The prize is given annually to an outstanding performer and innovator in classical music


Francisco Fullana © Shervin Lainez

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Spanish violinist Francisco Fullana has been named as the recipient of the 2023 the Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi Prize from the Festival Napa Valley.

The prize includes a  $10,000 cash award and commemoration on a trophy designed by celebrated sculptor Adam Wiedmann and Nimbus Arts, on permanent display at Darioush Winery.

’So thankful and honoured to receive Festival Napa Valley’s 2023 Khaledi Prize,’ wrote Fullana on social media. Fullana appear at Festival Napa Valley with Matteo Bocelli and Festival Orchestra Napa conducted by Eugene Kohn on 15 July.

The Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Classical Music was established in 2017. Named in honour of Festival Napa Valley’s founding board chairman Darioush Khaledi and his wife Shahpar, the annual prize recognises a rising star who has exemplified outstanding attributes as a performer and innovator. Previous winners include Tessa Lark, Nia Imani Franklin and Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

Fullana is graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, where he studied with Manuel Guillén. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School following studies with Donald Weilerstein and Masao Kawasaki, and holds an artist diploma from the USC Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Midori.

He won an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2018 and was artist in residence with the Grammy-winning ensemble Apollo’s Fire last season. Fullana is a performing artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, the Musicians from Marlboro tours, the Perlman Music Program, the Da Camera Society, among others.

As an educator, Fullana co-founded San Antonio’s Classical Music Summer Institute, where he currently serves as chamber music director and created the Fortissimo Youth Initiative.

Fullana plays on the 1735 ’Mary Portman’ ex-Kreisler Guarneri del Gesù violin, on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

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