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 […]

Review: National Youth Orchestra of Canada in Montreal

Caroline Rodgers, Ludwig van Montréal, 23rd July 2019

“With 94 musicians, the mass of sound is largely sufficient, the dynamic contrasts are underlined with broad strokes, and the path is drawn so that the listener understands everything happening in real time.

We can’t help but be amazed by such an eloquent [Symphony No. 5 by Mahler] […]

San Diego’s Best Kept Secret: The Mainly Mozart Festival

Jim Farber, San Francisco Classical Voice, 25th June 2019

“The concert at the Balboa Theater in downtown San Diego (a beautifully restored and acoustically bright former movie palace) began with Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, K. 504 (Prague) with it’s rich, dramatic phrasing and orchestration that would inspire a young Beethoven, followed by the Piano Concerto […]

Mainly Mozart Orchestra Delivers Haydn and Mozart to Cherish

Ken Herman, San Diego Story, 14th June 2019

“Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 in F Minor, “La passione,” speaks the language of spiritual drama rather than Mozart’s realm of social and class drama. Especially in the symphony’s expansive slow opening movement, Francis discovered the power of understatement, and the orchestra responded with its most compelling sonority […]

Michael Francis and Mainly Mozart Orchestra Illuminate Superb Mendelssohn Fifth Symphony

Ken Herman, San Diego Story, 9th June 2019

“Francis conducted a compelling and impressively insightful interpretation of [Mendenlssohn’s] “Reformation” Symphony, elegantly delineating its many deftly scored contrapuntal sections—even in the opening movement’s bustling Allegro con fuoco—with refreshing clarity. He danced through the ebullient second movement, and empathetically shaped the cantabile themes of the Andante…

Francis and […]

Review: Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra

Christian Hertzog, U-T San Diego, 9th June 2019

“The orchestra was precise, responsive to Francis’ conducting, with an effortless beauty of tone.

The concert began with a spirited performance of Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks.” It’s always a treat to hear orchestral music by Handel that is not “The Messiah.” Francis and the musicians captured […]

Review: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

Stephan Hoffman, Mannheimer Morgen, 12th March 2019

“At the concert at Mannheimer Rosengarten, it was immediately obvious: The two are a match made in heaven. The orchestra played Beethoven’s Second Symphony with more speed and verve, more fire and precision than ever before. The musicians went to a number of extremes: extremely quiet, extremely pointed, […]

Review: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

Karl Georg Berg, Die Rheinpfalz, 9th March 2019

“Symphony No. 2 in D major (Op. 36) by Beethoven was charged with explosive energy by the British maestro Michael Francis from the very first bar. Quick time measures (quite true to Beethoven’s metronome specifications), a dry sound, sharp contrasts with effectively utilized moments of surprise—these were […]