José Antonio Montaño

José Antonio Montaño, in addition to being an orchestra conductor, is a renowned researcher specializing in 18th-century music. His passion for this era and for historically informed performance has shaped his distinguished professional career, which spans a wide range of achievements and significant contributions to the world of early music.

One of the highlights of his dedication is the creation of La Madrileña, a specialized orchestra with period instruments, with which Montaño has dedicated himself to reviving some of the excellences of Spanish and European repertoire from the 18th century. His focus lies in sacred music, opera, and baroque zarzuela, reviving forgotten works by composers such as Vicente Martín y Soler, José de Nebra, Francesco Corselli o Giovanni Battista Sammartini in important venues like the Teatro Real de Madrid, the Auditorio Nacional de Música, or the Palacio Real de Madrid.

In 2019, Montaño released La Madrileña’s debut album alongside Coro Victoria and Schola Antiqua. This production featured the world’s first recording based on Montaño’s own edition of the score for José de Nebra’s Requiem (1758), which received critical acclaim and numerous awards. Subsequently, in 2021, the BBVA Foundation recognized his excellence by awarding him the prestigious Leonardo Grant aimed at researchers and cultural creators in the category of Music Direction and Opera. Thanks to this fellowship, Montaño, along with La Madrileña and countertenor Carlos Mena, recorded the world premiere selection of sacred works in Latin by Francesco Corselli, as well as instrumental pieces by composers such as Giovanni Battista Sammartini or Mauro D’Alay. The result of this collaboration was captured in the acclaimed album DIXERUNT, released by the renowned label Sony Classical in 2023 and praised by specialized critics internationally.

His profile and achievements as an orchestra conductor, and his specialization in 18th-century opera, led him to join the research team of the Didone Project at the Complutense Institute of Musical Sciences (ICCMU) of the Complutense University of Madrid. This project, led by musicologist Álvaro Torrente and funded by the European Research Council, aims to create a corpus of 3,000 digitized arias from 200 opera scores based on Metastasio’s most popular dramas. Montaño has worked on this project for almost four years, overseeing 1,500 arias by diverse authors such as Jommelli, Galuppi, Hasse, Sarti, Paisiello, Myslivecek, etc. In summary, José Antonio Montaño is a prominent figure in the world of early music, whose work as a researcher, orchestra conductor, and cultural promoter has already made an indelible mark on the Spanish musical scene and has significantly contributed to the study and dissemination of Spanish musical heritage.


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