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Barcelona Modern Ensemble

Demian LUNA, artistic director 

Argentine composer born in Córdoba. He studied musical composition and piano at the School of Arts of the National University of Córdoba, Argentina. In 2002, he traveled to Barcelona to study Perfection and Musical Specialization in Composition and Instrumentation at the Higher Conservatory of Music of the Liceu, as a student of the Catalan composer Benet Casablancas. Later he expanded his training with Martin Matalon, in the CRR93 of Aubervilliers-Paris. He has attended as an active student in numerous master classes and composition courses given by prestigious musicians, among others: Jonathan Harvey, G. Aperghis, B. Ferneyhough, F. Cerha, Kaija Saariaho, Luis De Pablo, Cristóbal Halffter, Héctor Parra , Alberto Posadas, Martín Matalón, César Camarero, Giacomo Manzoni, Franco Donatoni, Arditti Quartet (Workshop).

His works have received several awards and distinctions: "2nd Vocal Composition Contest Friends of the Liceo" (Barcelona), "Francisco Guerrero Marín" Prize of the XIX Young Composers contest, granted by the CDMC and the Author Foundation, "V contest Musici Mojanesi 2009" (Treviso, Italy), "Incentive to the creation of symphonic works 2010" granted by the Author Foundation and the AEOS (Spanish Association of Symphonic Orchestras), "Grant for the Creation 2010" of the National Council of Culture and Arts (CONCA) and the Generalitat of Catalonia, "Trinac 2010" and "Trinac 2012" (National Tribune of Composers) Argentina.

He has received commissions from the Junta de Andalucía, Private Foundation of the Auditorium and The Orchestra, Contemporary Music Festival of Barcelona Nous Sons, Student Residence of Madrid, Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra, Author-AEOS Foundation, National Council of Culture and Arts-Generalitat of Catalonia, Valencian Institute of Music, Ensems Festival, Mixtur Festival, among others.

In 2012 is selected to represent Argentina in the "World Music Days 2012" in Belgium, organized by the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM).

His music has been performed in prestigious halls: Auditorium of the Liceu Conservatory (Barcelona), Ateneu Barcelonès, Auditorium 400 of the Reina Sofía National Art Center Museum (Madrid), L'Auditori (Barcelona), Student Residence (Madrid) , Palau de la Música de Valencia, Großer Saal Akademie für Tonkunst (Darmstadt, Germany), Auditorium Professional Council of Economic Sciences (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Auditorium of the Conservatory of Perpignan (France), Palau de la Música Catalana, Palau de las Artes de Valencia, Teatro Cervantes (Málaga), or the Arnold Schönberg Center (Vienna).

He has composed music for solo instruments, vocal, chamber and symphonic music.

Since 2013 he is the artistic and pedagogical director of the Barcelona Modern Ensemble, and director of the Barcelona Modern International Composition Course and the Barcelona Modern Festival.

Since 2016 he is professor of composition and theory at the Conservatorio Superior de Música del Liceo.

Xavier PAGÈS-CORELLA, musical director

Xavier Pagès-Corella alternates musical studies at the Barcelona Municipal Conservatory of Music and at the Conservatorio Superior de Música del Liceo, studying piano with Margarita Serrat and Montserrat Almirall, composition with Salvador Pueyo and earning Honorable Mention in orchestra conducting with Albert Argudo. In 2000 he passed the entrance exams at the Vienna Conservatory, where he expanded the management studies with professors Reinhard Schwarz and Georg Mark. In addition, he participates in various courses, such as those taught by directors Antoni Ros Marbà, Ovidiu Balan, Robert Gutter, Collin Metters, Manuel Hernández Silva, and composers Carles Guinovart and Albert Sardà. In 2008 he meets Joan Guinjoan, who has become one of his main mentors.

In 1994 he won the Josep Mirabent i Magrans Contest for young performers with whom she will study direction and composition at the Dartington International Summer School, with Diego Masson, Laszlo Heltay and Lou Harrison. In 2005 he obtained a special mention from the selection jury in the International Contest of Young Orchestra Directors of Besançon, and he won the position of assistant director of Salvador Mas and Manel Valdivieso in the National Youth Orchestra of Catalonia. The year 2016 is finalist of the IV International Conducting Contest of the Orchestra of Córdoba.

He has performed in audiences and festivals such as the Auditori de Barcelona, ​​the Palau de la Música, the Grec Festival of Barcelona, ​​the Castell de Peralada Festival, the Pocket Opera and New Creations Festival of Barcelona, ​​and the Pau Casals Festival. He has conducted courses such as the City of Granada Orchestra, the City of Ibiza Symphony Orchestra, the City of Elche Orchestra, the Giorquesta, the Camerata Musicae Orchestra, the Camerata XXI Orchestra, the Camerata Eduard Toldrà and the Chamber Orchestra of Terrassa 48. international scope highlights its debut in America with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Mendoza (Argentina) and the direction of formations such as the Sinaloa Symphony Orchestra of the Arts (Mexico), the Orchester de Catalogne (France), the "Mihail Jora" Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacau (Romania), and Thüringen Philharmonie (Germany). He has also directed specialized instrumental ensembles in the repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as Grupo 21, the Sitges 94 group of the Fundación Música Contemporánea and the Barcelona Modern Ensemble group, of which he is the titular director since 2017.

As a composer, he has won several national and international composition awards, including the Andrés Gaos Musical Composition Award (A Coruña, 2013) -for his work Desde el fondo del espejo, for orchestra-, the International Composition Contest of Tarragona (2010) -for his work Ecos, for piano and orchestra- and the Oare String Orchestra Composing Competition (United Kingdom, 2004) -for his work Camino de segundos, for string orchestra.

Joan PONS, flute

Born in Barcelona, ​​he began his musical studies at the Escolanía of the Catredral, and later he started on the flute with Jaume Cortadellas, David Albet and Magdalena Martinez, obtaining the Honor Prize of Elemental and Middle Grade in the Conservatories of Barcelona and Badalona. Grants from the Generalitat and the French Government lead him to study in Paris with Vicenç Prats, Thomas Prevost and Pierre Yves Artaud. He then perfected himself with Raymond Guiot in Rome. He receives masterclasses from Jaime Martin, Michel Debost, Aurèle Nicolet, Andras Adorjan, Jaques Zoon, Ramson Wilson, Emmanuel Pahud, among others.

As a soloist he has performed at the First Palau Festival (1999). He has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Catalonia (JONC), the Ingolstadt Akademie Orkestar and the Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo). He forms a contemporary duo with the harpist Isabel Maynes since 1995. He has collaborated with state orchestras such as the City of Granada Orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Free Theater Orchestra and has also collaborated with the KBS Symphony Orchestra Seoul (Korea), etc.

Regular contributor to the instrumental group Bcn216 and member of the Barcelona Modern Ensemble, with which he has performed in venues such as the National Auditorium (Madrid), Okayama Hall (Japan), Seoul Arts Center (Korea), Domaine Forget (Canada), Champs Elysées theater (France), Schönberg House (Vienna), etc.

As a teacher, he is currently a professor of the Municipal Schools of Santa Perpètua de Mogoda and Hospitalet de Llobregat, carrying out a social cohesion project in the latter center as coordinator of the so-called "wind quintet in schools".

Nacho GASCÓN, saxophone

He is a saxophonist who understands the classical tradition of his instrument while exploring the new and interminable expressive ways that is able to develop such a versatile instrument.

Born in Alicante, Nacho Gascón soon went to study at the prestigious University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he could enjoy the rich musical atmosphere of this city. It is at this stage that the recording of different films takes place and he debuted with Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl at age 22. At the same time he receives numerous awards and distinctions such as the Yamaha Young Artist or a finalist of the New York Concert Artist Guild Competition. He is also awarded the first stay for a saxophonist at the music festival in Aspen, Colorado.

With an extensive orchestral experience, Nacho Gascón has collaborated with directors and composers such as John Williams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mstislav Rostropovich, John Adams, Eiji Oue, David Robertson, Diego Masson, Michael Stern, Lawrence Foster and Leonard Slatkin. has premiered works by composers such as Arnau Bataller, Bear McCreary, Robert Linn, Berthold Tüercke, Jesus Rodriguez Picó and HK Gruber, playing in groups such as The Furious Band, Bcn216 and the Ensemble Barcelona Nova Música, and with orchestras such as Los Angeles Philharmonic, New West Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pablo Sarasate Orchestra of Pamplona, ​​the orchestra of the Gran Teatro de Liceo, the Cadaqués Orchestra and the OBC.

Currently, Nacho Gascón combines his interpretative facet with pedagogical. Since 2001 he teaches Chamber Music and Saxophone at the Superior School of Music of Catalonia and since 2013 he is also an orchestral repertoire specialist at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragón.

Takao HYAKUTOME, violin

Born in Sapporo, Takao Hyakutome began taking violin lessons at the age of 4 years. He studied at the Conservatory of Maastricht and the Royal Flamenco Conservatory of Antwerp with Prof. Dirk Verelst (violin and chamber music) and Professor Wim Henderickx (composition).

After having won several awards in international competitions, he is now mainly violinist and soloist violist and regularly premieres works for violin solo and for ensemble. He also works with ChampdAction and many other chamber music groups.

He has performed at festivals such as Ultraschall in Berlin, Bienal Musiques en Scène in Lyon, ME_MMIX in Palma de Mallorca, Mixtur in Barcelona, ​​Forum Wallis a Leuk, Barcelona Modern Festival and many others.

In addition to being active as an interpreter, Takao also conducts research on extended violin techniques and violin / viola with 5 chords. He was often invited to give master classes and workshops giving lectures on these topics. In addition, he is a member of the research group in practice of interpretation in perspective at the Antwerp Conservatory.

Takao uses a violin, Edoardo Marchetti, Torino, 1910; the 5-string violin, Stefan Jarosz, 2013, Antwerp; and the 5-string electric violin, John Jordan, Concord, 2011.

Mònica MARÍ, cello

Mònica Marí was trained in Switzerland with the prestigious cellist Johannes Goritzki, direct disciple of Pau Casals, Gaspar Cassadó, and André Navarra; and in the Netherlands with the great masters Herre Jan Stegenga, Jeroen den Herder and Ad van Dongen. He has also received masterclasses from teachers such as: Gregor Horsch, Colin Carr, Dmitri Ferschtman, Welsh Moray, Melissa Phelps, Emma Ferrand, Alain Meunier, among others.

As an interpreter, she highlights her passion for contemporary and new music. She is currently the cellist of the "Barcelona Modern Ensemble" with those who frequent the most important international festivals of contemporary music: "Sampler Series" of the Auditorium of Barcelona, ​​"Sample Sonora de Sueca", "ME_MMIX" of Mallorca, "Turbulences Sonores "from Montpellier," Barcelona Modern "from Barcelona," SIRGA "from Flix, etc.

Thanks to current music, Mònica has worked hand in hand with the most renowned composers: Hèctor Parra, José Manuel López-López, Benet Casablancas, Demian Luna, Sofia Gubaidulina, Raphael Cendo, James MacMillan and George Benjamin ... and with directors very prominent as: Arturo Tamayo, Clement Power, Reinbert de Leeuw, among others.

As a pedagogue, she works directly with new composers from around the world and gives masterclasses and lectures on the new resources and techniques of the violoncello. Also, premiere and constantly record works of new composers. Notable is his collaboration with the distinguished director Arturo Tamayo with whom he has made numerous recordings of contemporary music for the Radio Suiza together with the Ensemble '900.

In love with chamber and orchestral music, she has formed several chamber groups and is a regular contributor to the RTVE Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Vallés, and has collaborated with the OBC. He has worked with directors: Yannick Nézet-Seguin, Pablo Heras-Casado, Paolo Carignani and Vladimir Ashkenazy, among others.

He has performed concerts throughout Europe and the Middle East in countries such as France, Slovakia, Belgium, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands and Abu Dhabi.

Her impeccable technique and the passion and energy she transmits when she plays make her an exceptional cellist.


Classical and Contemporary Music Pianist, Carolina Santiago combines her concert soloist career with chamber and new music at concert halls in all Europe such as the Kasteel d’Ursell (Brussels), L’Auditori of Barcelona, the Catalonian Parliament,  the Marcel Hastir’s Atelier (Brussels) or the Royal College of Music of Stockholm (Sweden).

Nowadays, Carolina Santiago is studying the European Master Degree in Contemporary Music CoPeCo, held between 2020 and 2022 in Tallinn (Estonia), Stockholm (Sweden), Lyon (France) and Hamburg (Germany). In addition, she is doing a PhD in Artistic Research in Music at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) with Luca Chiantore -with the scholarship granted by the Spanish Society of Artists, Performers and Executors- and she complements it with the Advanced Chamber Music Course at the Orpheus Instituut (Ghent, Belgium) with Syntagma Piano Duo.

Carolina Santiago has studied Master and Bachelor Degree of Music in Piano Performance at the Liceu Conservatory (Barcelona) with Albert Attenelle, and she has won prizes and scholarships such as the Música Clásica Emprende 2020 scholarship in Madrid, II Prize at Piano Meeting 2018 (Ourense, Spain), Corhyund Prize at the Piano Córdoba Competition, AIE scholarship for the Manuel de Falla course (2016, Granada) with Galina Eguiazarova, the Yamaha Scholarship awarded by the VI Barcelona Piano Academy 2017 to the best Spanish pianist, the Conservatori del Liceu’s scholarship for Master Degree 2017-2018 and the AIE 2018-21 Scholarship for her PhD studies.

In the field of contemporary music, she is the pianist of the Barcelona Modern Ensemble  and coordinator of the International Composition Course Barcelona Modern (Institut Français Barcelona), and she has premiered works for piano solo and ensemble as well as with Syntagma Piano Duo. Carolina Santiago has worked with many renowned composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Philippe Hurel, José Manuel López López, Alberto Posadas, etc. She has participated at the Voix Nouvelles Académie 2020 (Royaumont, Paris), Sound Plasma Festival 2020 in Tallinn (Estonia), the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt 2018 (Germany), the Stockholm’s Aurora Music Festival 2019 and she has been specialised in extended techniques for piano with Ricardo Descalzo.

She has received classes from great pianists like Josep Colom, Pilar Valero, Christopher Elton, Aquiles delle Vigne, Jacques Rouvier, M. Wladowski, Marta Gulyàs, Mark Knoop and others.  Her passion for chamber music has led her to improve herself in that field with strings and piano groups and piano duets with Vesko Stambolov and Catherine Ordronneau. In 2019 she published her first CD edited by the AAMY.

Since 2017, Carolina Santiago has been devoting all her artistic activity to performing concerts in venues all over the world, with different solo and chamber music projects of classical and contemporary music.

David CASANOVA, piano

Pianist born in Sabadell (Barcelona). He studied at the Conservatory of Music of Barcelona with maestro Miquel Farré. He has received advice from composer and pianist Frederic Rwesky (Bursel·les) and María Garzón (London), as well as master class with Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Antoni Besses and Frederic Gevers.

He has recorded the integral music for piano by composer Xavier Benguerel (Ars Harmonica) and Joan-Carles Blanch (Darmosmusic Projects). He has recorded for RNE's classic radio, CatalunyaMúsica, and for Radio de Bremen in homage to the Spanish composer Cristóbal Halffter.

He has performed in the Auditorium of the French Institute of Barcelona, ​​the Auditorium of the Fortuny Theater of Reus (being soloist of the Concerto for piano and five wind instruments of Falla), Palau de la Música Catalana (in collaboration with the Instrumental Group BCN216) , Auditorium of Barcelona, ​​the concert hall of the Cervantes Institute of Vienna, the concert hall of the Perpignan Conservatory, the Sendsaal of the Radio of Bremen, the Arnold Schoenberg Center of Vienna apart from numerous performances throughout the Spanish geography and beyond our borders (Brazil, Argentina and Algeria).

His interpretations bring together both the classics of the twentieth century (Boulez, Messian, Carter, Schoenberg) and living composers of recognized prestige (Hector Parra, Jose Manuel Lopez Lopez, Raphael Cendo, Martin Matalon, among others).

Founder of the Barcelona Modern Ensemble develops a work of dissemination and promotion of young composers, this has allowed him to contact and premiere works by authors of the likes of Enrique Busto, Alessandro Ratoci, Frédéric Le Bel, Adrian Mocanu, Ariadna Alsina, Pablo Andoni Gómez Olabarría, Demian Rudel Rey, Filippos Sakagian, Ugurkan Oztekin, Francisco Uberto, Jeremias Iturra, Daniel Cabanzo, among others.

The criticism has highlighted its strength and intensity in all its interpretations full of emotion and personality.