His music displays an original and powerful sense of drama, and his ideas about music proceed from a strikingly individual and unusual mind.
The Spanish composer-conductor Francisco Coll has received the advocacy of some of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles, including the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, LA Philharmonic New Music Group, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and Ensemble Modern. His music has been heard at festivals from Aldeburgh, Aix and Aspen to the BBC Proms, Verbier and Tanglewood.
Born in Valencia in 1985, Coll studied at the Valencia and Madrid Conservatoires before moving to London to work privately with Thomas Adès (as his only pupil to-date) and with Richard Baker at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2019 he became the first composer to receive an International Classical Music Award (ICMA).
Coll’s short orchestral work Hidd’n Blue (2012) was premiered by the London Symphony Orchestra and has since been taken up by over nine others, including the SWR Sinfonieorchester, Münchner Philharmoniker, and the Cincinnati Symphony. His 2014 chamber opera Café Kafka, to a text by Meredith Oakes, was premiered by Aldeburgh Music, Opera North and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and has since been staged at Valencia’s Palau de les Arts.
In 2016 Coll made his BBC Proms composer debut with his Four Iberian Miniatures for violin and chamber orchestra, with Augustin Hadelich and the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Thomas Adès. 2016 also saw the premiere of Mural by the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg conducted by Gustavo Gimeno, who has become one of Coll’s strongest supporters. Cuarteto Casals premiered two works in 2017: a Concerto Grosso with the Orquesta Nacional de España and David Afkham, and the quartet movement Cantos. Turia, a concerto for guitar and seven players was premiered in 2017 by Jacob Kellermann and Norrbotten NEO conducted by Christian Karlsen and recorded on BIS.
Coll has been Composer-in-Residence to both the Orquestra de València (2018-20) and Camerata Bern (2018-19), conducting the premiere of his Les Plaisirs Illuminés with the latter together with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta as soloists. The Double Concerto was later released on Alpha records. A Violin Concerto for Kopatchinskaja, commissioned by the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, London Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, the NTR ZaterdagMatinee and Bamberger Symphoniker, was premiered in February 2020 and features on an orchestral portrait disc from the OPL and Gustavo Gimeno, released later this year on Pentatone.
Since 2012, Coll has made his home in Lucerne. Future projects include a new orchestral work for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a Cello Concerto for Sol Gabetta, and an opera.