Francis GallagherFrancis Gallagher | Southbank Sinfonia
Viola

Francis grew up in North London and began learning the violin at the age of six. He won first prizes in both the Max and Peggy Morgan Viola Competition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2014 and the Cecil Aronowitz Viola Competition at the Royal College of Music in 2013.

As an orchestral musician, Francis has worked with conductors including Leif Segerstam, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Antonio Pappano and Sir Simon Rattle, and performed as a guest with the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he performed as a backstage soloist at the Castleton Festival, USA in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, directed by Lorin Maazel.

As a chamber musician, Francis was a member of the Sattler String Quartet for a number of years, performing his own composition Hidden Treasures at Sir John Tavener’s Memorial Concert at St John Smith Square in 2014.

Francis is a passionate advocate of music education and teaches in both group and one-to-one lessons for children of all ages, hoping to give back what many gave to him as a child.

Francis’ place in Southbank Sinfonia is generously supported by the Kirby Laing Foundation.

Q&A

What do you love about classical music?
Classical music sets our imagination on fire and connects us with themes that are eternal. All classical music is story-telling, whether or not it is based on a real story, because the journey goes on in our own minds and gives us clues about who we are as human beings and why we got here—in my view more effective than any film with the latest special effects.

What’s on your playlist right now?]
AC/DC high voltage album, Strauss tone poems, Ali Akbhar Khan (Indian sitar player), various Beatles albums, Piazzolla.

What or who inspired you to become a professional musician?
It’s difficult to pinpoint one thing, because my whole life was inevitably leading towards it. However, once I heard Itzhak Perlman’s Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto on Youtube, I was totally hooked.

 

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