has given highly acclaimed solo recitals throughout Europe and America and performed in concerts under the direction of well-known conductors such as Maximiano Valdes, Juan Jose Mena, Monica Huggett and Seirgiu Comisiona.
He has recorded many works for the state radios and televisions in Spain, Finland, Belgium, Romania, Germany, Cuba, Mexico, Poland, Chile, South Korea, Hungary and Bulgaria. He has also recorded four C.D.s for NAXOS in which he performs music by Giuliani, Brouwer, and Takemitsu among others, as well as all of the concertos for guitar and orchestra by the Spanish master Joaquin Rodrigo. His first recording was one of NAXOS' 50 top selling C.D.s for 2001 and received laudatory reviews in the press.
Ricardo Gallen has received over twenty international prizes, including: First Prize at the 32nd Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition, 1997, in Markneukirchen, Germany; First Prize and a Special Prize for the best interpretation of the works of Enrique Igoa at the 14th Andres Segovia International Classical Guitar Competition, 1998, held in La Herradura, Granada; First Prize at the Fourth Alhambra International Guitar Competition, 1998; First Prize and the Special Audience Prize at the 33rd Francisco Tarrega International Guitar Contest, 1999; First Prize and five Special Prizes (Best Interpretation of a Cuban work, the Leo Brouwer Special Prize, the Cuban National Union of Writers and Artists Musicians Association Prize, the Music Recording and Publishing Company Prize, and the Cuban Radio and Television Institute Prize) at the 11th International Guitar Competition held in Havana, Cuba in 2002.
Ricardo Gallén is Professor at the University of Extremadura in Spain and Assistant Professor of Professor Elliot Fisk at University Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
Born in Santiago, Maximiano Valdés began his studies in piano and violin at the Conservatory of Music there and continued at the Accademia de Santa Cecilia in Rome where he took courses in composition and conducting. Completing his diploma in piano, he decided to concentrate entirely on conducting and enrolled in the conducting classes of Franco Ferrara in Bologna, Siena and Venice and also worked with Sergiu Celibidache in Stuttgart and Paris. In 1976 Mr. Valdés was engaged as Assistant Conductor at the Teatro la Fenice in Venice and the following year was a conducting fellow at Tanglewood where he worked with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. He won First Prize at the Nicolai Malko Competition in Copenhagen, First Prize at the Vittorio Gui Competition in Florence and Second Prize from the Rupert Foundation Conducting Competition in London.
Mr. Valdés made his American symphonic debut in October 1987 with the Buffalo Philharmonic and was immediately re-invited for the following season. After a successful return to the orchestra in 1989, he was appointed Music Director, a position he held for almost 10 years. In North America he has guest conducted many of the leading orchestras including the Saint Louis, National, Montreal, Baltimore, Seattle, Houston, Dallas and New World symphonies and the Calgary Philharmonic. Summer festival appearances have included the Mann Music Center with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Caramoor, Interlochen, Grand Teton, Eastern Music Festival, Chautauqua, Music Academy of the West and Grant Park in Chicago.
Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances in North America with the Indianapolis, Vancouver, Colorado, Phoenix, San Diego, Alabama, Charleston, Toledo and Virginia symphonies; the Buffalo and Louisiana Philharmonics; the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa; and the Eastern Music and Chautauqua festivals. Also an active international guest conductor, he has lead the Dresden Philharmonie, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw, Krakow and Katowice Philharmonics, Nice Opera Orchestra, Lisbon Philharmonic, Israel Chamber Orchestra and all of the major Spanish orchestras in Europe; the Malaysian Philharmonic; the Sao Paulo Orchestra, Sao Paulo Opera Orchestra and Philharmonica of Minas Gerais in Brazil; and the Mexico City Philharmonic and UNAM Philharmonic in Mexico City. In October 2011, Mr. Valdés led the Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in a concert for the Pope at the Vatican.
An experienced opera conductor who has led productions in many of Europe's leading opera houses, Mr. Valdés made his highly successful opera debut in France with La Traviata at the Nice Opera. Since then he has conducted productions in Paris, Lausanne, Rome, Berlin, London, Barcelona, Oslo, Copenhagen, Bonn, Asturias and Santiago. Mr. Valdés made his American operatic debut in May 1992 with the Seattle Opera conducting Cosi fan tutti and returned there in the fall of 1998 to lead Gounod's Faust. During the 10/11 season he returned to the opera house in Oviedo, Spain to conduct Katya Kabanova and led a production of La Traviata in San Juan, and returns to the opera pit in San Juan in September 2013 for a production of Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet.
Maximiano Valdés has recorded with the Royal Philharmonic, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Nice Philharmonic and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra and had an exclusive agreement with Naxos to record works by Latin American and Spanish composers with his orchestra in Asturias.
EntreQuatre Guitar Quartet
Based in Asturias, Spain, the Entrequatre guitar quartet performs both contrasting programs of traditional and contemporary repertoire. They have served as inspiration for many composers, especially Spanish and Latin American composers, and have had numerous guitar quartet pieces written for them and premiered more than thirty.
Well known in Europe as soloists and as an ensemble, Entrequatre is Carlos Cuanda, Professor in the School of Music of Llanera; Roberto Martinez, Professor in the Conservatory E. Martinez Torner, Oviedo; Manuel Paz, Professor in the Conservatory of Nalon; and Jesus Prieto, Professor in the Conservatory of Nalon. The four guitarists began collaborating as a group in 1984 and have grown to become one of the most original and established chamber ensembles in Spain's contemporary music scene.
The quartet began collaborating with other groups in 1989 when together with the Foundation Principality of Asturias Choir, they gave the first performance of Flores Chaviano's Son de Negros en Cuba, which was based on text from Garcia Lorca, for choir, narrator, small percussion group and guitar quartet.
They have performed at festivals worldwide and tour Europe and the U.S. extensively. Their studio work includes recording a CD and various programs for Radio Clasica of Radio Nacional de España and Radio Budapest. Entrequatre has performed live on the Internet in June 2000 with the premiere of Danzon No 1 by Flores Chaviano.
Asturias Symphony Orchestra
was created in 1991, as the heir to the former Provincial Symphony Orchestra. It is composed of 69 teachers from several countries in the European Union, Russia, United States and Latin America. Every year it offers concert seasons in Oviedo, Gijón and Avilés. In addition to its permanent conductors, Jesse Levine and Maximiano Valdés, the OSPA has been conducted by a long list of maestros including Arturo Tamayo, Cristóbal Halffter and Jesús López Cobos.
This orchestra has been instrumental in reviving pieces such as 'Los amantes de Teruel' and 'Covadonga' by Tomás Bretón, and has also reintroduced Spanish symphonic works from the 19th century. It has performed its repertoire in major festivals all over Spain and in other countries such as France, Chile and Mexico.