Asier Puga (1989), music and artistic director of the Zaragoza Auditorium Chamber Orchestra – Enigma Group, trained as a conductor with maestros such as Peter Stark, Robin O’Neill and Howard Williams at the Royal College of Music in London, where he achieved the highest grades (Distinction), and previously in Spain with Arturo Tamayo, Manel Valdivieso and Enrique García Asensio at the Higher School of Music of the Basque Country (Musikene). Furthermore he increased his knowledge by attending masterclasses with maestros such as Pierre Boulez (Lucerne Festival Academy), Diego Masson (London Sinfonietta) and Martin André (RCM).
Asier Puga has conducted the Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra, the Basque Country Symphony Orchestra, the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Itinéraire, Explore Ensemble, Taller Sonoro, the Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra, the Burgos Symphony Orchestra, Liceu XXI (Higher School of Music of Liceu – Barcelona), the RCM Philharmonic Orchestra, the RCM Symphonic Orchestra, the Classical Orchestra of Lanzarote, the Symphonic Wind Band of Vitoria and Bilbao, the Bizkaia Symphony Orchestra and RCM New Ensemble. Asier has performed in several acclaimed festivals and auditoriums such as Kings Place, Kursaal Auditorium, Palau de la Música de Valencia, Teatros del Canal (Madrid), San Sebastián Music Fortnight, Juan March Foundation, Britten Theatre, Carmelo Bernaola Music Festival, Euskalduna Palace, Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, SMASH International Music Festival, Alexandra Palace and Guggenheim Museum, among others.
Puga has been the music and artistic director of Ciklus Ensemble (2010 – 2022, and since 2020 he has continued solely as principal conductor), and of the Chamber Orchestra “Gregorio Solabarrieta” (2016 – 2022).
His interest in symphonic music, vocal and operatic repertoire, as well as in new forms of contemporary expression, has led Asier Puga to collaborate with various artists such as the flamenco singer and multidisciplinary artist Niño de Elche, the filmmaker María Ruido, the composer and sound artist Llorenç Barber, the performer Carlos Llavata and the flamenco dancer and researcher Fernando López.
In 2014 Asier made his debut as an opera conductor with Armida by F. J. Haydn, and in 2015 he conducted the premiere of Singularity, the third opera by the English composer Michael Oliva. Asier has studied correpetition with Maciej Pikulski. Inspired by his growing attraction for the expressive possibilities of the voice and for drama, he has worked with many singers such as Helena Orcoyen, Maria Ostroukhova and Maciej Nerkowsky, among others. It is worth mentioning his collaboration with the English baritone and stage director Simon Butteriss, in his semi-staged production of Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Schoenberg’s Brettl-Lieder, at the Britten Theatre in London. Asier has also been assistant conductor to Michael Rosewell in productions of Britten’s Albert Herring (Liam Steel, stage director) and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (John Copley, stage director).
Additionally, Asier Puga has been assistant conductor to Robert Treviño and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra (Sweden) during the Beethoven Festival 2019, in which all of Beethoven’s symphonies were performed and recorded. Asier was also the assistant music director of the fourth production of the Oviedo Opera in its 2019-20 season, with Will Humburg and Guy Joosten as music and stage director respectively, in which Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie were performed.
In 2016, Asier was one of the three conductors selected to participate in the prestigious London Sinfonietta Academy, where he received masterclasses from the French conductor Diego Masson, as well as from members of the London Sinfonietta.
Asier Puga has attended composition courses with Ramón Lazkano and Gabriel Erkoreka, as well as masterclasses by Steve Reich, Félix Ibarrondo, Johannes Maria Staud, Elena Mendoza and Jesús Torres.
Owing to his great interest in contemporary music, Asier has conducted around 70 world premieres both in Spain and in England, and has worked with composers such as Nuria Núñez, José Manuel López López, Núria Giménez-Comas, Iñaki Estrada, José Luis Campana, Lisa Illean, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, to name but a few. Asier has written several articles on music and contemporary art for different publications and digital magazines.