Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
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 as an international conductor creating ongoing relationships with the world’s leading orchestras. He came to prominence as a conductor in January 2007 when he replaced an indisposed Valery Gergiev for concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra during the BBC Gubaidulina festival at the Barbican Centre. Only one month later, Francis was asked, this time with only two hours’ notice, to replace the composer/conductor John Adams in a performance of his own works with the LSO at the Philharmonie Luxembourg and soon after in January 2009, he replaced André . . . Previn leading a German tour of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony.
Now six seasons later, Michael Francis assumes his role as Music Director of the Mainly Mozart Festival on October 1, 2014, and as Music Director for The Florida Orchestra beginning in September 2015 while entering his third season as Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor to Sweden’s Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.
He has also debuted with the New York and Royal Philharmonic, the symphonies of Houston, Seattle, Milwaukee, Quebec, Vancouver and will in 2014/2015 conduct return engagements with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RTÉ National Symphony of Ireland, the Dresden Philharmonic, and the symphonies of Oregon, Cincinnati, Ottawa, New World, and Pittsburgh. His European engagements have included the London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE Madrid, Helsinki Philharmonic, the Mariinsky Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, and Stuttgart Radio Symphony. In Asia, Maestro Francis has worked with Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and National Taiwan Symphony with upcoming returns to the Malaysian and Seoul philharmonics and a debut with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan.
Michael Francis’ 2010 debut with the San Francisco Symphony quickly established a formidable relationship with the orchestra. He has now led twenty-one different classical programs and three New Year’s Eve programs with the orchestra.
Soloists that he works with include Lang Lang, Arcadi Volodos, Christian Tetzlaff, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vadim Gluzman, Nicola Benedetti, Baiba Skride, Alisa Weilerstein, Daniel Müller-Schott, Miloš and Rufus Wainwright.
Michael Francis has recorded several albums, the most recent of which is the complete Rachmaninoff piano concertos with Valentina Lisitsa and the London Symphony Orchestra for Decca Records in 2013.
News & Critical Acclaim
...June 24, 2014
...March 26, 2013