Felix Ardanaz (27) began his musical studies in piano at the age of seven in Spain. He studied orchestral conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna (Postgraduate diploma), the Royal Academy of Music in London – where he completed a Master’s Degree with distinction – the École Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris, the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and the High School of Music of the Basque Country. Felix Ardanaz enlarged his artistic knowledge by studying five years of architecture at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Paris Val de Seine, and he is currently finishing a Doctorate degree in Art history.
His conducting mentors are Simeon Pironkoff, Yves Abel, Antoni Wit, Giancarlo Andretta, Enrique García-Asensio and Paul Brough. He has participated in masterclasses offered by Jorma Panula, Colin Metters, Sian Edwards, Paavo Jarvi, Pierre Boulez and Ros-Marbá, and has assisted maestros Christoph Eschenbach and Yves Abel, among others. He also studied piano privately with Alicia de Larrocha.
For many years, Ardanaz has pursued his career both as a conductor and a concert pianist. In addition to many solo piano recitals across Europe, he has worked as a conductor with a big number of national orchestras in Spain, including the Basque National Orchestra (OSE), Bilbao Symphony Orchestra (BOS), Asturias Symphony Orchestra (OSPA), Extremadura Symphony Orchestra (OEX), etc.
Ardanaz has also conducted a number of European orchestras: St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Sinfonietta, English Choir Berlin, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra, North Czech Philarmonic Orchestra, Morovian Philarmonic Orchestra, Janacek Philarmonic, Filarmonia Veneta Orchestra, Miami Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, Danube Symphony Orchestra, London Classical Soloists Orchestra and Proarte Orchestra in Vienna.
In June and July 2015, he worked as an assistant conductor of Maestro Yves Abel at the Opera di Roma with the production of “Madame Butterfly”. In January 2016 he collaborated again as Maestro Yves Abel’s assistant at the Royal Opera House with “La Traviata”.
His performances have been praised by the international critics: “passion and sincerity in its purest state” (Ritmo, Spain); “the essence of the new musical generation” (Melómano, Spain); “an innate technical and musical complicity in every composition” (Scherzo, Spain); “adjectival superlatives are insufficient to describe his musical artistry” (Fanfare, USA); “With a great naturalness, good taste and style” (Pianiste, France); “Félix Ardanaz shined for his personality, delicacy and freshness” (Le Monde, France); “intense energy and lirism” (Opera World); “no subtlety escapes the complete control of the Spanish musician Félix Ardanaz” (The Whole Note, Canada).
As a pianist, he has performed on many of the world’s most important stages (Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, Salle Pleyel, Salle Cortot, Unesco, Spanish National Auditorium, Euskalduna, Kursaal, Prado Museum, Guggenheim Museum, etc.). He received more than ten first prizes in international piano competitions: “Brahdshaw and Buono Piano Competition” (2014 and 2015); Great International Piano Competition in France (2013); Paris-Ile de France (2011 and 2012); Barcelona, Eugènia Verdet (2012); Rome International Competition (2013); Val Tidone (2011, etc. Ardanaz also received the Critics’ Award in 2012 for his piano recital at the Palau de la Musica Concert Hall in Barcelona. He has recorded five CDs as a piano soloist.
His repertoire as an orchestral conductor spans across all periods, from baroque to contemporary composition, but focusing on Romantic music and the first half of the XXth century.