José Luis Estellés embraces his artistic activity as clarinetist and orchestral conductor on a rare equal strength and combines it with a keen interest on pedagogy. Celebrated for his wide-ranging repertoire as well as his sincere and captivating interpretations, he has regularly appeared in performances together with many of today’s internationally renowned instrumentalists and singers, at festivals and concert halls throughout Europe, the USA, Mexico and Japan.
Naturally at home in chamber music repertoire, in recent times these musical collaborations have included concerts with the Orpheus, Casals, Enesco, Artis-Wien, Delian, Modigliani, Kuss, Arriaga, Yokohama, Kelemen, Jousia, Carducci, Arditti and Diotima string quartets, and pianists such as Sergey Babayan, Colom, Díaz-Jerez, Donohoe, Drake, Forsberg, Fülei, Garvayo, Gililov, Gothóni, Gutman, Hakkila, Ituarte, Ivaldi, Jokubaviciute, Kanno, Koella, Madzar, Martínez-Mehner, Moretti, Nebolsin, Okazaki, Palko, Perianes, Riera, Rosado, Salvato, Sigfridsson, Tchetuev and Zabaleta.
As a guest concerto soloist, he has appeared in partnership with conductors Swensen, Andretta, Marcon, Nesterowicz, Encinar, Pons, Colomer, Foss, Griffiths, Kantorow, Mena, Kalmar, Tabachnik, Martínez, Tchitchinadze and Davin amongst others, and with a wide range of orchestras including Asturias, Bilbao, Extremadura, Valencia, Granada, Salzburg, Sinfonia Varsovia, Comunidad de Madrid, JONDE, the Soloists of London, I Solisti di Perugia, Britten Sinfonia, etc.
[A cornucopia of contemporary music. Estellés opened the session at the highest artistic level, blessed with the power and fire of his interpretative creativity.]
- Quincena Musical, San Sebastián
Radio and TV stations like EBU, TVE, RNE Radio Clasica, France Musiques, RAI2, RF, ADR, SWR and DR have broadcasted his concerts. In addition to this, José-Luis appears on numerous recordings both as a clarinetist and conductor for the labels Turtle Records, Emergo Classics, Audiovisuals de Sarriá, Anacrusi, Naxos, Verso, Musikene, Komponisten Polyphonie, Columna Música, Kairos and Ibs Classical.
José-Luis has also become a prominent performer for the new music. He has given much thought and efforts to promoting the new repertoire, through the formation of ensembles Grupo Manon and TAiMAgranada and with a long-lasting commitment to premiering both solo and chamber contemporary repertoire. As a clarinetist, he has given first performances of clarinet concertos by López López, Zavala and Soutullo, and works by Aracil, Camarero, Dorfman, Nordentoft, García Román, Lara, de Pablo, del Puerto, Rueda, Sánchez Verdú, Sanz-Burguete, Sotelo, Soutullo, Torres, Turina, Casablancas, Eslava, Kortekangas, Santacreu, Urrutia, Vadillo, etc.
He has held the position of principal clarinettist of Orquesta Ciudad de Granada from 1991 to 2021, collaborating with other main orchestras in Spain, England, Belgium and Germany.
[The performance was magnificent. Energetic, lively, colouristic. Created under strong leadership]
- Kurt Weill│‘Die Sieben Todsünden’Cuenca, Semana de Música Religiosa
Much sought after as a teacher, he has given frequent masterclasses in England, France, Switzerland, Holland, Mexico, Slovakia, Portugal, Germany, Finland and Japan. José Luis Estellés is Professor for Wind Chamber Music at the Hochschule for Musik und Tanz Köln since 2021. In 2001 he became the clarinet professor at Musikene -Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco-, where he also served as Director of Orchestral Studies and Artistic Director. He has been also a regular guest teacher at Rotterdams Conservatorium (Holland) and Sibelius Academy (Helsinki) and a jury member for, amongst others, the prestigious ARD Musikwettwerb (Munich) and Aeolus Internationaler Bläserwettbewer (Düsseldorf).
As an orchestral conductor, José-Luis Estellés has appeared in Spain, England, Belgium, Germany, France, Bulgary and Mexico, performing also frequently as director-soloist. His conducting range spanned from chamber ensembles, performing scores by the forefront contemporary composers, to symphonic and opera repertoire. He was Artistic Director of TAiMAgranada, and has collaborated with soloists such as Ute Lemper, Mary Carewe, Tenebrae Vocal Soloists, Elisabeth Atherton, José Ferrero, Juan Manuel Lumbreras, Spanish Brass, Trío Arbós, Javier Bonet, Ana Mª Sánchez, Luis González, Ricardo Descalzo and Katharina Rikus, with orchestras such as Musikene, TAiMAgranada, Spanish Youth National Orchestra, Ensemble Instrumenta Oaxaca, Barcelona 216, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Orquesta de Extremadura, Filarmónica de Málaga, Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra and London Sinfonietta amongst others. At present, José-Luis Estellés conducts the MSKN MasterEnsemble.
His strong commitment towards today’s creation has resulted in the premieres of works by composers R. Lazkano, A. Conde, J. Cruz Guevara, J. Fernández Guerra, J. García Román, T. Garrido, S. Holt, H. Kozakura, F. Lara, N. Núñez Hierro, L. de Pablo and P. Sorozábal, and in first auditions in Spain of works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Magnus Lindberg, Sofía Gubaidulina, Simon Holt, Hans Werner Henze, Xenakis, Torres- Maldonado, Tansy Davies and Elena Kats-Chernin, among others.
As a conductor, his discography brings together important achievements: with Musikene label in 2009 he promoted the world premiere and recording of Pablo Sorozábal’s only opera, ‘Juan José’, of which he was its musical director. (‘Recording of great historical significance’ – CD Compact). He has also recorded four CDs that include the world’s first records of works by Guridi, Pablo, Lazkano, Edler and Bordes, as well as works by Mozart, Arriaga and Brahms / Schoenberg. He has dedicated his latest recordings as conductor to the Spanish composers Juan José Colomer (Orquesta Ciudad de Granada / Luis González, Javier Bonet and Spanish Brass – Luur Metalls, for Verso-BBVA label), and Salvador Bacarisse (Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra / Trío Arbós) for the Ibs Classical label, awarded with ‘Melómano de oro’ (Melómano magazine).