Review: Music that falls out of the frame

Uwe Rauschelbach, Schwetzingen Zeitung, 4th July 2023

“Beethoven’s “Great Fugue” is already a renunciation of the familiar and the conventional. Music that is out of the ordinary. Who wants to go somewhere, but has no orientation or goal. Even the fugue pattern doesn’t hold up and is bursting at the seams. Under their chief conductor […]

Review: Final concert of the music festival with Staatsphilharmonie

Karl Georg Berg, Die Rheinpfalz, 3rd July 2023

“With his coherent and exciting rendition of Mozart’s Requiem, Michael Francis made a deeply moving musical impression…Above all, however, the chorus followed the impassioned expression of Michael Francis, who combined clarity of form with a highly expressive interpretation of the funeral mass…

Last but not least, the concert […]

Review: A touch of happiness

Uwe Rauschelbach, Schwetzingen Zeitung, 30th June 2023

“In captivating passages [of Shubert’s Symphony No. 9 “Great”], the woodwinds made their mark with striking entries – especially in the lyrical oboe motif in the second movement, which the clarinet carried along – and the brass unfolded its majestically radiant dominance in the intensifications staged by the […]

Review: Opening concert of the music festival

Karl Georg Berg, Die Rheinpfalz, 29th June 2023

“After a festive first part of the overture, Michael Francis ignited a multitude of musical firecrackers in dazzling colors at the current opening concert, at least in the fast main part [of Haydn’s Music for the Royal Fireworks], and unfolded an igniting and brilliant sound magic. The […]

Review: Mainly Mozart Festival Brings Mahler to The Conrad

Ken Herman, San Diego Story, 21st June 2023

“Michael Francis conducted a well-considered, beautifully shaped account of the symphony, giving ample space for Mahler’s cornucopia of themes to unfold with languid ease–as the composer instructed–while maintaining a clear sense of direction and purpose.”

Review: Mainly Mozart offers memorable concert with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott

Christian Hertzog, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 20th June 2023

“Gustav Mahler arranged Beethoven’s String Quartet for a string orchestra. It’s an effective transformation, especially when played as well as the All-Star Orchestra strings did under Francis’ direction. Attacks and intonation were precise. There was no loss of textural clarity in the arrangement, and lyrical lines […]

Review: Mainly Mozart and Michael Francis make magic at Surf Sports Park

Christian Hertzog, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 16th June 2023

“Francis has a knack for finding new insights into standard repertory. He brought this talent to his interpretation of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. Beethoven’s 8th is typically treated as a fun, lightweight work, but Francis sees it as an architectural marvel like the 5th or 7th […]

Bruckner Writ Small? Handful of Floridians Tap Into Heart Of 7th

Kurt Loft, Classical Voice North America, 19th April 2023

Mention the name Anton Bruckner and you might expect crickets from friends and two-for-one tickets at the box office. Unless you’re in the big city, Bruckner is a tough sell, as his colossal, unhurried works require stamina on both sides of the proscenium.

The Florida Orchestra will […]

Michael Francis extends contract as chief conductor of the German State Philharmonic

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 […]

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Mozart’s Birthday with A Superb Requiem

Joseph So, La Scena Musicale, 12th January 2023

“With British conductor Michael Francis at the helm, the evening opened dramatically, in a totally dark theatre, with “O virtus Sapientiae,” an ode to wisdom, by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). Ten female members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Singers entered downstage and slowly crossed from left to right, […]