Mallorca’s own gifted violinist, Francisco Fullana is back on the Island and this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, he’ll be performing Mozart's Violin Concerto Number 3 with the Balearic Symphony Orchestra.
He’s just arrived back from the Untied States after playing concert in Louisiana and says travelling during a pandemic is a bit of a trial.
“Flying is difficult now because every country has its own regulations and it’s a long time since I’ve had to take so many flights to get here, 5 in total, but that’s just how it is,” says Fullana.
Rehearsals with the Balearic Symphony Orchestra are well underway, but Fullana admits that performing online is a very different experience.
“It is not the same playing without the warmth and generosity of an audience, I miss that,” he says. “It's a pleasure to play a work that’s so familiar and welcoming with musicians I've known for many years; it’s like a meeting between friends.”
Fullana says Mozart is his favourite composer and Violin Concerto Number 3 is very special to him.
“It’s the one I like the most, it includes a great deal of humour and freedom because he was obsessed with adapting to the capabilities of the soloist while also giving him as much freedom as possible. Thus, composer and violinist are on an equal footing,” explains Fullana who’s played the classics many, many times. “How I think when I play Bach is very different to when I play Mozart. The first tries to achieve a universal beauty and the other is more personal, like a path with nooks to peek into or not, it all depends on you, but you have to follow the path.”
Fullana’s constant companion is the 1735 "Mary Portman" ex-Kreisler Guarneri del Gesù violin, which is on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
“I have been lucky enough to play very good violins since I was 17, like a Stradivari or Guarneri,” he admits. “The trajectory has always been upward not only in the rarity of the instrument, but in how they adapt to me. The union with my violin is important and I feel very comfortable because the sound I want is how the instrument ends up sounding.”
Fullana has won a clutch of awards, he’s been lauded the world over and his Carnegie Hall performance was hailed as 'perfection' but he says there’s no such thing.
“Music is a long road in which artistic maturity is sought, but it is difficult to find,” he admits. “It's like Pau Casals said when, at the age of 70, they asked him when he was going to retire and he replied that he was still in his prime. Perfection in music does not exist it never sounds like it does in your head, that’s an unattainable ideal, but you hold the bar to aspire to it. The higher and clearer the goal, the better the final product.”
Born and raised in Mallorca, Fullana studied at Bernat Pomar in Palma, graduated from the Royal Conservatory in Madrid, received a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from the world famous Juilliard School in New York an Artist Diploma from the USC Thornton School of Music.
“I was lucky to have opportunities thanks to my parents, who valued it very much, but that access is privileged and I would like to incorporate a vision so that people with fewer resources have access to play with great interpreters, as I did, that’s how you learn more and play better,” he says. “When I play in a city I want to have a greater impact on the young guys in the city's youth orchestra. Not only as a soloist, but to deepen those relationships that one establishes, so that some, I hope, can take those moments that I myself have had, that helped me grow as an artist.
Fullana is paying forward the privileges he enjoyed by helping other young musicians. He hosts a series of baroque and Classical music seminars through his Fortissimo Youth Initiative and performs with youth orchestras, to explore and deepen young musicians’ understanding of 18th-century music.
Francisco Fullana will be performing Mozart's Violin Concerto Number 3 with the Balearic Symphony Orchestra on its Youtube channel on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 20:00.