Mainly Mozart Festival Music Director
Mainly Mozart’s dynamic new Music Director Michael Francis has quickly established himself as a conductor of international reputation, forging collaborations with the world’s leading orchestras. Just months after his appointment as Music Director of the Mainly Mozart Festival in late 2014, his appointment as Music Director of The Florida Orchestra was announced. Francis also enters his fourth season as Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor to Sweden’s Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.
Known for maintaining a diverse repertoire while paying particular homage to the composers of his native Britain, Francis enjoys a great reception throughout North America, Europe and Far East Asia.This season, Francis returns to the Houston, Indianapolis and New World symphonies and will debut at the Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Festival. In Europe, Francis returns to the BBC Philharmonic, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie and makes his debut with the BBC Scottish Symphony and Gurzenich Orchestra, Cologne. Francis’ guest appearances include the New York and Royal philharmonics, the symphonies of Toronto, Seattle, Milwaukee and Vancouver. He enjoyed recent return engagements with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RTÉ National Symphony of Dublin, Ulster Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic and the symphonies of Oregon, Cincinnati, Ottawa and Pittsburgh. His European engagements have included the London Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE Madrid, Helsinki Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Stuttgart Radio Symphony. Last season in Asia, Maestro Francis debuted with the NHK Symphony and regularly appears with the Malaysian and Seoul philharmonics.
Working with young musicians has always been a priority for Maestro Francis. Aside from a July 2015 six-city Canadian tour with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Francis makes annual visits to Miami’s New World Symphony, recently performed with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and provides artistic guidance to the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra.
After several years as a chaired double-bass player in the London Symphony, he came to prominence as a conductor in January 2007, replacing an indisposed Valery Gergiev for concerts with the LSO during the BBC’s Gubaidulina Festival at the Barbican Centre. Just 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.
Soloists that he works with include Lang Lang, Arcadi Volodos, Christian Tetzlaff, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vadim Gluzman, Nicola Benedetti, Baiba Skride, Jamie Barton, Alisa Weilerstein, Truls Mørk, Håkan Hardenberger, 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.
Francis makes his home outside of Tampa, FL with his wife Cindy and one-year-old daughter Annabella.