president & founder - francisco bernier
First prize at the prestigious International Guitar Competition “Michele Pittaluga” in Alessandria (Italy)
La Stampa (Italy)
"Guitarist Bernier is the first prize winner of Italy’s Michele Pittaluga Competition…He is a fine player, with a virtuoso technique and a wide range of timbre and dynamics, imaginative and expressive."
American Record Guide, July 2011 (USA)
"Bernier is a calm assured master of the guitar. That he could produce so many different sounds and effects from this lovely little bit of wood and strings had some wondering if magic was involved."
Brantford Expositor, August 2011 (Canada)
"The performer had an excellent quality of sound, phrasings and changing of rhythm that the audience was enthousiastic!"
El Periódico Mediterráneo (Spain)
“Performances full of warmth and feelings!”
Corriere dell’Arte (Italy)
Considered by critics as one of the world’s leading classical guitarists of his generation, Francisco Bernier has gone on to forge a successful and prize-winning career throughout the years. His achievements led him to perform in over 40 countries around the globe, in prestigious venues such as the Salle Cortot and the Mogador Theatre in Paris, the Salle Corum in Montpellier, the Grand Theatre in Bordeaux, Oji Hall in Tokyo, the Kyoto Concert Hall, the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Teatro Maestranza in Seville, Teatro Comunale in Alessandria, Merkin Hall in New York, Hall of the O.E.A (Organization of American States) in Washington D.C., and the Zellerbach Hall in San Francisco, to name a few.
Finalist in the Concert Artist Guild of New York and recipient of more than twenty international prizes including the “Michele Pittaluga” Competition, Francisco Bernier has performed with many orchestras, such as the Camerata of Saint Petersburg, the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, the Mediterranean Symphonic Orchestra, the
Symphonic Orchestra of Vallés, the Symphonic Orchestra of Huelva and the Berkeley Symphony of San Francisco conducted by Kent Nagano.
He began his musical studies at the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Seville and he then moved to France to continue his musical studies at the Ecole Normale "Alfred Cortot" in Paris under the direction of Maestro Alberto Ponce. He received his Superior Diploma of Execution and Concert Performer with distinction by means of a unanimous decision by the jury.
From 1998 to 2002, Francisco continued his excellent education at the Hochschule für Musik of Cologne (Germany), at the Université du Québec in Montréal (Canada), and at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris (France). He also attended master classes with Alvaro Pierri, Roland Dyens, Leo Brouwer, David Russel, José Tomas, Oscar Ghiglia and received guidance from composers, orchestra conductors and musicians from other disciplines.
Francisco Bernier has recorded several albums, the first of them under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Spanish-INAEM and for prestigious labels like Mandala-Harmonia Mundi and Déclic- Radio France. Furthermore, he participated in numerous radio and TV recordings for stations such as Deutsche Welle, Cadena Ser, R.T.V.E, R.A.I, Radio France International, Radio Clasica, Radio Classique, France Musiques, and Nippon NHK.
His interest in contemporary music has lead him to remain in contact with great composers of our time, such as Luis de Pablo, José M. Sánchez Verdú, Cesar Camarero, and José Manuel López amongst others. He is also a member of the Zahir Ensemble.
In addition, Francisco Bernier is a laureate of various foundations, such as the Meyer Foundation, Beracasa and BNP- PARIBAS (France), “la Caixa” Foundation (Spain), and the Emma Contestabile Foundation (Italy).
In 2014, he was included in the top list of Spanish artists performing abroad with the help of the Ministry of foreign affairs (AECID).
He is Doctor in Arts by the prestigious University of Music "F. Chopin" in Warsaw (Poland).
Francisco currently teaches at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Seville. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Seville Guitar Festival and President and Founder of Contrastes Records (London).