Spanish-born violinist Francisco Fullana, winner of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, has been hailed as a “rising star” (BBC Music Magazine), an “amazing talent” (conductor Gustavo Dudamel) and “frighteningly awesome” (Buffalo News). His Carnegie Hall recital debut was noted for its “joy and playfulness in collaboration … it was perfection” (New York Concert Review).
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 City of Birmingham, Vancouver, Pacific, Alabama and 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, Jose Luis Gomez, Jeannette Sorrell, and Joshua Weilerstein.
Active as a chamber musician, Francisco has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and its Musicians from Marlboro tours and is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Bowers Program. Upcoming festival appearances this summer include St. Petersburg White Nights, Moab, Music in the Vineyards and Saratoga Springs’s SPAC among others, as well as recital debuts at Mecklenburg-Vorpommen Festival & Formentor Classics. His musical collaborators have included Midori, Viviane Hagner, Nobuko Imai, Charles Neidich, Mitsuko Uchida, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Takács and Cleveland quartets.
Highlights of Francisco’s recent and upcoming orchestral engagements include debuts with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Tucson, Miami and Springfield Symphony Orchestras, Castilla y León Orchestra, Oviedo Filarmonía, and Argentina’s National Orchestra. Recital debuts this season also include the Phillips Collection and Palm Beach’s Kravis Center, as well as a two tours 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.
Francisco was recently named artist in residence of the Balearic Islands Symphony Orchestra for the 2021-24 seasons, being in charge of curating and leading conductorless programs and the new festival ‘Lincoln Center in Mallorca’, a weeklong series of annual performances with artists from Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society. The first edition will take place this June, culminating with a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto under Pablo Mielgo alongside Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s directors David Finckel and Wu Han to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary.
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. Francisco’s upcoming new album ‘Bach’s Long Shadow’ continues the exploration of the influence of the Baroque period over the centuries, featuring historically informed performances of Bach’s Partitas on gut strings and baroque tuning, as well as virtuosic renderings of works by Ysaye and Albeniz among 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 the 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.