Arturo Tamayo studied music at the Conservatoire of Madrid, his home town. He simultaneously studied law at Universidad Complutense, although he ultimately left his law studies to devote himself completely to music. He graduated in composition with honours degree. He studied conducting with Pierre Boulez in Basel, Francis Travis in Freiburg and Witold Rowicki in Vienna. He also did postgraduate studies in composition with Wolfgang Fortner and Klaus Huber in the Musikhochschule in Freiburg. At this school he also obtained his Diploma in Orchestral Conducting with the highest grades. 1979/1998: Proffesor of XXth Century Music Interpretation in the Musikhoschule of Freiburg.
As a guest conductor, he has performed at the most prestigious Music Festivals in Europe, including the Salzburg Festival, the Luzern Festival, the Wien Modern Festival, the London Proms, the Venice Biennale, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Holland Festival, the Autumn Festival in Paris, the Berliner Musikbiennale, the Kölner Trienale, the Steyrischer Herbst, the Autumn Festival in Warsaw, the Wiener Festwochen, or the Donaueschingen Festival.
Throughout his career he has premiered numerous works of major composers, such as John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Giacinto Scelsi, Klaus Huber, José Luis de Delás, Brian Ferneyhough, Wolfgang Rihm, Maurice Ohana, Sylvano Bussotti, Niccolò Castiglioni, Luis de Pablo, Gonzalo de Olavide, Giacomo Manzoni, Philippe Manoury, and he has often collaborated with the leading composers of our time, such as Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Olivier Messiaen, Goffredo Petrassi, Luigi Nono, Witold Lutoslawski, Morton Feldmann, Helmut Lachenmann, Salvatore Sciarrino, etc..
As an opera conductor, Arturo Tamayo has also appeared in numerous opera houses, such as the Deutsche Oper in Berlin (with Tutuguri and Jakob Lenz, by Wolfgang Rihm; The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, and Mendelssohn-Spoerli’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), the Wiener Staatsoper (with Mauricio Kagel’s Tantz-Schul; The Three-Cornered Hat by Manuel de Falla; The Rite of Spring, by Igor Stravinsky), Covent Garden (Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten), the Paris Opera (first performance of La Celestina by de Maurice Ohana), the Champs Elysées Hall in Paris (I Capuletti ed i Montecchi by Bellini), the Opera Comique in Paris (La Favorite by Donizetti), Teatro La Fenice in Venice (108 by John Cage and Merce Cunningham), the Rome Opera (Tieste by Sylvano Bussotti), the Teatro Lirico de Cagliari (Britten’s The Turn of the Screw), the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania (Weber’s Der Freischütz), the Teatro Real in Madrid (Henze’s The Bassarids), Graz Opera House (Doktor Faustus by Busoni, Moses und Aron by Schoenberg and La Bohème by Puccini), Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid (Alban Berg’s Lulú; Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin; Verdi’s Stiffelio, featuring Plácido Domingo in the title role), Basel Opera House (premiere of Schwarzerde by Klaus Huber. Next season he will be conducting Erwartung by Arnold Schoenberg and La Voix Humaine by Francis Poulenc with Jessie Norman at the Sadler Wells Hall in London and the Tokyo Opera House.
Among the orchestras he regularly works with, we could mention Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Radio Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Radio Symphonie Orchester Frankfurt, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Rundfunk-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin WDR Orchester Köln, Rundfunk Symphonieorchester Stuttgart, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Wien, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Orchestre Nationale de France, Orchestre de l’Opera de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre Nationale de l’Île de France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestre de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Orchestre de l’Opera de Lyon, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Basler Symphonie Orchester, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI di Torino, Orchestra dell Accademia Santa Cecilia di Roma, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma, Orquesta del Teatro La Fenice, The Hague Residence Orchestra, Hilversum Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Nationale de Belgique, Orchestre Philharmonique de Anvers, Prager Symphonieorchester, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Argentina, Philarmonisches Orchester Oslo, Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra in Lisbon, Portuguese National Orchestra and the vast majority of Spanish orchestral ensembles.
His work in the field of recording is also plentiful and varied. We could mention, among his latest CDs, the three volume set with Maurice Ohana’s works for orchestra, which has deserved 16 international awards, the monograph recordings of the orchestral works of Goffredo Petrassi and Franco Donatoni. He is currently working on the recording of Iannis Xenakis’s works for orchestra (the three first CDs of this project have already been released, having obtained numerous international awards). He also recorded a monograph CD featuring the works of Franco Donatoni with the Hilversum Radio Symphony Orchestra, which was equally received with international awards. In the near future he will be recording a monograph with the works of Klaus Huber and the Concerti per Orchestraby Goffredo Petrassi with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra.
He is a permanent member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de Granada (Royal Academy for the Fine Arts), and he lectures in orchestral conducting at the Cursos de Especialización Musical (Advanced Music Courses) at the Aula de Música (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares [Madrid]). He was given the Spanish Premio Nacional de Interpretación (National Performance Award) in 2002.
Selection of composers from the XXth. century that have been performed by Arturo Tamayo:
Gilbert Amy, Jean Barraqué, Richard Barrett, Francis Bayer, Georges Benjamin, Luciano Berio, Harrison Birtwhistle, André Boucourechliev, Pierre Boulez, Luc Breways, Earle Brown, Francis Burt, Sylvano Bussotti, John Cage, Elliot Carter, Niccoló Castiglioni, Friedrich Cerha, Agustí Charles, Luigi Dallapiccola, José Luis de Delás, Luis de Pablo, Edison Denisov, James Dillon, Franco Donatoni, Pascal Dusapin, Henri Dutilleux, Jean Claude Eloy, Francisco Escudero, Franco Evangelisti, Ivan Fedele, Morton Feldman, Philippe Fénélon, Brian Ferneyhough, Wolfgang Fortner, José García Román, Roberto Gerhard, Gerardo Gombau, Francisco Guerrero, Joan Guinjoan, Gérard Grisey, Georg Friedrich Haas, Jonathan Harvey, Philippe Hersant, Hans Werner Henze, Manuel Hidalgo, York Höller, Heinz Holliger, Klaus Huber, Félix Ibarrondo, Michael Jarrell, Helmut Lachenmann, Mauricio Kagel, Milko Kelemen, Rudolf Kelterborn, Tristan Keuris, Barbara Kolb, György Kurtag, André Laporte, Ton de Leeuw, György Ligeti, Magnus Lindberg, Witold Lutoslawski, George Lopez, Bruno Maderna, Mesias Maiguasca, Ivo Malec, Philippe Manoury, Giacomo Manzoni, Yoritsuné Matsudaira, Olivier Messiaen, Josep Maria Mestres Quadreny, Isabel Mundry, Tristan Murail, Luigi Nono, Christian Ofenbauer, Gonzalo de Olavide, Mauricio Ohana, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Juan Carlos Paz, Goffredo Petrassi, Henri Pousseur, Roman Haubenstock Ramati, Enrique Raxach, Steve Reich, Michèle Reverdy, Wolfgang Rihm, Uros Rojko, Kaja Saariaho, Giacinto Scelsi, Salvatore Sciarrino, Matthias Spahlinger, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Robert Suter, Isang Yun, Iannis Xenakis, Bernd Aloys Zimmermann.