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Toronto Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Mozart’s Birthday with A Superb Requiem

Joseph So, La Scena Musicale, 12th January 2023

“With British conductor Michael Francis at the helm, the evening opened dramatically, in a totally dark theatre, with “O virtus Sapientiae,” an ode to wisdom, by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). Ten female members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Singers entered downstage and slowly crossed from left to right, […]

TSO – TMC Mozart Requiem: Best Concert of the Year

Leslie Barcza, Barczablog, 12th January 2023

“…it was truly brilliant.

The Toronto Symphony and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir were led tonight by Michael Francis in a program that left me speechless with wonder…

Tonight it was as though someone (Francis? Or the ghosts of Mozart, Allegri, Beethoven & Van Bingen) sought to consecrate the hall, to […]

Tampa native’s violin concerto will be performed for the first time ever this weekend

Maggie Duffy, Tampa Bay Times, 1st December 2022

The Florida Orchestra debuts the world premiere of Violin Concerto by Tampa native Michael Ippolito from Friday through Sunday. It was specifically written for concertmaster Jeffrey Multer and is part of the Masterworks concert series featuring Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

Ippolito, 37, is a graduate of Brandon High […]

Currie/Philharmonia/Francis review

Andrew Clements, Guardian, 25th November 2022

★★★★
“Bedford’s piece, Staggered Nocturne, which was composed for Currie and commissioned by the Philharmonia, was receiving its premiere – the first performance had been originally scheduled for 2020. As the title suggests, it’s not by any means a conventional concerto crammed with flashy percussion writing, though that doesn’t mean […]

Michael Francis conducts Cincinnati Symphony in remarkable survey of 20th-century works

Sam Jacobson, Bachtrack, 31st October 2022

A hearty tip of the hat to Michael Francis and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestrafor presenting an utterly fascinating program comprised of four beguiling works, each from a different part of the 20th century and from a composer representing a different nationality and distinctive musical voice. Perhaps only one is […]

Review: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Business Courier, 30th October 2022

“On the podium was guest conductor Michael Francis, whose easy communication with the audience and clear direction of the orchestra was a bonus in his program of lesser-known, 20th-century orchestral works. Charles Ives’ “The Unanswered Question” was likely the most familiar to regular concertgoers. Francis also led […]

Review: Staatsphilharmonie plays Mahler’s Seventh arranged for chamber ensemble

Sigrid Feeser, Die Rheinpfalz, 12th September 2022

“Chief conductor Michael Francis and the orchestra did [Mahler’s Seventh arranged by Klaus Simon ] with all the necessary dedication, precisely and with a clarity that cannot always be produced in the large-scale original with its overwhelming strings and brass fanfares.”

Review: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with music, dance and film

Die Rheinpfalz, 9th September 2022

“Using sound samples played by the orchestra under the direction of its chief conductor Michael Francis, the allocation of instruments and motifs to figures and actions became understandable.”

Review: Music festival Speyer and cathedral choir with Beethoven oratorio

Karl George Berg, Die Rheinpfalz, 4th July 2022

“As with the “Eroica” a few days earlier, Michael Francis once again offered a Beethoven interpretation of exciting high tension and great eloquence in expression. He made it clear very convincingly that Beethoven composed a very passionate and compelling music here, beyond the somewhat special text and […]

Review: Music festival of the State Philharmonic has opened

Karl George Berg, Die Rheinpfalz, 30th June 2022

“Beethoven is original – and in more ways than one. Admittedly not with old instruments, but with the tempo intended by Beethoven and a clear sound without much vibrato. Above all, chief conductor Michael Francis and his orchestra, which was brilliantly arranged across all registers, gave the […]