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 […]

A Natural Fit of Music and Art

Jane L. Levere, New York Times, 23rd October 2019

“From January through May next year, the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Fla., will display over 100 set designs and original costumes from the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts in a traveling exhibition developed by the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio. It will […]

Florida Orchestra names St. Petersburg painter first-ever ‘visual artist-in-residence’

Jay Cridlin, Tampa Bay Times, 13th September 2019

Back in March, the Florida Orchestra collaborated with St. Petersburg artist Geff Strik on a multimedia performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht. Strik painted a series of scenes inspired by the piece, which were filmed and projected above the orchestra during the concert.

Among those knocked out by […]

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] […]

Musikfest Speyer: The number of visitors increase by twelve percent

Claudia Heck, Die Rheinpfalz, 11th July 2019

After four days, seven concerts, five venues, and a gratifying percentage of seats sold, the German State Philharmonic Orchestra of Rhineland-Palatinate delivers a positive summary of its summer residence in Speyer.

Judith Schor, head of communications and dramatization at “Just under 2000 patrons paid a visit to the city […]

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 […]