Jon Mikel Martínez Valgañón, was born in Fonzaleche, Spain in 1994. He graduated with a First Class Honours at the Royal College of Music with Caroline Emery in July 2016. He is currently a freelance Double Bass player in London.
Jon Mikel started his music studies with the Double Bass at the age of 6 in Haro, near his hometown, under the tutoring of Francisco Javier Almenara López. After a few years playing the instrument, he won the “Fermín Gurbindo” competition for young instrumentalists twice, at the age of 10 and 15. He began playing with “La Rioja” Symphony Orchestra at the age of 11, and at the age of 15 with the “Basque Country Youth Symphony Orchestra”. After several years in both of these youth orchestras, he did his debut with a professional orchestra at the age of 17 with the “Basque National Orchestra”. At this time, he started his studies with Aleksander Mikolajczyk, principal double bass at the “Basque National Orchestra”.
His first solo recital was at the age 16 at the theater in Haro. Also at the age of 16 he did his debut as a soloist with an orchestra, playing works by Bottesini. As a soloist and chamber musician he has now performed in venues across European countries such as Wigmore Hall and St. James’s Picadilly in London.
In the summer of 2010 he attended “Bass Club”, a Double Bass course held in London, organized by Caroline Emery, who in a couple years was going to become his teacher at the Royal College of Music. At this course and the masterclasses he attended at the college, he performed at masterclasses for artists such as Joel Quarrington, Rick Stotjin, David Allen Moore, Paul Ellison and François Rabbath.
In 2011 he did his audition to enter the Royal College of Music. A year after, he started his Bachelors Course. During his first year he won the Highly Commended award at the Royal College’s Double Bass competition, being the youngest and the only first year at this event. In his third year, he was awarded the Double Bass competition’s first prize. In his third and fourth years at the college, he took part in numerous orchestral Schemes such as the ENO Evolve Scheme, the COE Academy and the London Symphony Orchestra String Scheme whilst obtaining experience as a freelance player.
Professionally, he has played under the baton of Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Vladimir Jurowski, Janick Nezet-Seguin and Simon Rattle, in venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Musikverein in Vienna, the Barbican and Royal Festival Hall in London. As a guest double bass player, he has performed with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru, The Basque National Orchestra in San Sebastián and the Orchestra del Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. He has also participated in projects with Spira Mirabilis in Italy.