In 1990, the Conservatorio "G. Verdi" in Turin awarded Francesco Manara his diploma with top honors cum laude and Menzione d'honore, under the tutelage of M. Marin. Thanks to a scholarship awarded him by the "De Sono Associazione per la Musica" he was able to further his training, studying with G. Prencipe, F. Gulli, R. Ricci, S. Gheorghiu and in Amsterdam with H. Krebbers. As part of a formation made up of two violins and piano, he studied at the Scuola Superiore di Musica da Camera del Trio di Trieste with F. Gulli / E. Cavallo and with P. Amoyal / A. Weissenberg, graduating with a diploma in trio formation.
In 1992 he was selected by Riccardo Muti as Principal Solo Violin of the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, winning first prize in a competition for a scholarship sponsored by the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala.
He has worked with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, with the Bayerische Staatsoper Orchestre of Munich and with the Royal Concertgebauw Orchestra of Amsterdam as Principal Solo Violin playing for the best directors.
He has won prizes in many international competitions, among them: "J.Joachim" in Hanover, the "A. Stradivari" in Cremona, the "L.Spohr" in Freiburg, the "Dong-A" in Seoul, the "ARD" in Munich, the "Tchaikovsky" in Moscow (Special Prize), the "N.Paganini" in Genoa (Special Prize), the CIEM in Geneva (First Prize). Given his success in these competitions, he was quickly launched in a brilliant career as soloist and he has performed with hundreds of orchestras, among them the Orchestra della Suisse Romande, Bayrische Runfunk, Radio di Stoccarda, Radio di Hannover, Wiener Kammerorchester, Tokyo Symphony, Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI. On several occasions he has performed with the Filarmonica della Scala, directed by Riccardo Muti. In 1998 he made his debut at Lincoln Center in New York performing Beethoven's Concerto op.61.
His repertory runs from Bach to contemporary composers, and includes Paganini's 24 Capricci, which he has performed in their entirety several times and all of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas.
He recorded B. Compagnoli's Concerto with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto (Dynamic) and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the Filarmonica della Scala directed by Muti (Sony) together the violist, Danilo Rossi.
Francesco Manara is a founding member of the "Trio Johannes" with whom he recorded all of Brahms' Trios for Piano (for the magazine Amadeus) and the Trio "Arciduca" by Beethoven. This chamber music group formation has won prizes at the Concorso Internazionale di Musica da Camera del Trio di Trieste as well as a chamber music competition in Osaka; they also won the "Concert Artists Guild Competition" in New York. In 2002 the Trio premiered at New York's prestigious "Carnegie Hall".
Moreover since 2001, Francesco Manara is the First Violin of the "Quartetto d'Archi della Scala", with whom he has performed throughout Italy and on tours in South America, Japan, the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Professor of violin at the Accademia della Scala and the Scuola Musicale di Milano, he has been invited to hold masterclasses in the United States, in Japan, Colombia and Venezuela. The famous magazine, "The Strad", which has reviewed his performances many times called him: "an artist of significant honesty and profundity, ready for the most important stages in the world".
He plays a Giovanbattista Guadagnini violin made in 1773.