José Vicente - profile

José Vicente Castelló



When and where was your first concert with the MCO? It was in 2007 in Ludwigshafen, an unforgettable concert with Claudio Abbado playing Brahms Serenade no. 1 and a chamber music concert playing Schubert and Widmann’s Octet.

What’s the best thing about playing with the MCO? It is all about chamber music… that reflects the philosophy and the spirit of the MCO. Even the personal relationships are like chamber music!

What is the best thing about being a musician? You travel, you meet people, you share experiences and you always improve yourself. You make people enjoy and feel music! That makes it the best profession in the world.

If you could play another instrument what would it be? Maybe cello or voice. Who knows?

What would you do if you weren’t a musician? I’m not sure what I could be, but music would always be in my life for sure.


Born in Alicante, José Vicente Castelló is one of Spain’s most prominent horn players. He was a student of Professor Radovan Vlatkovic at the Reina Sofia Conservatory in Madrid, where Her Majesty Queen Sofia awarded him the Most Outstanding Student Prize in 2002 and 2003.

In parallel with his musical studies, he studied Hispanic philology at the University of Alicante.

José Vicente has received several international awards, including the Baerenreiter Urtext Prize, awarded to him in 2005 at the International Music Competition of the ARD in Munich, and Honorable Mention in 2007 at the International Music Competition Prague Spring.

He was principal horn of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra from 2001-2006 and principal in the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia (Spain) from 2004-2010. He collaborates frequently with – and appears as principal in – the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Concergebouw Orkest, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic and London Philharmonic Orchestras, the hr-Sinfonieorchester and the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich. He has played under great conducters, such as Mariss Jansons, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Lorin Maazel, Bernard Haitink, Daniele Gatti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski, Andris Nelsons, Neville Marriner and Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Since 2004 José Vicente has been a member of Claudio Abbado’s Orchestra Mozart in Bologna, and he also plays with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra.

In the field of chamber music, he has performed with such renowned musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Bruno Canino, Radovan Vlatkovic, Jacques Zoon, Paul Meyer, Kim Kashkasian, as well as with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard and Emerson String Quartets.

Jose Vicente has also participated in prestigious chamber music festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival (USA), Festival de Mégeve (France), Festival de Santander (Spain), Edinburg Festival (UK), and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Since 2010 he has served as artistic director of the festival Musics en Residencia in Alella, Barcelona.

He is also currently professor of horn at the Catalonian High School of Music ESMUC in Barcelona.