Music Director, Mainly Mozart Festival, San Diego, CA
Music Director, The Florida Orchestra
“Michael Francis brings a dynamic drive to a programme combining Ravel with Janáček and Martinů” “...the picture of Janáček as a force of nature emerged just as strongly as that of Bulba.” “From the blood and guts of the Janáček to the bold, gutsy writing of Martinů’s Sixth Symphony, Francis brought a dynamic drive to the proceedings, recognising both the influence of the older composer and the difference of emotional tone implicit in Martinů’s subtitle, Fantaisies Symphoniques.” The Guardian, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
“As Dvorak wrestles with various tensions in his Symphony No 7 – between classical and romantic, anger and warmth – Francis combines his clarity and efficiency with an expressive drive that produces a stirring account of what many consider the composer’s best symphony.” Irish Times, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Program: My Classic Americana:"At times [Francis] got us clapping along in such good spirits, we might as well be at the Albert Hall Proms. The young Englishman.. is a great hit with our audience, bringing just the right touch of knowing wit, uncomplicated musicality, good spirits and schoolboy snark to the proceedings." "[He is] the sort of conductor whose gestures a listener can read intuitively. His body makes a movement - and something audible happens. [He] moves with the music in an unbuttoned way, at high energy, as a good dancer would. ..it is abundantly clear that Francis "gets it - and us." Berkshire Review, San Francisco Symphony
Michael Francis has quickly established himself internationally, conducting in Asia, North America, and Europe.
This season, Francis debuts with Atlanta and Montreal Symphony Orchestras and Cincinnati’s May Music Festival, and returns to Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Emanuel Ax. Abroad, he appears with Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Komische Oper Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic, Tampere Filharmonia, and Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.
Other guest appearances have included Cleveland Orchestra, New York and Royal Philharmonic, with return engagements to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Philharmonic . . . , RTÉ National Symphony of Dublin, Ulster Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, and the symphonies of Cincinnati, Ottawa, Oregon, Houston, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh. His European engagements have included the London Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE Madrid, Helsinki Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, and Stuttgart Radio Symphony. In Asia, Maestro Francis has conducted the NHK Symphony, and has returned to Malaysia and Seoul philharmonics.
Francis’ discography includes the Rachmaninov piano concertos with Valentina Lisitsa and the London Symphony Orchestra, Wolfgang Rihm’s Lichtes Spiel with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic and the Ravel and Gershwin piano concertos with Ian Parker.
Now entering his second season as Music Director of The Florida Orchestra, Michael Francis’ contract has already been extended to 2021. He is also Music Director of the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, where he has launched an ambitious multi-year exploration of Mozart’s life. He was recently Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra from 2012 to 2016.