Spanish clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester is a captivating performer of “poetic eloquence” (The New York Sun) and “technical wizardry” (The New York Times). As the “Revelation of the Year” in 2010 he was awarded Cannes’ Midem Prize for Classical Music, which aims to introduce the as yet unsigned recording stars of the future to the classical recording industry. With members of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society he has recorded Bartok’s Contrasts on the Deutche Grammophone label.
A soloist and chamber music artist in great demand, he plays regularly with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, with Camerata Pacifica, Chamber Music Northwest, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, the Skaneateles Festival, and at the Music from Angel Fire Festival in Colorado. He has also appeared at the Usedomer Musikfestival in Germany, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Cartagena Festival Internacional de Música in Colombia, and the Young Concert Artists Festival at Nexus Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
His first performance in Greece was at Santorini's Megaron Gyzi Festival, followed by a concert at Mykonos' Antanaclasis Festival, in August 2011. His next appearance will be in a Brahms and Bruch chamber music concert at the Young Classical series on 21 December 2011, at Parnassos Concert Hall in Athens.
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 Orchestra, the Wisconsin Philharmonic and the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. In Spain he has performed with the Orquesta de Radio y Television Española, the Orquesta Sinfonica Castellon and the Orquesta Cambra XXTeatro Monumental in Madrid, among many others.
Winner of the 2004 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was awarded YCA’s 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 Award.
Franch-Ballester‘s recitals have been 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 with Camerata Pacifica (CA).
Franch-Ballester has commissioned new music and worked with contemporary composer such as Kenji Bunch, Paul Schoenfield, Edgar Meyer, William Bolcom, George Tsontakis, and Kevin Puts, and has 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 of Music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 2005, where he studied with Donald Montanaro, and Pamela Frank.