IGNACIO MAÑÁ MESAS IS A SPANISH SAXOPHONIST AND COMPOSER WHO IS CURRENTLY BASED IN THE UK.
Ignacio studied saxophone and composition at “Cristóbal Halffter” Conservatoire (in Ponferrada, Spain) between 2006 and 2015. He was taught by French and Spanish saxophonists, such as Arno Bornkamp, Claude Delangle, Vincent David, Christian Wirth, Jean-Denis Michat, Marie-Bernadette Charrier, Andrés Gomis and Fco. Javier Rodríguez García. During his formative years in Spain, he played as a soloist with different orchestras and chamber groups, such as Ponferrada’s Wind Orchestra and León’s Youth Orchestra, and competed successfully in many compositions both as a saxophonist and a composer, winning First Prize at the National ‘Intercentros Melómano’ Competition in Castilla y León in 2012 and First Prize at the ‘Fac Quod Agis’ Competition in 2014, among others, and he was also selected to perform in the Spanish TV musical programme ‘Pizzicato’ in 2013. In 2015, he passed his LTCL Saxophone Recital Diploma with distinction and finished his musical studies at ‘Cristóbal Halffter’ Conservatoire with honours, obtaining the Extraordinary Prize in Castilla y León with the best mark in his region and receiving a nomination for the National Music Award.
He then received an offer and a scholarship from Chetham’s School of Music (in Manchester, UK) to continue his academic and musical studies. During his two years at this institution, he studied saxophone and composition with Carl Raven and Jeremy Pike, respectively, and offered solo recitals, premiered and conducted his compositions at such prestigious venues as the Bridgewater Hall and Stoller Hall (in Manchester), as well as the Royal College of Music and Arts Club (in London). Among these performances, he premiered and conducted his Cello Concerto and performed Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto with Chetham’s Wind Band at the Stoller Hall. During his time in Manchester, Ignacio also performed with pianist Leslie Howard and conductor Paul Mann and premiered Gavin Wayte’s ‘Aperture’ as part of the New Music North West festival 2016. Furthermore, he was successful in different competitions, reaching the final of The Arts Club Karl Jenkins Classical Music Award 2017, winning Second Prize at the ENKOR International Music Competition 2017 and being Highly Commended with his piece ‘Black Pictures’ at the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition 2017, Senior Category (17-18 years).
Despite receiving offers and scholarships from very prestigious institutions, such as the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, among others, at the conclusion of his studies at Chetham’s in 2017 he decided to read Music at the University of Cambridge as a member of St John’s College. During his first year in Cambridge, he reached the Semi-Final of the Bromsgrove International Musicians’ Competition and won First Prize at the Cambridge University Musical Society Concerto Competition 2018, performing Tomasi’s Saxophone Concerto with the Cambridge University Orchestra at West Road Concert Hall in November 2018. Furthermore, he performed as a soloist in numerous concerts and events, such as the Combination Room Concert and the May Concert at St John’s College, the Madingley Concert at Madingley Hall, the Mary Bevan Recital at Wolfson College and the Honorary Degree Ceremony at the Senate House. He also performed with St John’s College Choir in numerous services and concerts in the UK and France, most recently at the Grand Theatre in Aix-en-Provence, featuring in live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and in the Choir’s second album of live recordings from the St John’s Advent Carol services. While at Cambridge, he was taught by the composers Tim Watts, Christian Mason and Richard Causton, by the film composers Vasco Hexel and Mike Ladouceur, and by the saxophonists Kyle Horch and Simon Haram, the latter of whom after being shortlisted to take part in the prestigious CAMRAM Scheme in both 2018 and 2019, receiving saxophone lessons at the Royal Academy of Music (in London). His compositions were commissioned and premiered by orchestras and world-renowned artists, such as the Sigma Project Quartet, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Krom Ensemble, St John’s College Choir, Tabea Debus and Olwen Foulkes. His academic work at university was also highly successful, and Ignacio was awarded a St John’s Bursary, two Wright Prizes, two McAulay Scholarships and most recently an Earle Prize and a Donald Wort Prize for the highest overall result in the examinations of his second-year cohort. He was also selected for a fully funded exchange programme in summer 2019 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. In July 2020, Ignacio graduated from Cambridge with a double starred first, receiving the prestigious Larmor Award as one of the most outstanding undergraduate students at St John’s College. Following the conclusion of his studies at Cambridge, Ignacio has enrolled in a Master’s in Composition for the Screen at the Royal College of Music (London).
Nacho speaks Spanish, English and Galician-Portuguese at a native level, is ﬂuent in French and has a basic knowledge of German.