Francesco Manara, concertmaster of La Scala Theatre

September 5, 2014

Founder of the trio Johannes, Francesco Manara became concertmaster of La Scala Theatre and Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992, while he has been concertmaster of La Scala String Quartet since 2001.

Manara was born in 1969 and he attended the Conservatorio "G. Verdi" in Turin, where he graduated in 1990, under the guidance of M. Marin. He got the highest grades, honors and honorable mention. He later won a scholarship that allowed him to perfect his preparation and later graduated from the International Chamber Music Academy in Trieste. The big breakthrough, however, occurred in 1992, when Riccardo Muti chose him to fill the role of first violinist of the La Scala Theatre Orchestra. In that same year he also won the first prize in the scholarship competition held by La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, while in 1993 he won first prize at the International Competition in Geneva.

He then won various other awards, including those obtained at the International Competition "A. Stradivari" in Cremona, at the "J. Joachim" competition in Hanover, as well as the competitions of Freiburg, Seoul and Monaco of Bavaria. The Russian Academy also awarded him with a special prize at the "Tchaikovsky” Competition in Moscow.

It was thanks to so many victories that Manara was able to manage a successful career in a relatively short time. The violinist could perform with more than 50 different orchestras worldwide within just a few years, including the Bavarian Radio, the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Hannover Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra. He has made recordings for Monaco’s Radio and has recorded Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, under Muti’s direction.

Together with his "Trio Johannes", he won the second prize at the International Competition of Chamber Music of Trio in Trieste and also the second prize at the Osaka competition; in addition, they recorded Beethoven’s "Archduke Trio”, and Brahms’ Trio Op. 8.

Francesco Manara's repertoire ranges from Bach to contemporary artists, including all Paganini’s 24 caprices Op. 1, as well as all Bach’s sonatas and partitas.

The violinist has also managed a teaching career: he’s a professor of violin at both the Superior International Academy of Music "L. Perosi" of Biella and at the Accademia della Scala. He was also invited to conduct Masterclasses at the Manhattan School of New York.

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