Josep Planells Schiaffino


The composer and conductor Josep Planells Schiaffino was born in Valencia in 1988. He obtained his Clarinet Diploma at the Conservatori Superior de Música de València and his Composition Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree under the guidance of Arnulf Hermann and Hanspeter Kyburz at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin. During this time he also received tuition from Salvatore Sciarrino, Brian Ferneyhough and Wolfgang Rihm. Throughout these years, he obtained support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Förderverein of the HfM “Hanns Eisler”, La Caixa/DAAD and the Peter Eötvös Foundation. After his studies he continued to live and work in Berlin as part of the State of Berlin’s Elsa-Neumann-Scholarship. Recently, he completed a PhD at Cambridge University supervised by Richard Causton and funded by an Honorary Vice-Chancellor's Award of the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust and a Pigott Doctoral Studentship.

Josep Planells Schiaffino has collaborated with a number of ensembles and orchestras, among them the WDR Sinfonierochester Köln, Basel Sinfonietta, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Bayerisches Landesjugendorchester, Ensemble Mosaik, Studio MusikFabrik, Zafraan Ensemble, Remix Ensemble, Sigma Project, Trio Vibrart, Trio Musicalis, IEMA, Danubia Orchestra Óbuda and the Kritisches Orchester at the Theater Basel, Kölner Philharmonie, Fondation Royaumont, Lucerne Festival, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Fundación Juan March, Rudolf-Oetker-Halle, Bockenheimer Depot, Frankfurt LAB, Auditorio Nacional de España, Festival Mixtur Barcelona, Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Casa da Música Porto and the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik.

For his music, he has been awarded many distinctions, including the Roche Young Commission of the Lucerne Festival, the New Scenes IV of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the DAAD-Prize, 1st Prize “Vorhof der Völker” Berlin, 3rd Prize in the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Hochschulwettbewerb and the 1st Prize in the INJUVE Competition. His commissioned works include a piece for the conducting workshop INTERAKTION, Zafraan Ensemble, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Orquesta Nacional de España, INAEM, Sigma Project, CNDM and for the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, where he resided as part of the Composer's residence of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes.

As a conductor, Josep Planells Schiaffino assisted Franck Ollu from 2017 to 2020, with whom he participated in the productions of Rihm's Jakob Lenz at the Staatsoper Berlin (Dir. Andrea Breth), Dusapin's Medea at Salzburg Festspiele and Macbeth Underworld at the Opéra Comique Paris (Dir. Thomas Jolly), with the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin for the Festival Ultraschall and in the Xenakis' Oresteia at the Theater Basel (Dir. Calixto Bieito), making his opera debut when he conducted two performances in April 2017. He studied with Fred Buttkewitz in Berlin and took part in several master classes with Peter Rundel in Oporto and with Peter Eötvös in Budapest and Munich. 2015 he won the 1st Interpretation Prize in the Hanns Eisler Competition. 2019, he worked with Matthias Pintscher and Heinz Holliger as part of the Lucerne Festival Conducting Fellowship.

Over the last years, he has regularly collaborated with the Ensemble Modern, with whom he has participated in projects such as Story Water (Emanuel Gat Dance) and Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company meets Ensemble Modern by Jacopo Godani. In 2020 he made his operatic debut in Spain, conducting Die Zauberflöte at the Teatre Principal in Palma de Mallorca (in a co-production with Opera Zuid Maastricht). He has recently conducted the Orquesta de Valencia and the Jove Orquestra de la Generalitat Valenciana at the Palau de la Música de Valencia and the Palau de les Arts. In the 2021-22 season he made his debut in the Foyer of the Gran Teatre del Liceu conducting the premiere of the chamber opera Entre los árboles, by José Río Pareja. Last season he made his conducting debut at the Pierre Boulez Saal.

During the academic year 2021-22 he worked as Guest Professor of Composition at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC) in Barcelona. He has also given lectures at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Castilla y León, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the University of Cambridge.