From a young age, José has shown a very personal approach to composition. His highly eclectic output ranges from radically experimental music, including collaborations with electronic composers and video artists, to music influenced by jazz and flamenco. He has written polystylistic orchestral works, chamber music and songs as well as piano music. His works have been performed in Europe and the USA, and have also been broadcast on national radio (RNE, Spain) and Resonance FM (UK).
José was commissioned to compose a piano étude, New Crossroads, by the Centro Nacional de Difusion Musical (CNDM). He gave the premiere in Alicante (February 2017) and was then invited to perform it in a live broadcast at RNE, the Spanish National Radio, and other performances at La Maestranza (Seville) and Palacio Baluarte (Pamplona) in 2018. His premiere in progress, Fragments for Clare, is a collection of brief experimental piano pieces that play with visual concepts. José performed selections of them in New York, London and Los Angeles, on several occasions.
José’s arrangement of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, ‘The Little Magic Flute’, has enjoyed runaway success. Written in collaboration with stage director Joan Font (Comediants), it was produced by the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona in 2001. With almost 150 performances in its first year, the production has now run for 15 years, touring Spain annually (with versions in Catalan and Spanish), with further tours to France (2003), Chile (2004) and Colombia (2012). A commercial DVD was released in 2002.
Whilst at the Conservatori Municipal de Música de Barcelona, José studied composition, orchestration and analysis with Carles Guinovart, arrangements and jazz composition with Lluis Verges and film-scoring with Joan Albert Amargós (Barcelona’s Taller de Musics), José Nieto (Barcelona’s Aula de Musica Moderna i Jazz) and Alearco Ambrosi. He has also received guidance from the renowned British composer, Michael Finnissy.
Selected list of works
New Crossroads (2017) Commissioned by the Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical, CNDM.
Premiere: 28 February 2017, by José Menor at the Alicante Auditorium, Spain.
Fragments for Clare (from 2016)
Selections premiered by José Menor at: SpectrumNYC, New York, USA (24 September 2016); Blackheath Halls, London, UK (11 January 2017); Borough New Music, London, UK (21 February 2017); Los Angeles, USA (2017 and 2018).
Notes on Crossroads: A Brief Summary of Random Landscapes (2013)
Premiere: 9 October 2013, José Menor at the SGAE Auditorium, Madrid, Spain.
Random Landscapes (2012)
Visual Time (1996)
Small Picture (2004) concerto for solo piano and wind orchestra
Premiere: 2004, Conservatori Municipal de Badalona.
Limits (2001) for string quartet
Premiere: 2001, L’Auditori, Barcelona.
Collage (1999) for flute, clarinet, 2 saxophones, keyboards, piano, percussion, electric bass.
New views in G (1998) for saxophone quartet.
Octet (1998) for flute, clarinet, 2 saxophones, piano, percussion, violin and cello.
Premiere: 1998, by professors at the Conservatori Superior Municipal de Música de Barcelona.
PIANO AND ELECTRONICS
Passacaglia; Iterations in F; Geometric Variations; Quantum Cycles (2014) for piano, electronics and visuals
Collaboration with video artist Francesc Martí
Premiere: 24 April 2014, Simmons Center, State University of New York, USA.
La entrada (2017) (text: Psalm 133 v 1) for 3 sopranos, mezzo, tenor, 2 basses, mixed Choir, organ, cello.
Premiere: 5 August 2017, St Oswald’s Church, Oswaldkirk, York, UK.
Tres canciones para Neruda (2004) (text: Poema 4, Poema 12, Poema 15, from ‘Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada’)
Premiere: 2004, L’Auditori, Barcelona.