Juanjo Mena

Principal Conductor of the Cincinnati May Festival; Associate Conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra

“Mena led [Prokofiev’s first symphony] with an eye towards Haydnesque grace. The opening movement was light on its feet, with the skipping second theme taking on a gentle humor. The second movement was imbued with a singing lyricism. The violin theme spun over the accompaniment in a gleaming, vocal line. The Gavotte moved with a gentle swagger. Mena gave the piece a technicolor flourish, highlighting wind and string lines to good effect. The final movement was a whirlwind of darting figures.” “After the intermission Mena led a bracing account of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Mena, who led from memory, conducted with a keen sense of the work’s breadth. Tempos were fleet, which brought fire to the performance, particularly in the finale. Phrases were shaped in long arcs. Mena, too, kept an eye to the dance-like character that permeates the inner movements of the piece. The scherzo was nimble and swift in its pizzicato statements, and the sweeping string lines of the first movement sounded with glowing warmth.”
Boston Classical Review

Mena loves to put a singing quality into phrases, to find little bends and breaths within a tempo, to make as big an effort for delicious pianissimos as for thunderous explosions.
Baltimore Sun


One of Spain’s most distinguished international conductors, Juanjo Mena is Principal Conductor of the Cincinnati May Festival and Associate Conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra. He has been Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, 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, London Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, . . .

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  • Manager: Stefana Atlas
    Management Territory: North America, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Russia, and Asia

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