Jon Mikel Martínez Valgañón, was born in Fonzaleche, Spain in 1994. He studies at the Royal College of Music with Caroline Emery and is supported by a Henry Wood trust Award.
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 he has now performed in Spain, Italy and England in venues such as Wigmore Hall and St. James’s Picadilly.
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 at the College with Caroline Emery. 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 first prize at the RCM bass competition.
In the orchestra he has played under the baton of Bernard Haitink, Ed Gardner, Vladimir Jurowski, Janick Nezet-Seguin and Andres Orozco Estrada, in venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Musikverein in Vienna and Royal Festival Hall in London. In the summer of 2015 he participated in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe Academy, having lessons, rehearsing and doing a concert alongside COE musicians. In November he got invited back but this time as an extra player to participate in a tour through Europe under the baton of Bernard Haitink. He has also collaborated recently with “Orquesta del Gran Teatre del Liceu” in Barcelona.