at the Chemnitz Opera House as well as Mozart's opera The abduction from the Seraglio and Tchaikovsky's ballet The swan lake; in Krefeld and Mönchengladbach, Dvorak's Rusalka, Mozart's The magic flute and Offenbach's Orpheus in the underworld. In addition Martin-Etxebarria will make his debut with the Spanish National Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia and also at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid conducting Tres sombreros de Copa by Ricardo Llorca (based on the play by Miguel Mihura).
Music Director of the Euskadiko Ikasleen Orkestra in 2007 and 2008 and the Akademisches Orchester Freiburg between 2010 and 2012, he has been invited by orchestras such as the Osaka Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Nagoya Philharmonic Kansai Philharmonic, Osaka Symphony, St. Petersburg State Capella Symphony, the Spanish Radio and Television Symphony, Bilbao Symphony, Euskadi Symphony, Galicia Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, Tenerife Symphony, the City of Granada Orchestra, Málaga Philharmonic, Oviedo Philharmonia, Vallés Symphony, among others.
In the operatic field, he has conducted Paul-Heinz Dittrich's Die Verwandlung and Die Blinden at the Berliner Staatsoper; Puccini's La Bohème at the Theater Augsburg, Donizetti's Don Pasquale in Terrassa; Donizetti's Rita at the Volksbühne in Berlin; Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore in Vigo, Ourense and Pontevedra; Montsalvatge's Puss in boots at the Teatro Real in Madrid; Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Kleines Haus Dresden and the Opera House in Krefeld; Bizet's Carmen at the Santa Florentina Festival, Adés' Powder Her Face at the Arriaga Theater in Bilbao; Serra's Tempesta Esvaïda at the Fortuny Theatre in Reus; Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, Menotti's The Consul, Verdi's Nabucco, Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana and Kálmán's Die Faschingsfee at the Opera Houses in Krefeld and Mönchengladbach.
He has recorded the CD "Intimitats" with award-winning music by composer Marc Timón, the lyric comedy "La Viola d'Or" by Enric Morera (Enderrock Award for Best Classical Album Review 2016), the DVD "Sinfokids" 2 "at the head of the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra and the short opera by Joaquim Serra Tempesta esvaïda conducting the Camera Musicae Orchestra. Next season he will record music by renowned catalan composer Albert Guinovart with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra.
Martin-Etxebarria began his musical studies at the Conservatories of Vitoria and graduated in orchestra conducting at the University of Music of Catalonia (ESMuC). He was granted by the Humboldt Foundation and the DAAD-La Caixa for post-graduate studies in opera conducting at the Hochschulen in Weimar, Dresden and the Academia Chigiana in Siena with Gianluigi Gelmetti. Other conductors who have influenced his career include Riccardo Frizza, Donato Renzetti, Dima Slobodeniouk, Christopher Seaman, Jesús Lopez Cobos, Titus Engel and Lutz Köhler.
(Spain, Italy & South America)
Rubén Gimeno has been the Chief Conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica del Valles, tenure that he started back in 2009 until 15/16 season.
Before taking his position in Barcelona, Rubén Gimeno was during six years Artistic Director of Galicia Symphony Youth Orchestra, responsibility that he combined with his position as a violinist at Galicia Symphony.
As a guest conductor Rubén Gimeno has successfully appeared with most of the Spanish orchestras including among others Galicia Symphony, Spanish National Orchestra, Tenerife Symphony, Euskadi Symphony, Asturias Symphony Orchestra, Bilbao Symphony, Castilla and León Symphony, City of Málaga Orchestra, Valencia Orchestra, Barcelona Symphony, City of Granada Orchestra, Oviedo Philharmonic, Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid and Palau de les Arts Symphony Orchestra.
International appearances include collaborations with the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra, Gavle Symphony Orchestra, Geneva Chamber Orchestra , Orchestra MMCK (Japan), Maryland University Orchestra, SAMI Orchestra (Sweden) and Colombia National Symphony, collaborating with soloists such as Lang Lang, Midori, Steven Isserlis, Dimitri Sitkovetsky, Fazil Say, Violeta Urmana, Gabriela Montero, Behzod Abduraimov and Michel Camilo.
In addition, Rubén Gimeno is developing an intense collaboration with the opera series “Opera in Catalonia” having conducted so far titles such as Les Contes d’Hoffmann, L’Elisir d’Amore, Nabucco, Boheme, Madama Butterfly among others...
Rubén Gimeno debuted with huge success at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, conducting on two gala concerts dedicated to celebrate Verdi’s bicentenary anniversary.
JUAN CARLOS LOMÓNACO
Head conductor of the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra since 2009, he graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied orchestra conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller. He also studied at the Pierre Monteux School with Charles Bruch and at the University of Montreal.
At age 23 he debuted with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico and since then he has conducted more than 50 orchestras in the following countries: USA, Canada, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan and France.
Among the orchestras he has conducted include the National Orchestra and Choirs of Spain, the Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela, the National Symphony of Peru, the Opera and Ballet of Fine Arts of Mexico, the Symphony of Xalapa, the Philharmonic of the UNAM, The Polish Chamber Orchestra, among others.
He has been the principal conductor of the Carlos Chávez Symphony Orchestras, of the National Polytechnic Institute, National Conservatory of Music as well as director and founder of the Mexico-Philadelphia Ensemble and Latin American Ensemble.
In Mexico he frequently conducts the most important orchestras in the country. His extensive repertoire and versatility range from opera, to contemporary music. He has participated in the international festivals of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Treviso Contemporary Music, Gaia-Portugal and Cervantino in Mexico.
He has accompanied soloists, such as Juan Diego Flórez, Alexei Volodin, Leticia Moreno, Vadim Brodski, Jorge Federico Osorio and Carlos Prieto. His discography with various orchestras amounts to more than 20 recordings. Creditor to the Presser Music Award and FONCA scholarships five times. He is selected in 2010 by the magazine LÍDERES MEXICANOS as one of the 300 most influential Mexicans.