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 […]

Review: Mainly Mozart festival closes with magical performance of Schubert’s ‘Unfinished Symphony’

Christian Hertzog, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 20th June 2022

“What was noticeable at Saturday’s concert was the engaging performance of the San Diego Master Chorale, soprano Tasha Koontz, mezzo Guadalupe Paz, tenor John K. Russell, and bass Steve Pence and tight, gripping playing by the Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra under Francis’ direction.”

Review: Mainly Mozart Festival

Garrett Harris San Diego Reader June 17, 2022

“Now we come to the easiest and most difficult articles I write each year, the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra articles. These are easy because the orchestra is nigh unto flawless. These are difficult because I quickly run out of superlatives. Finding fault is so much easier than […]

Review: Mainly Mozart launches 2022 summer season with polish and energy

Lukas Schulze, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 13th June 2022

“Francis and group were effortless and energetic, both here and even more so in the rushing and vigorous final Allegro (whose “ma non troppo,” or “not too much,” was taken with a welcome grain of salt). Mainly Mozart’s All-Star Orchestra is literally that — a group […]

From the Land of 1.3 Million Alligators

Stefan M. Dettlinger, Mannheimer Morgen, 7th April 2022

“Michael Francis puts his superpower at 1.3 million units. The number is based on the 1.3 million alligators present at the place where the principal conductor of the State Philharmonic lives. In Florida. A curiosity. Numbers like these can now be used to play cards. More specifically: […]

The Crisis as an Opportunity

Frank Pommer, Die Rheinpfalz, 7th April 2022

“Michael Francis is once again the ideal type of mediating conductor. He doesn’t resemble at all the cliché of the detached maestro basking in applause. Instead, he wants to explain what he is doing, both to his musicians and to the audience. And he is able to inspire […]

Review: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

Noah Vinzens, Schwäbische Zeitung, 21st January 2022

“Playful, cheeky, light-hearted: The oboe opens Maurice Ravel’s Orchestra Suite with a soft solo performance. The clarinet provides an answer while the string section is just quietly plucking away at their instruments in the background. “Le tombeau de Couperin” (Couperin’s Tomb), which Ravel had originally conceived as […]

Review: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

Karl Georg Berg, Die Reinpfalz, 29th November 2021

“With the dazzlingly organised State Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Francis offered a [Brahm’s Symphony No. 3] rendition carried by great passion and intensity. The conductor succeeded in a fascinating way in making a much-played and well-known work sound as if it were new. The melancholy third movement […]