Star violinist Francisco Fullana shines in the Balearic Islands' Symphony Orchestra
The life of Francisco Fullana has the rhythm of an ‘allegro’ movement. Born in Palma in 1990, he starts playing the violin at the age of four years. Seven years old, he enters the ‘Conservatorio de Baleares’ and completes the “superior degree of violin with distinction and receives an extraordinary prize” at the age of fifteen. He moves to New York, to the prestigious The Juilliard School, and obtains the Master in Violin.
From here the ‘allegro’ increases its speed and becomes a ‘molto vivace’: First prize at the Pablo Sarrate Contest; first prize at the Johannes Brahms Contest; first prize at the Nagoya Contest; first prize at Pro Musicis Awards; first prize…
The Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands (OSIB) has established the position of the resident artist and that of the Balearic resident. The first Balearic resident chosen was you. What does that mean to you?
It is very important. Being a resident gives me the opportunity to have a great relationship with all the musicians of the orchestra and to be able to decide the repertoire and format that we want for the next season with them. The OSIB has always been very supportive in my career. They were the ones who gave me the opportunity to play for the first time at the age of nine.
The specialized media emphasize your ability to communicate with the public: they say that you always manage to create a special atmosphere. Do you agree?
From my beginnings with Bernat Pomar until now, I have always loved to take the stage. And yes, it’s true, I love trying to grab the attention of each listener and try to take everybody on a musical adventure that I hope won’t be forgotten in a long time. That’s my idea, and I think it is the result of the comfort and joy that I feel on stage.
Can you name a piece or work that reminds you of Mallorca when you play it?
Maestro Salvador Brotons, who has always had a very special relationship with the island, is writing a piece for the violin for me that will be included in my new CD with the English label Orchid Classics and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. It will be a piece that reflects the island, its landscapes and its history, and I really can’t wait for it to be finished in the coming months.
At the age of only 26 you already had the opportunity to play two different Stradivarius violins: a Pietro Guarneri of 1679 and a Stradivarius of 1697, Rainville. Can you tell us something about your experiences with them?
Playing these great instruments are unique opportunities. It is like getting to know a person, little by little, understanding each other. You learn a lot by playing these kinds of instruments. Now, for a couple of months, I’m playing the Guarneri del Gesu, ex-Kreisler ‘Mary Portman’ and it’s amazing.
If you had to choose one of the interpretations that you have performed so far, which one would it be?
H’m, there are many. It is very difficult to choose between Brahms with Gustavo Dudamel, the Brahms quartet with Mitsuko Uchida or the Shostakovich concert with OSIB and Pablo Mielgo. I have been very lucky to have so many unforgettable musical memories.
Despite your busy schedule you always find time to come to Mallorca to play. Is it your way of expressing your love for Mallorca?
Mallorca is my motherland, my home, and it always feels good to play for the Mallorcans. I will never tire of coming to play here; it is good to go out on stage with an audience that is always so dedicated.
Photos by Sophie Zhai Studios