JOSE FRANCH-BALLESTER, clarinet
The multi-award-winning Spanish clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester has been hailed for his “technical wizardry and tireless enthusiasm” (The New York Times), his “rich, resonant tone” (Birmingham News), and his “subtle and consummate artistry” (Santa Barbara Independent). Recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008, and winner of both the Young Concert Artists and Astral Artists auditions, he is a solo artist and chamber musician in great demand.
As a concerto soloist he made his New York debut in 2006 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center and has performed with numerous orchestras throughout the US and Spain. He often performs in recitals, as well as regularly performing with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He also serves as principal clarinet of Camerata Pacifica, a chamber-music collective in Santa Barbara, California, and is artistic director of miXt, an ensemble of award-winning soloists from the Young Concert Artists roster that he founded.
An avid proponent of new music, Mr. Franch-Ballester performed the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Winter Roses in 2004 with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. HIs commitment to new music has led him to commission and work with such contemporary composers as Kenji Bunch, Paul Schoenfield, Edgar Meyer, William Bolcom, among many others. His recordings include a Deutsche Grammophon CD of Bartók’s Contrasts with members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and his CD “Jose Franch-Ballester & Friends,” released by iTinerant Classics includes the premiere recording of Oscar Navarro’s Creation as well as works by Brahms, Stravinsky, and Paul Schoenfield.
He is also a dedicated music educator, developing new audiences through countless educational concerts and workshops for young people and community audiences. In the coming year, he takes up a new post as assistant professor of clarinet and chamber music at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Born in Moncofa into a family of clarinetists and Zarzuela singers, Jose Franch-Ballester graduated from the Joaquin Rodrigo Music Conservatory in Valencia, and in 2005, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Donald Montanaro. Mr. Franch-Ballester’s mentors also include Ricardo Morales, principal clarinet in the Philadelphia Orchestra.