Recipient of the 2010 MIDEM Classique Outstanding Young Artist Award, clarinetist JOSE FRANCH-BALLESTER performed Debussy’s Rhapsody with the Sinfonietta Cracovia at the awards ceremony in Cannes, which was broadcast live on France Musique, Radio Luxembourg and by the Polish Radio. Since winning the 2004 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Franch-Ballester’s career has gone from strength to strength. He became a member of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS II and continues to perform with them in New York. He is on the roster of Astral Artistic Services in Philadelphia, was selected by Carnegie Hall for Master Classes with Emanuel Ax and Richard Stoltzman, and performed in Carnegie’s Weill Hall. Mr. Franch-Ballester was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008. His other prestigious awards include the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Concert Prize for his Kennedy Center debut, and the Claire Tow Prize, which sponsored his New York debut. He performs with the woodwind quintet, Astral Winds.
Mr. Franch-Ballester is in demand for numerous festivals, both national and international, including Chamber Music Northwest (OR), Saratoga Chamber Music Festival (NY), the Skaneateles Festival (NY), the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival (NY), Music from Angel Fire (NM), and 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.

This season, Mr. Franch-Ballester’s concert tours take him to Mexico for the Festival Internacional Cervantino and to appear as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico. He performs the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Keith Lockhart, in a live radio broadcast. Mr. Franch-Ballester appears in the Young Concert Artists Series at the Paramount Theater (VT), at Le Poisson Rouge (NY), with Fisher’s Island Concerts (NY), Camerata Pacifica (CA), Impromptu Concerts and the Middle Keys Concert Association (FL), Princeton University Concerts, and appears with the Bryan Symphony at Tennessee Tech University.

Mr. Franch-Ballester has given concerts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Iowa State University, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, and at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts (CA), and as soloist with the Victoria and Wichita Falls symphonies in Texas, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s under the direction of Keith Lockhart at Lincoln Center. In Spain, he has performed with the Orquesta de Radio y Television Española, Orquesta Sinfonica Castellon, Orquesta Supramusica, Orquesta Cambra XX Teatro Monumental (Madrid), and the Musica de Vall de Uxo Orchestra. He performed the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Winter Roses with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade.

Born in Moncofa, Spain into a family of clarinetists and Zarzuela singers, Jose Franch-Ballester began clarinet lessons at the age of nine with Venancio Rius Marti, and gave his first recital in Valencia at the age of sixteen. He graduated from the Joaquin Rodrigo Music Conservatory in Valencia in 2000 and won First Prize of the Cultural Council of Valencia for three consecutive years (2001-2003) and First Prize in the “Francisco Hernandez Guirado” Interpretive Soloists Competition. Mr. Franch-Ballester came to the U.S. to study at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he graduated in 2005, studying clarinet with Donald Montanaro and Ricardo Morales and chamber music with Pamela Frank. Mr. Franch-Ballester is also an avid photographer.