Close

Biography

Maestro Unai Urrecho Zubillaga has an active and productive career conducting symphony orchestras and operas in Asia and Europe.  Since 2019, he holds an honorary position as Music Director for Saigon Philharmonic Orchestra.  He is Professor of Conducting at The University of Suwon.

Before deciding to embark upon a career as a conductor, Maestro Urrecho performed professionally as an orchestral musician for twenty years.  During that time, he appeared with numerous orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo State 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.

He began his music education at the tender age of 6 in Arrasate Musical Symphony Orchestra, under Maestro Juan Arzamendi.  After completing upper-level studies at San Sebastian Conservatory with high honors, he was awarded a full scholarship from the Guipuzcoa Government to study at Boston University.  At Boston University, he received a full scholarship and a graduate assistantship and later won the university concerto competition.  Maestro 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, where he had the opportunity to work and interact with conductors of the highest caliber.

Maestro Urrecho completed conducting studies under Maestro Sygmon Kawalla, at Chopin University in Warsaw, Poland, where he received a postgraduate artist diploma and doctoral degree in opera and orchestral conducting.

An ardent proponent of Spanish and Basque orchestral music, Maestro Urrecho is equally sought after to lead performances of standard classical orchestral repertoire. In 2012, after Maestro Urrecho’s participation in Jeju International Festival— where he conducted renowned chamber ensembles such as Spanish Brass— South Korea’s Dance and Opera Magazine, lauded Maestro Urrecho as the festival’s most promising conductor.

Over the years, he made conducting debuts with KBS Symphony Orchestra, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, Basque Country National Symphony Orchestra for which he received enthusiastic reviews such as (“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) and for his concert with Bilbao Symphony (“Dvorak’s portrait of Unai Urrecho was to be framed. He is an elegant and precise maestro, a conductor who knows and conceives the sound and who knows very well what he wants to extract from the orchestra, which worked dedicatedly and conscious of being in very good hands. Dvorak took flight and opened all that great music to an extraordinary level” – EL Mundo Clásico – Joseba Lopezortega – 2021-05-18).

Maestro Urrecho’s conducting experience includes major orchestras in South Korea as well as in Russia, including Saint Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra. He has also conducted Romanian National Radio Orchestra, Tomsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Murmansk Philharmonic Orchestra. In the opera scene, he has conducted operas such as Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Tosca, La Boheme; Verdi’s Rigoletto, Aida and La Traviata; Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Figaro, Don Giovanni and Magic Flute; Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman; Gounod’s Faust; Bizet’s Carmen; Rossini’s La Cederentola; Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges and Strauss’s Die Fledermaus.

For the upcoming 2022 season he is invited back to all the important orchestras of Korea as well as Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.  With this last one, he will make his grand debut at the Quincena Musical de San Sebastian (Spain) and a recording with the label BIS for the opera Mirentxu, composed by the Spanish composer J. Guridi. In the opera scene he will be conducting operas such as La Traviata, Fledermaus, La Cenerentola, La Tabernera del Puerto, Mirentxu and Carmen.