Despite some effort in preventing this from happening, Claudio Martínez Mehner is presently a music teacher and occasional pianist.
Born in Germany in 1970, Claudio Martínez Mehner began his music studies at an early age at the “Real Conservatorio Superior de Madrid” in Madrid with Amparo Fuster, Pedro Lerma and Joaquín Soriano. In addition to his piano studies, and in a constant search of any activity that would prevent him from practicing piano while still being involved with music, he participated in some youth orchestras as a violinist, violist and harpsichord player.
He then continued his piano studies, touring a nice part of the academic music world in search of wisdom, such as the “Tchaikovsky-Conservatory” in Moscow, the “Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía” in Madrid, the “Hochschule für Musik” in Freiburg, Germany, the “Fondazione per il Pianoforte” in Como, Italy; and the “Peabody Conservatory” in Baltimore, US, studying mainly with Dmitri Bashkirov, Vitalij Margulis and Leon Fleisher,. In addition, he participated in masterclasses given by well-known musicians such as Murray Perahia, Fou Ts’ong, Alexis Weissenberg, Karl-Ulrich Schnabel, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Mstislav Rostropovich.
As it is the case of almost all aspiring musicians, participating in competitions was a usual part of academic life. As a result of this dubious activity, Martínez Mehner won some top prizes at some of the (at that time still only about 300) International competitions, such as the “Bundeswettbewerb Jugend musiziert”, the International Piano Competition “Paloma O’Shea” in Santander (1990), Spain, the“Pilar Bayona” in Zaragoza, Spain, “Fondation Chimay” in Belgium (1993), and “Dino Ciani” in Milano, Italy (1993).
Surfing the following career wave, he performed in most major cities in Europe, the United States, Russia, Central America and Japan, with orchestras such as the Munich Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic, Filarmónica of the Teatro Alla Scala, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Philharmonic, Italian Swiss Radio Orchestra, Norddeutsche Rundfunk, Filarmonia Hungarica and most of the major Spanish orchestras. However, his career got very successfully interrupted for almost 7 years due to an injury of his right arm paired with some serious doubts about the real meaning of this kind of music-making and even more serious doubts about the quality of his own musicianship.
During this time, he tried to be far from professional music, especially after an extremely unsuccessful attempt to become a conductor. Having failed as a translator, language teacher, interpreter, graphic designer, HTML programmer, personal assistant, stage-hand and cook, he finally gave in and started teaching piano back in his hometown, Madrid. Soon, with the help of a student of his, his arm started working again.
In an attempt of re-learning the trade in order to improve his teaching, some years after the beginning of the new Millennium he started having lessons with Ferenc Rados, who he still considers by far the most clear-sighted, deeply intelligent, honest, sensitive, genuinely natural, unpretentious, well-informed and politically incorrect musician alive. He somehow started performing again, mainly in chamber music settings.
As a teacher, Martínez Mehner has been an assistant to Prof. Dmitri Bashkirov at the “Reina Sofia” school in Madrid and piano teacher at the conservatories in Salamanca, Zaragoza and at the “Katarina Gurska” school in Madrid. Recently he got appointed as a piano professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel. He teaches courses in Europe, Asia and the U.S.