News

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 […]

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 […]