Awarded the Spanish National Radio Culture Prize 2015, Isabel Villanueva is valued for her expression and sensibility as well as for her passion and commitment to promote the viola as an instrument with its own voice. Isabel announces herself as one of the best violists of the new generation.
She has appeared as a soloist with the Radio Television Spanish Symphony Orchestra (Bartók & Walton), Moscow Soloists (Mozart), Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (Gubaidulina), New Russia State Symphony Orchestra (Bartók), Orquestra Nacional d'Andorra (J.C.Bach, Hoffmeister & Rolla Concertos), Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (Bartók), Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra (Khoury), Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta of Tallin (Olivero), among others, under the baton of maestros Salvador Brotons, Andres Mustonen or Michel Plasson, with whom she performed the season 2016/17 the Walton Viola Concerto with the RTVE Spanish Symphony Orchestra broadcasted by TVE. She has a wide range repertoire including several symphonic world premieres such as José Zárate and Houtaf Khoury Viola Concertos, both dedicated to her. Forthcoming appearances and projects include debuts with Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra (Bartók / Lior Shambadal) and Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra (Walton / Jacek Kaspszyk), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Kennedy Center in Washington and a baroque project with Il Pomo d’Oro, among others.
She has appeared as a soloist and recitalist in prestigious venues including the Grand Hall of St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou (China), Bath Music Festival (UK), Estonia Concert Hall, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Santander Festival, Pablo Casals Festival in Prades (France), LegeArtis Festival (Austria), Rottweil Musikfestival (Germany), Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, Schubertiade RTS, Lavaux Classic Festival (Switzerland), Roudaki Hall in Tehran (becoming in 2013 the first foreign violist to perform solo recitals in Iran), Royal Court Theatre in Copenhagen, Festival Musika-Música in Bilbao, Assembly Hall in Beirut (Lebanon), and the Wigmore Hall in London.
She has a strong interest in expanding music for viola. Premieres and collaborations include solo works by Gubaidulina, Olivero, Zárate, Sotelo, Cervelló, Khoury and Khayam.
She is prizewinner in international viola competitions including Mravinsky Competition in St. Petersburg (2009), Beethoven Viola Competition in Czech Republic (2012) and Yuri Bashmet Viola Competition in Moscow (2013). In 2014 she was awarded the 'Prix Albert Lullin' in Geneva to the most outstanding instrumentalist of the year. In 2015 she was recognized institutionally by Marca España and named 'Global Ambassador of Spanish Talent' by Clear Channel. She is 'Cultural Ambassador' from Fondation Prim'Enfance in Switzerland.
In 2017 will be realised two recording projects : the Viola Concerto by José Zárate for Sony Classical and her first viola and piano CD with François Dumont for IMMStage.
Isabel Villanueva is regularly invited to give masterclasses in different institutions such as Royal College of Music in London, Conservatoire Superieur de Musique du Liban, Pacific International Youth Orchestra in Guangzhou (China), Iran National University of Music and Arts, and many conservatoires in Spain.
Born in Pamplona (Spain) in 1988, Isabel studied with I. Sulyga, Y. Bashmet, L. Power and N. Imai at Royal College of Music in London, Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena and the Haute École de Musique in Geneva.
Isabel Villanueva plays an Enrico Catenar viola (Turin, 1670) and uses Peter Infeld strings kindly sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld (Vienna).