JUAN JOSE MENA
Juan José Mena began his musical training at the Vitoria-Gasteiz Conservatory, studying harmony, composition and orchestration with Carmelo Bernaola. He studied conducting with Enrique García Asensio at the Madrid Conservatory and on graduation won the honours prize for best student. He was then awarded the Guridi-Bernaola scholarship, which enabled him to pursue his conducting studies in Germany under Sergiu Celibidache. His close association with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra began in 1993 when, as guest conductor, he directed several special concerts. In 1994 he became Artistic Director of the Jesús Guridi Chamber Orchestra, as well as conducting the Irún Chamber Orchestra and the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. He was appointed artistic director and permanent conductor of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra in 1999. His impressive and successful career so far was recognised in 2000 when he was awarded Spanish National Radio’s Critical Eye prize in the field of music.