OCAZEnigma, where past and future meet

The Zaragoza Auditorium Chamber Orchestra – “Enigma Group” (OCAZEnigma), founded in 1995, is one of the leading chamber orchestras of the Spanish scene. As a resident ensemble of the Auditorium of Zaragoza from the very beginning, the OCAZEnigma has consolidated its position with a bold program in a continuous state of crossover, where tradition enters into dialogue with new forms of contemporary expression. Throughout these almost 30 years of uninterrupted activity, the ensemble has performed more than 300 world premieres and has commissioned more than 200 works.

The OCAZEnigma is made up of almost twenty soloists who give the Orchestra a versatile and modular character, allowing it to play repertoires ranging from solo and chamber music to the great orchestral works, covering the great composers of the twentieth century to the most current creations, including the great creators of musical history such as Bach, Handel, Schubert, Haydn or Beethoven. Aragonese contemporary creation has always been of special interest to the Orchestra, leading it to commissioning and premiering works by composers from the region.

The Orchestra regularly performs in the main auditoriums and music cycles of Spain, appearing in the Auditorio Nacional, Auditorio 400 Museo Reina Sofía de Madrid, Auditori de Barcelona, Fundación Botín, Gran Teatro del Liceu, Festival Ensems, Palau de la Música de Valencia, Festival Internacional Pau Casals, Museo Universidad de Navarra, Auditorio Príncipe Felipe de Oviedo, among others. It has also performed internationally in Paris, London, Sofia, Moscow, Mexico City, Havana, Santo Domingo, Dublin and Bremen.

Its first conductor and founder was Juan José Olives, who held the position of music and artistic director until his death at the end of 2018. Since 2021 Asier Puga has been its music and artistic director. At the same time, the Ensemble has collaborated with guest conductors such as Irvine Arditti, Miguel Romea, Sandro Gorli, José Luis Temes, José María Sánchez-Verdú, Klaus Simon or Nacho de Paz, among others, as well as with soloists and ensembles such as Asier Polo, Carmen Linares, Niño de Elche, Coro Amici Musicae, Ensemble l’Itinéraire, Maria Ostroukhova, Los Titiriteros de Binéfar, Ananda Sukarlan, Enrique Baquerizo, Katharina Rikus, Michel Bourdoncle, Albert Atenelle, Guillermo González, Carles Trepat and Ernesto Bitetti.

Its commitment to supporting new generations of musicians and creators has been reinforced in recent years with the creation of the “Juan José Olives” Competition for Young Composers, the Enigma Platform, aimed at inviting a young chamber ensemble to participate in the OCAZEnigma season, as well as the Portico Project, the platform for recording, publishing and disseminating contemporary music, which has become one of the most complete libraries of contemporary Spanish music in Spain.

The work of the OCAZEnigma in the recording field is quite varied and includes a collection of monographic recordings (some of them already referential) of Joaquim Homs, Paul Hindemith, Ángel Oliver and Luciano Berio, as well as one dedicated to Aragonese musical creation. It has also recorded Franz Schubert’s Mass No. 6 in E Flat Major.