Since his début in Seville at the age of nine, Jose Maria has achieved universal public and critical acclaim. As a mature artist with a profound affinity for all aspects of the guitar, he has become a leading authority on the instrument among conductors and players alike, and a soloist in great demand by orchestras throughout the world.
Sir Neville Marriner, Philippe Entremont, Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, Ros Marbá, Garcia Asensio, Josep Pons, José Ramón Encinar, Leo Brouwer and Karel Mark Chichón are among the many great names with whom he has played, and he has made regular concert appearances with orchestras such as ONE, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta de la RAI, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Ton Halle de Zurich, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta de Cadaqués, ORTVE, Orquestas de la Comunidad y Sinfónica de Madrid, Orchestre Nationale Belgique and Radio Phil Saarbrücken.
International venues in which he has performed as soloist, composer, conductor or chamber musician include Carnegie Hall, Tokyo Opera House, Vienna Konzerthaus, Théatre de Champs Elysées and Opéra Comique in Paris, Bucharest Athenaeum, Walt Disney Auditorium in Los Angeles, Sadlers Wells and Cadogan Hall in London, Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Palau de la Musica de Valencia, Seoul Concert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Osaka Concert Hall and Auditorio di Roma.
He has frequently appeared as a musical ambassador for Spain in concerts and cultural events such as EXPO 92 (as composer and performer in the Spanish Pavilion), EXPO AICHI 2005, Spanish Years in China and Korea, the forthcoming EXPO Shanghai 2010, Cervantes Year, the Albeniz Centenary, and in particular the Centenary celebrations for Rodrigo, of whose guitar concertos he is an especially well known interpreter.
He is director and founder of La Maestranza, a Spanish chamber ensemble with which he performs his own music, and which since its formation in 1994 has played in a number of major international events. In 1998 in the Seville 10th Biennial Flamenco Festival they premièred “Banderillas de Tiniebla”, which was recorded live and issued by Mandala the following year. Jose Maria’s music has also been choreographed by well-known dancers such as Maria Pagés, Victor Ullate and Lola Greco, in shows such as “Sevilla”, “De la Luna al Viento”, “Don Quijote” and “ Iberia ”.
His development as a classical guitarist has been enriched by his intense relationship with the world of Flamenco. The fusion of both styles has created a unique way of playing and listening to Spanish music, and Jose Maria has made an indispensable contribution to projects like “Pasión Espanola” with Plácido Domingo (Grammy Latino 2008), “Habanera Gipsy” with Elina Garança (2010), “Caprichos Líricos” with Teresa Berganza, and in his role as director and artistic adviser to Paco de Lucía for the latter’s Japanese début with the Concierto de Aranjuez in 1990.
In 2005, together with another major Flamenco guitarist Juan Manuel Cañizares, he starred in “Mano a Mano”, with highly successful appearances in London , Washington , Osaka and Tokyo , ending with a spectacular concert in New York ‘s Carnegie Hall. In March 1997 he was invited to play in Paris with Menuhin, Rampal, Ozawa and Elton John in Rostropovich’s seventieth birthday celebration, and appeared with John Williams in Australia ‘s prestigious International Guitar Festival in Darwin in 1995 and 1997.
A Deutsche Grammophon artist, he has recorded “The Trees Speak” and “14 Maneras de Echarte de Menos”, and has just finished his latest disc with La Maestranza, “My Spain”, with best critics and public acclaim. His previous discography includes a wide variety of works, for companies such as Mandala, RTVE, Autor, Almaviva and BMG, who issued his recordings of Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto and Concierto de Aranjuez in 1998.
His interpretative classes have been in great demand in the world’s principal conservatories and universities, and centres like UIMP de Santander, “Proyect Canción Española” in Granada , Mannes Conservatory of Music in New York and Northridge University in Los Angeles are among his regular masterclass venues.