World's top musicians pay a visit to Nacogdoches

Francisco Fullana
Francisco Fullana

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – Ten of the world's most talented young string players paid a visit to East Texas.

They are competing in the fourth annual Schmidbauer Competition held at Stephen F. Austin University.

The international competition features the best young artists from universities across the United States.

Love at first sight—that's how Victoria Fatu describes meeting her husband Christian two years ago.

"I heard him playing on the second day when I arrived in the United States. He impressed me so much," said Fatu, Christian's accompanist.

The Romanian violinist and Russian pianist share that love on the stage.

"It adds a lot in the music when you play that," she said. "It's some kind of electricity between people. I hope the public can feel that."

Vivienne, the newest addition to their family now travels with the competitive duo.

"Music calms her down a lot. She basically sleeps through the concerts. So we'll see. We'll see. If she has a talent, we'll know what to do with it," said Fatu.

For the Fatus, music is a family affair.

Juilliard student Francisco Fullana came to this year's competition with a friend.

"Everyone here is good and I'm really happy. I play pretty well so we'll see," said Fullana.

Born and raised in Spain, Francisco began playing the violin at age 4.

"It's so close to the human voice. You can really be extremely musical with a lot of colors in the sound," said Fullana.

He's traveled the globe, placing first in national and international competitions.

"This is my life pretty much," he said.

With only 10 competitors performing, they know it'll be tough. Nerves are not an option. For Francisco and the Fatus, they focus on having a voice.

"Things you can't say with words you are not hesitating to say through music," said Fatu.

The community is invited to watch the top three performers compete for the grand prize, $7,500.

The junior division finals are tonight at 7:30 p.m. The senior division finals are tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Both performances are held at SFA in the Cole Concert Hall.

Tickets are $5 for students, $8 for seniors, and $10 for adults.

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