Francesca Gilbert was born in London and began playing the viola aged 6 at the Junior Guildhall's String Training Programme. She has studied with Susan Thompson, David Takeno and is currently studying with Matthew Jones on the Advanced Instrumental Studies masters course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama having recently graduated from the GSMD undergraduate programme with first class honours. Francesca enjoys a varied performance career and has performed in major venues across the UK and Europe, including the Cadogan Hall, The Royal Albert Hall and La Mortella (Ischia). Francesca is grateful for the generous support she receives from the Guildhall School Trust, the Stephen Bell Charitable Trust and the Old Wellingtonian Society.
While at school in Hackney, Francesca was accepted onto a LSO Discovery scheme, which enabled her to have one-to-one lessons with members of the LSO viola section, observe LSO rehearsals and also perform with the LSO in a discovery concert. She then went on to be awarded a scholarship place on the specialist music scheme at Wellington College, Berkshire, allowing her to combine her A level studies with practice, private lesson and performances.
Francesca has a passion for chamber music and regularly performs across the UK and abroad with various ensembles. She has also taken part in many chamber music festivals, including the City of London Festival (2014) and the Marryat Players Chamber Music Festival (2015, 2016). Francesca is a member of the Manciu Trio, founded in 2013, which has performed in venues across the UK and has also undertaken a concert tour of Germany. The trio have taken part in coachings and masterclasses with Levon Chilingirian, Corina Belcea, Ralph de Souza and also David Waterman both at the Guildhall and as part of the Chamber Studios scheme at King's Place. In addition to this, Francesca has collaborated with many artists and chamber ensembles in the UK including Jennifer Pike, the 12 ensemble, the London Chamber Collective and the Janus Ensemble.