Ernest Martínez Izquierdo
Born in Barcelona, Ernest Martínez Izquierdo is Honorary Conductor of the Navarre Symphony Orchestra of Pamplona and Principal Guest Conductor of the ensemble Barcelona 216. Following his studies in Barcelona and Paris, he began his conducting career in 1985 when he founded the ensemble Barcelona 216, specialising in contemporary music. In 1988 he was appointed Assistant Director of the Spanish National Orchestra and in 1989 Pierre Boulez invited him to be his Assistant in the Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris). In opera, outstanding productions include Kaija Saariaho’s Adriana Mater at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki and at the Santa Fe Opera, US, Le nozze di Figaro, Carmina Burana, and the production of Saariaho’s L’amour de loin in Quebec in 2015. In 2018 he conducted a row of performances of Saariaho’s latest opera, Only the Sound Remains, at the Paris National Opera.
He has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Telarc, Harmonia Mundi, Col Legno, Ircam, Stradivarius and Naxos, and been honoured with several prizes, including the Ojo Crítico, a prize awarded by the Classical Division of the Spanish National Radio in 1995, the Catalan Roland Journalism Prize for Classical Music in 2000, the City of Barcelona Prize in 2001, the Latin Grammy in 2006 and the Diapason d’Or in 2012. He was awarded the Knight of the Order of the White Rose of Finland in 2018.