José Menor is an artist who defies labels. He is as much at home as “the great ambassador of Spanish music” (Melómano), or as a “revolutionary of his instrument” (Hèctor Parra), exploring the most innovative music of the avant-garde, including his own works.
One of the most outstanding Spanish pianists of his generation, José has quickly established himself as a sought-after artist in the field of new music. His recording of the complete solo piano works of Joan Guinjoan was awarded four stars by the prestigious Fono Forum Magazine and was hailed “a discographic milestone” and “a turning point in the appreciation of contemporary piano in our country” (Melómano).
José has just obtained rave reviews at his Carnegie Hall solo recital commemorating Granados' 100 Anniversary (March 24, 2016). Forthcoming dates include the "Meet in Beijing" Arts Festival in China (May 2016) and the Martha Argerich Festival in Lugano, Switzerland (June 2016), where José will perform the composer celebrated masterwork, Goyescas.
Other recent performances include the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele in Germany and the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, with monographic programmes dedicated to the music of Héctor Parra.
José has been selected as resident artist by the official Granados Centenary Commission in Lleida (birthplace of Granados) where he will present 8 recitals of the composer’s solo, chamber and concerto works across 2016-17.
José made his international debut at age fifteen, performing at New York’s Carnegie Hall as a First Prize winner of Cincinnati’s ‘The World Piano Competition’, which was followed by top prizes and awards at several different piano competitions. His debut at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona – after winning First Prize on the ‘El Primer Palau’ series - was the beginning of a continuous concert career as a soloist.
His debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) in London performing Albéniz’s ‘Concierto Fantástico’ in London was highly acclaimed by the international press and launched a series of performance premieres in different countries and in the whole American continent, becoming a signature work. As a concerto soloist, he has appeared with orchestras in three continents including Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra (China); Montevideo Philharmonic (Uruguay); Redlands Symphony Orchestra (USA); Wroclaw and Bydgoszcz Philharmonics (Poland); Sinfónica de Xalapa (México); Orchestra da Camera (UK); among other orchestras, and major orchestras in Spain including RTVE Radio-Television Orchestra in Madrid, OBC in Barcelona, Simfònica del Vallès (OSV), Joven Orquestra Nacional de España (JONDE), or Jove Orquestra Nacional de Catalunya (JONC).
As a solo recitalist, highlights have included Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, among other concerts. José is also an avid chamber musician and has collaborated with artists including, among others, Philip Setzer (Emerson Quartet), Ransom Wilson, István Várdai, Dai Miyata, Peijun Xu, Alexander Sitkovetsky, or Francisco Fullana. and ensembles such as New York Chamber Musicians (NYCM) and the Erato Piano Trio in the UK. His live performances have been recorded and broadcasted by different media including TVE (Spanish TV), TV3, CNN, RNE (Spanish National Radio), Catalunya Música, and has performed live on BBC Radio 3 (In Tune), Radio Canada, ABC Classic FM Australia, WXEL (USA), among others.
José is an active international promoter of Spanish contemporary music has premiered works by several major composers, including Hèctor Parra, Joan Guinjoan or Benet Casablancas, among others. As a composer, he has had premieres by different ensembles. Most recently he has premiered his solo piano work ‘Notes on Crossroads’ at the SGAE Auditorium in Madrid (2013), and six works for piano and electronics (2014) in collaboration with electronic composer and videoartist Francesc Martí (RMSOnce).
José Menor was born in Sabadell (Barcelona) and studied piano, composition and conducting at the Superior Conservatory in Barcelona; completed his Masters Degree at the Royal College of Music in London; his Artist Diploma at Yale University; and pursued further studies in institutions such as the Aspen Music Festival and School, Lynn University, or Stony Brook University, where he is currently an Advanced Doctoral candidate. He has worked with María Jesús Crespo (Spain), Yonty Solomon, Kevin Kenner, Peter Frankl, Claude Frank and Ann Schein, and received further coaching from renowned musicians including Cristina Ortiz, Emanuel Ax, Stephen Hough, Richard Goode or Joaquín Achúcarro. José was recently a chamber music professor at the Liceu Conservatory in Barcelona (2012/13), and a ‘Leverhulme Artist’, as a Junior Fellow at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London (2013/15).