Review

2020 year in review: San Diego’s best concerts (pre- and post-pandemic): From clubs and theaters to drive-in parking lot gigs

George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27th December 2020

“Mainly Mozart paved the way for drive-in classical music concerts, presenting 19 of them (and one jazz performance by sax great Charles McPherson) at the Del Mar Fairgrounds between July and October. The culminating October concerts featured the 34-piece Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra…

Five favorite 2020 classical concerts
1. […]

If You Play It, They Will Come!

Jim Farber, San Francisco Classical Voice, 20th October 2020

“It was an emotional moment reminiscent of the final scene in Field of Dreams, when Saturday night a seemingly endless line of cars snaked its way toward the vibrantly glowing stage in front of the Del Mar Racetrack Arena — all for a chance to enjoy […]

Review: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

Markus Pacher, Die Rheinpfalz, 26th September 2020

“It remains a mystery how the State Philharmonic repeatedly manages to prove its reputation as an orchestral precision element despite these difficult times. “

Crazy music for a crazy time

Frank Pommer, Die Rheinpfalz, 14th September 2020

“Chief conductor Michael Francis and artistic director Beat Fehlmann were able to come up with a very appealing, COVID-19-compliant replacement program, which let all wind (and double bass) musicians play first and then it was the string players’ turn. We have not seen this many musicians on a […]

Michael Francis and the State Philharmonic give concerts in the Pfalzbau

Gabor Halasz, Die Rheinpfalz, 27th June 2020

“The joy of music is unwavering, and so is the quality of music performance. This was illustrated once again by the German State Philharmonic of Rhineland-Palatinate, whose chamber music ensemble played in the Ludwigshafen Palatinate Building. The performance of its principal conductor Michael Francis also justified its place […]

Diablerie, Virtuosity, and Melancholy at Pacific Symphony

David J Brown, LA Opus, 4th March 2020

“The combination of never having heard anything by Christopher Rouse performed live, nor yet a Paganini violin concerto or Rachmaninoff’s final symphony in a concert hall for nearly 30 years, was enough to make the PSO’s late February program stand out. Add to that the prospect of […]

Review: 100 Years of the State Philharmonic

Frank Pommer, Die Rheinpfalz, 16th February 2020

“Beethoven. Fifth. Heard so many times before. But not like this. Great is too small a word, because what Michael Francis gets his orchestra to do when it comes to Beethoven is nothing short of incredible. Beethoven’s famous 5th has not sounded like this in a very, […]

Review: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

Matthias Ibelshäuser, Die Rheinpfalz, 30th January 2020

“First things first: combining this orchestra with this conductor [Michael Francis] was a stroke of fortune! It is rare to witness such enrapturing, rich and sonorous sounds, especially at performances of Tchaikovsky’s early work. Nothing is held back, nothing is kept in reserve, everyone is bathed in harmonies. […]

A new anthem: Florida Orchestra’s Michael Francis becomes American citizen

Jay Cridlin, Tampa Bay Times, 12th December 2019

“Michael Francis raised his right hand.

Normally when he does this, he’s holding a baton, poised to swoop into a downstroke on a masterwork by Beethoven or Bach.

On Thursday, though, he held a microphone. In his other hand was a program marked with stars and stripes. Before him […]

NYO Canada Raises The Roof At Koerner Hall

Holly Harris, Ludwig van Toronto, 31st July 2019

“To paraphrase a pithy bon mot popularly attributed to Walt Kelly, ‘We have seen the future of Canadian classical music, and it is the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.’

The NYO under the baton of world-renowned British conductor Michael Francis stopped at Koerner Hall on Monday, July 29th […]