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 the Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca, Fullana is making a name for himself as both a performer and as a leader of innovative educational institutions. His active performing schedule has included a Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Bayerische Philharmonie, under the baton of the late Sir Colin Davis, the Sibelius Concerto with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, and a Brahms Concerto led by Señor Dudamel at Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Hall. He has soloed with the Vancouver, Pacific, Alabama, Maryland, Madrid and Hof Symphonies and the Spanish Radio Television Orchestra, while collaborating with such noted conductors as Davis, Dudamel, and also Alondra de la Parra, Christoph Poppen, Jeannette Sorrell, and Josh Weilerstein.
Francisco has taken part in the Marlboro Music Festival and "Musicians from Marlboro" tours. He has joined in prominent chamber series including the Music@Menlo, the Da Camera Society, Perlman Music Program, and Yellow Barn, alongside members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Pacifica, Takacs and Cleveland Quartets, while performing alongside such renowned artists as Viviane Hagner, Nobuko Imai, Charles Neidich and Mitsuko Uchida, among many others. As violinist of Stiftung Lyra, he has participated in its performances since 2004.
This year will find Fullana in debuts as a soloist with the Castilla y Leon, Norwalk Symphonies and Santa Fe Pro Musica, Buffalo Philharmonic and returns with Alabama, Balearic Islands, Extremadura Symphonies and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra among the concerto performances in U.S., Europe and Asia. Among the many chamber music engagements on his upcoming schedule, Francisco is a member of The Bowers Program (formerly Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society Two).
Orchid Classics released in March Francisco Fullana’s new recording Through The Lens of Time, which includes Max Richter’s “Four Seasons Recomposed,” with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carlos Izcaray. The 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 that also shine a new light on the baroque music tradition. Fullana’s ongoing collaboration with Argentinian bandoneonist J.P. Jofre brought the recent premiere of Jofre’s Double Concerto for Bandoneon and Violin, a work commissioned by the Balearic Islands Symphony, San Antonio Chamber Orchestra and New York City’s Metropolis Ensemble.
Born into a family of educators, Francisco first studied with Bernat Pomar in his hometown of Palma de Mallorca, later graduating from the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, where he matriculated under the tutelage of Manuel Guillén. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School studying with Donald Weilerstein and Masao Kawasaki, and is also an Artist Diploma graduate from the USC Thornton School of Music, where he worked with the renowned violinist Midori.
Fullana was honored in 2015 with the Pro Musicis International Award, the same year also finding him awarded First Prize in the Munetsugu Angel Violin Competition in Japan, along with all four special prizes including the Audience and Orchestra awards. He won First Prize in the 2014 Johannes Brahms International Violin Competition, in Austria, while his other awards include First Prizes at the Julio Cardona International Violin Competition and the Pablo Sarasate Competition. His awards include the María Paula Alonso Foundation Award, an institution he collaborates regularly with in different musical and educational projects.
Francisco has also become 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 Fullana 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.