Frank Pommer, Rheinpfalz, 27th March 2023

“Since the 2019/2020 season, the British conductor Michael Francis has been the principal conductor of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. Now his contract has been extended early for another five years. Why this is good news for Ludwigshafen, the region, and of course, the orchestra.
If you want to describe Michael Francis, who was born in 1976, you need to use a lot of adjectives. Such as likable, charismatic, and, above all, enthusiastic because he knows how to inspire others. This not only applies to the musicians of the Staatsphilharmonie, but also to the audience. The way he conducted the orchestra’s anniversary concert in February 2020 in the Landau Stadthalle is memorable.
Francis stated that “we are standing on the shoulders of giants” in relation to Beethoven’s Fifth, which was played in the above-mentioned concert. And that says a lot about this conductor and former bassist of the London Symphony Orchestra. It’s not about the peanut gallery. He’s not in it for the fame and glamour or showing off in front of the orchestra. He cares about the art and is committed to it body and soul.”