Dr Unai Urrecho Zubillaga teaches at the University of Suwon. He was the founder and Artistic Director of Hwaseong Academy Festival Orchestra, and since 2013 he is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Kwangsung Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir where he is doing an artistic, social and educational work. From 2018 he is the new Music Director for Saigon Philharmonic Orchestra.
Before deciding to embark upon a career as a conductor, Dr Urrecho performed professionally as an orchestral musician for twenty years. During that time, he appeared with orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Basque Country National Symphony Orchestra, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and Tenerife Symphony Orchestra—performing under the direction of Maestros Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Robert Spano, Gilbert Varga, Juanjo Mena, and Hans Graff, among others. His musical sensibility was also informed by sharing the stage with such soloists as Yo-Yo Ma, Luciano Pavarotti, Wynton Marsalis, Mstislav Rostropovich, Joshua Bell among others.
Dr Urrecho began his music education at a very early age in Arrasate Musical Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Juan Arzamendi. After completing upper-level studies at San Sebastian Conservatory with the highest mention, Dr Urrecho was awarded a full scholarship from the Guipuzcoa Government to study at Boston University. At Boston University, he was awarded a full scholarship and a graduate assistantship—and won the university concerto competition—before finishing his studies with departmental honours. Dr Urrecho was a founding member of the Joven Orquesta de Euskadi, a member of the European Youth Orchestra, and a Fellow at the Spoleto and Tanglewood Music Festivals, in whose orchestras he had the opportunity to work and interact with conductors of the highest calibre.
He completed his conducting studies under Maestro Sygmon Kawalla at Chopin University in Warsaw Poland, where he received a postgraduate artist diploma with the highest mention, and from which institution obtained his doctoral degree in opera and orchestral conducting.
An ardent proponent of Spanish and Basque orchestral music, Dr Urrecho is equally sought after to lead performances of standard classical orchestral repertoire. Interviewed in Dance and Opera Magazine, he was lauded as Conductor of the Summer for his work at Jeju International Festival in South Korea, including that with festival soloists and renowned chamber ensemble, Spanish Brass. He made conducting debuts with Bilbao Symphony Orchestra and Basque Country National Symphony Orchestra obtaining great positive reviews from the Spanish writers and newspapers “The Basque Country National Symphony was led by Unai Urrecho’s extraordinary technique solving gracefully all the difficulties that the music brought. Here we have a great Maestro for the future” – EMECE – (El DiarioVasco 2016-05-28).
His intense conducting experience brought him to conduct Chun Cheon Philharmonic Orchestra, Guyngbuk Philharmonic Orchestra, Millennium Symphony Orchestra, Seongnam Philharmonic Orchestra, Pohang Philharmonic Orchestra, Saint Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Romanian National Radio Orchestra, Basque Country National Symphony Orchestra, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra and Saigon Philharmonic Orchestra among others. Dr Urrecho has made his recent debuts with KBS Symphony Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, Murmansk Philharmonic Orchestra and Tomsk Philharmonic Orchestra. In the opera scene, he has conducted operas such as Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and La Boheme, Verdi’s Rigoletto and La Traviata, Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman and Bizet’s Carmen.
For this new season Dr Urrecho is invited to conduct, Seongnam Philharmonic Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra and will be back with Saigon Philharmonic Orchestra. He will also conduct operas such as Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Strauss’s Fledermaus, Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s, Pagliacci.