Spanish clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester is a captivating performer of “poetic eloquence” (The New York Sun) and “technical wizardry” (The New York Times). A soloist and chamber music artist in great demand, he plays regularly with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Camerata Pacifica, and at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, the Mainly Mozart Festival, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, the Skaneateles Festival, and Music from Angel Fire. Abroad, he has appeared at the Usedomer Musikfestival in Germany, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Cartagena Festival Internacional de Música in Colombia, the Kon-Tiki Festival in Norway, and the Young Concert Artists Festival in Tokyo, Japan.
Last season, Mr. Franch-Ballester launched his new and exciting chamber group, miXt, of which he is a member and Artistic Director. miXt is comprised of award-winning soloists from the Young Concert Artists roster, performing in a variety of configurations. The ensemble performed debut recitals in the Young Concert Artists Series at Merkin Hall in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In addition to performances in the miXt ensemble, highlights from his 2012-2013 season include appearances as soloist with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the Louisville Orchestra, and performances at La Musica Festival and Camerata Pacifica, and with the Concordia Chamber Players and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
As concerto soloist Jose Franch-Ballester has appeared with numerous orchestras including the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, the Wisconsin Philharmonic, the Louisiana Philharmonic, and the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Franch-Ballester has appeared in recitals at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Iowa State University, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, and at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. In 2004 he performed the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Winter Roses with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade at Camerata Pacifica.
Mr. Franch-Ballester also has a strong presence in Spain. During the 2011-2012 season, he premiered two new works by Spanish composers: the II Concerto by Oscar Navarro with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Oviedo, Spain and Concerto Valencia by Andrés Valero-Castells with the Orquesta de Valencia. He has also appeared with the Orquesta de Radio y Television Española and the Orquesta Sinfonica Castellon. In addition to performing regularly, he is the founder of “Jose Franch-Ballester & i amics,” (and friends) a new series of concerts in which young musicians from all over the world are presented in Moncofa, Mr. Franch-Ballester’s hometown, and throughout the Valencia area.
Winner of the 2004 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was awarded the Claire Tow Prize which sponsored his New York debut and the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Prize which sponsored his debut at the Kennedy Center. In 2008, he won a coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. As the “Revelation of the Year,” he was awarded the 2010 Midem Prize for Classical Music for “Outstanding Young Artist,” which aims to introduce the currently unsigned recording stars of the future to the classical recording industry. He has recorded Bartok’s Contrasts with members of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society on the Deutche Grammophone label.
Mr. Franch-Ballester has commissioned new music and worked with contemporary composers such as Kenji Bunch, Paul Schoenfield, Edgar Meyer, William Bolcom, George Tsontakis, and Kevin Puts. He has also been a dedicated music educator, developing new audiences by playing countless educational concerts and workshops for young people and community audiences.
Born in Moncofa, Spain into a family of clarinetists and Zarzuela singers, Jose Franch-Ballester began clarinet lessons at the age of nine and graduated from the Joaquin Rodrigo Music Conservatory in Valencia. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 2005, where he studied with Donald Montanaro, and Pamela Frank.
*[pronounced FrAHnk Bai-yess-TAIR]