Juan José Olives, conductor (1951-2018). Born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, he studied music at the Higher School of Music in his native city and later in Barcelona (conducting with A. Ros-Marbà and composition with Josep Soler), at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna (conducting with O. Suitner and composition with F. Cerha), and attended conducting courses at the Salzburg Sommer-Akademie with F. Leitner and D. Epstein.
He was founder and chief conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of the Palau de la Música Catalana. He conducted, among others, the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, the Asturias Symphony Orchestra, the Principality of Asturias Symphony Orchestra, the Malaga Symphony Orchestra, the Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra (OCRTVE), the Romanian Radio Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the Avignon-Provence Region, the City of Barcelona and Catalonia National Orchestra, the Balearic Symphony Orchestra City of Palma, the Luxembourg Sinfonietta, the National Youth Orchestra of Spain, the City of Malaga Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, the Symphony Orchestra of Extremadura, the Bética Philharmonic Orchestra of Seville, the City of Granada Orchestra, the Classical Orchestra of La Laguna, the Chamber Orchestra of l’Empordà and the Symphony Orchestra of Murcia.
He also conducted different choral groups (Orfeó Catalá, Sícoris Choir of Lleida, RTVE Choir, “Amici Musicae” Choir of the Zaragoza Auditorium, Chamber Choir of the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Choir of the Lleida Auditorium) and participated in numerous festivals including the International Music Festival of Oviedo (accompanying Alicia de Larrocha in Nights in the Gardens of Spain by M. de Falla), the Granollers International Festival, the Palamós Festival, the Bucharest International Week of New Music, the Catalan Mostra of Contemporary Music, the Barcelona International Festival of Contemporary Music, the Alicante International Festival of Contemporary Music, the Torroella de Montgrí International Music Festival, Les Nuits Pianistiques de Aix-en-Provence, etc.
In 1995 he founded the OCAZEnigma, the Zaragoza Auditorium Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble of which he was the music and artistic director from its foundation, until his death in 2018.
With the OCAZEnigma he conducted more than 200 concerts in Spain, Europe and Latin America and recorded four monographic albums dedicated to Joaquim Homs, Angel Oliver Pina, Luciano Berio and Paul Hindemith, as well as the CDs Aragonese Composers and the Mass No. 6 in E Flat Major by F. Schubert. With the City of Barcelona Orchestra, he recorded a CD entirely dedicated to the orchestral works of Joaquim Homs. He also made recordings for the Spanish National Radio and Catalunya Música.
With a long pedagogical career in different areas of music, he was, from 1989 to 2016, professor of conducting at the Higher School of Music of Aragon.
As a composer he scored works for solo instrument, chamber ensemble and orchestra. His Fantasy for cello and piano won first prize in the Composition Competition of the Musical Youth of Barcelona 1982, and his Variations on a theme by Alban Berg for string orchestra, commissioned by the International Music Festival of Barcelona 1981, represented Spain in the Koussevitsky Prize in the 1984 edition.
Juan José Olives was also awarded a degree and PhD in Philosophy from the University of Barcelona with a dissertation on the philosophy of music from a phenomenological perspective, based on the thinking of Ernest Ansermet.