About Michael


Music Director, The Florida Orchestra
Chief Conductor, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz
Music Director, Mainly Mozart Festival

Michael Francis has developed an international reputation for sharing the power of music through his conducting and engaging speaking.

Appointed Music Director of the Florida Orchestra in the fall of 2014, he is now entering his ninth season with a contract extension through the 2029-30 season. His role in building transformative Community-Engagement initiatives has helped to grow the organization significantly. Music Director of the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego since 2014 (with a contract renewal through the summer of 2028), Francis and Mainly Mozart have recently completed an ambitious multi-year exploration of Mozart’s life. Entering his fifth season, Francis continues as Chief Conductor of Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz with a contract extension through 2029. Previously, he was Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra from 2012-16.

Highlights include North American performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, San Diego, Houston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Montreal, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. In Europe, he has conducted the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, MDR Leipzig, the Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE Madrid and the Mariinsky Orchestra, amongst others. In his home country, he has worked with the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. In Asia, Maestro Francis has worked with the NHK Symphony, and the philharmonic orchestras of Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Seoul.

Michael Francis has collaborated with notable soloists such as Lang Lang, Arcadi Volodos, Itzhak Perlman, Christian Tetzlaff, Vadim Gluzman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Javier Perianes, Jamie Barton, Truls Mørk, Håkan Hardenberger, Maximilian Hornung, Miloš, Benjamin Grosvenor, Emanuel Ax, Ian Bostridge, James Ehnes, Sting and many others.

Alongside his extensive educational work with young musicians, Francis is passionate about sharing the hidden truths in music with audiences worldwide through his acclaimed podium talks. His “Inside The Music” series and pre-concert talks in Florida have greatly helped develop new audiences. An exciting new series of ‘Keynote’ presentations (explaining the music, alongside performances) with Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz was recently released on Naxos.

Francis’ discography includes the Rachmaninov piano concertos with Valentina Lisitsa and the LSO, Rihm’s Lichtes Spiel with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic. A complete cycle of Mahler’s arrangements of Beethoven’s symphonies and overtures with Staatsphilharmonie will be released soon.

A former double-bass player in the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), Michael Francis came to prominence as a conductor in January of 2007, stepping in for Valery Gergiev and John Adams with the LSO.