The Team


Fronting the three choirs that make up the Leioa choral school is the conductor Basilio Astulez who is ably supported by the pianist Itxaso Sainz de la maza and by Garbiñe Abendaño who is responsible for vocal technique.

Basilio Astúlez, conductor


Born in 1975, he holds a degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country, with further musical studies in Vitoria-Gasteiz. He trained as a conductor on the courses organised by the Basque Choral Federation, as well as by attending other courses and seminars in Spain and Europe, working with conductors such as J. Duyick and J. Busto, amongst others.

In 1994 and 2005 he taught Choral Singing at the Alegría-Dulantzi Music School in Alava and conducted the local female voice choir Aiala Abesbatza. Between 1996 and 2004 he also conducted the Alaitz Abesbatza choir in Vitoria-Gasteiz, with whom he won numerous first prizes both at home and abroad, with one of them being the 2000 National Grand Prix for Choral Singing. In 1999 he founded the women’s chamber choir Vocalia Taldea, which has also won international awards (Tolosa, Torrevieja, Maasmechelen, Arezzo, Cork...).

He has taught Choral Singing at the Municipal Music School in Leioa, where he founded the Leioa Kantika Korala youth choir in 2001, La Kantoria young women’s choir in 2005 and the SJB mixed-voice choir in 2007. This young choral school is attended by more than 100 singers between the ages of 9 and 20, and has already been honoured with numerous awards in Spanish and European competitions (Tolosa, Torrevieja, Gorizia, National Grand Prix...).

He has conducted these choirs on 10 album recordings and on numerous international tours both in Europe and in the Americas, as well as collaborating with major soloists, orchestras, conductors and ensembles.

In 2008, he was awarded the special prize for the best conductor at the 47th C. A. Seguizzi International Choral Competition in Gorizia, Italy, for his work conducting the Leioa Kantika Korala choir.

In 2009, too, he received the special award for the best conductor at the 38th edition of the "Florilège Vocal de Tours" in France, for his work conducting the Vocalia Taldea chamber choir.

He currently teaches Choral Conducting for schools, universities and several choral federations throughout the country (Basque Country, Asturias, Murcia, Malaga, Alicante...) and he is often called upon to sit on the jury at competitions and hold courses and seminars on choral singing in Spain and Europe.




Garbiñe Abendaño, vocal technique teacher




She has studied guitar, piano, singing and music teaching at the conservatoires in San Sebastian and Bilbao. She has taken part in castings for opera and zarzuela and has also held a large number of recitals as a solo performer.

She has been teaching choral singing and vocal technique at the music school in Leioa since 2004. Garbiñe supervises individual voice training for the school’s three choirs, as well as holding a choral workshop for adults and coaching several youth choral singing groups.






Itxaso Sainz de la Maza, pianista


Itxaso Sainz de la Maza (Leioa, 1992) started her piano and music studies at the music school of Leioa with Lidia Población and Laura Nardi. She continued her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (Barcelona) and in the Hochschule für Musik in Lucerne (Switzerland) in the classes of Vladislav Bronevetzky and Hiroko Sakagami. She specialized as well in piano accompaniment for singers in Musikene (San Sebastián) with Maciej Pikulski. 

Her concert activity took her to several halls in the Basque Country (Teatro Arriaga Antzokia, Bidebarrieta Kulturgunea), Catalonia (L’Auditori – Barcelona, Auditori Municipal Enric Granados – Lleida), Salamanca (Teatro Juan de la Enzina), Switzerland (Lucerne and Bern) and Russia (Saint Petersburg and Moscow). Since 2017 Itxaso is the principal keyboard of the GMJO – Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and thanks to it she has got the opportunity to play in the most important venues in Europe.