Francisco FullanaGuest Artist, violin
Spanish violinist Francisco Fullana, winner of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, has received international praise as a "rising star" (BBC Music Magazine), an "amazing talent" (maestro Gustavo Dudamel) and "a paragon of delicacy" (San Francisco’s Classical Voice). His playing has been described as “explosive” (Gramophone), “electric and virtuosic” (The Strad).
A native of Mallorca in the Balearic Islands of Spain, Francisco is making a name for himself as both a performer and a leader of innovative educational institutions. As an orchestral soloist he has performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Bayerische Philharmonie led by the late Sir Colin Davis, the Sibelius Concerto with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, and the Brahms Violin Concerto with Venezuela’s Teresa Carreño Orchestra under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. He has also soloed with the Vancouver, Pacific, Alabama, Maryland, Madrid Symphonies as well as the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Spanish Radio Television Orchestra, and has worked with such noted conductors as Hans Graf, Carlos Izcaray, Alondra de la Parra, Christoph Poppen, Jeannette Sorrell, and Joshua Weilerstein.
Active as a chamber musician, Francisco has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and its Musicians from Marlboro tours, as well as Yellow Barn, the Perlman Music Program, the Da Camera Society, and the Music@Menlo, Mainly Mozart, Music in the Vineyards, and Newport music festivals. His musical collaborators have included Midori, Viviane Hagner, Nobuko Imai, Charles Neidich, Mitsuko Uchida, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Pacifica, Takács, and Cleveland quartets. And among the many chamber music engagements on his upcoming schedule, Francisco is part of the Bowers Program at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Highlights of Francisco’s recent and upcoming orchestral engagements include debuts with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra, Oviedo Filarmonía, and Argentina’s National Orchestra. Also scheduled are return engagements with the Alabama, Balearic Islands, Extremadura, and Xalapa symphonies. Recital debuts this upcoming season also include the Phillips Collection and Palm Beach’s Kravis Center, as well as a tour of eastern China and Japan. Francisco’s ongoing collaboration with Argentinian bandoneonist/composer J.P. Jofre culminated with the world and European premieres of Jofre’s Concerto for Bandoneon and Violin No. 2, a work commissioned by the Balearic Islands Symphony, San Antonio Chamber Orchestra, and New York City’s Metropolis Ensemble.
Orchid Classics recently released Francisco’s recording “Through the Lens of Time,” which includes Max Richter’s 2012 composition The Four Seasons Recomposed performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carlos Izcaray. This ambitious project, recently named Forbes's CD of the Week and featured as the #1 Classical Track on Apple Music, carries forward from its modern reconsideration of Vivaldi’s beloved classic with a series of contemporary solo works for violin that also shine a new light on the Baroque musical tradition. Orchid Classics will release Francisco’s new album next year, featuring solo violin works by Bach, Paganini, Ysaye and others.
Born into a family of educators, Francisco first studied with Bernat Pomar in his hometown of Palma de Mallorca and later graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, where he matriculated under the tutelage of Manuel Guillén. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School following studies with Donald Weilerstein and Masao Kawasaki, and holds an Artist Diploma from the USC Thornton School of Music, where he worked with the renowned violinist Midori.
In 2015 Francisco was honored with the Pro Musicis International Award and First Prize in Japan’s Munetsugu Angel Violin Competition, as well as all four of that competition’s special prizes including the Audience and Orchestra awards. He won First Prize in the 2014 Johannes Brahms International Violin Competition in Austria. Other awards include First Prizes at the Julio Cardona International Violin Competition and the Pablo Sarasate Competition.
Francisco is a committed innovator, leading new institutions of musical education for young people. He is a co-founder of San Antonio’s Classical Music Summer Institute, where he currently serves as Chamber Music Director. He also created the Fortissimo Youth Initiative, a series of Baroque and Classical music seminars and performances with youth orchestras, which aims to explore and deepen young musicians’ understanding of 18th-century music. The seminars are deeply immersive, thrusting youngsters into the sonic world of a single composer while inspiring them to channel their overwhelming energy in the service of vibrant older styles of musical expression. The results can be galvanic, and Francisco continues to build on these educational models.
He currently performs on the 1735 "Mary Portman" ex-Kreisler Guarneri del Gesù violin, kindly on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.