Michael Francis and Anne-Marie McDermott Inspire Exotic Fare in Opening Mainly Mozart Festival Concert

Ken Herman, San Diego Story, 10th June 2018

“Michael Francis opened the 30th installment of San Diego’s annual Mainly Mozart Festival Saturday with an ebullient orchestra concert that brought back the excitement of the festival’s heady beginnings under David Atherton.”

“Even if festival Music Director Francis had not titled this concert “Rebel with a Cause,” the […]

A rare, fiery performance of a Rebel ballet kicks off Mainly Mozart Festival

Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10th June 2018

“At the Balboa Theater on Saturday evening, Mainly Mozart director Michael Francis brought down his baton to unleash a grinding orchestral dissonance that sounded as if it had time-traveled from 1950s Darmstadt back to early 18th-century Paris.”

“…the all-star orchestra followed Francis with delicious precision.”

“This was an exciting […]

Florida Orchestra to offer violin lessons for at-risk Tampa youth

Andrew Meacham, Tampa Bay Times, 17th May 2018

The Florida Orchestra will begin tutoring at-risk children free of charge, thanks to a Hillsborough County grant.

The $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. pays for six weeks of violin instruction at select recreation centers, from the second week of June through the third week […]

English conductor makes thrilling Minnesota Orchestra debut with Vaughan Williams symphony

Terry Blain, Star Tribune, 11th May 2018

“If unfamiliarity was a problem for the Minnesota Orchestra musicians at the beginning of this week’s rehearsals, it had evaporated by the time of Thursday’s performance. Led with great clarity by young English conductor Michael Francis, the players gave a coruscating account of Vaughan Williams’ symphony.

The Sixth opens […]

Sorrow suffuses one of best Minnesota Orchestra concerts of season

Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press, 10th May 2018

“Making his Minnesota Orchestra debut on the podium was English conductor Michael Francis, and it felt as if the orchestra’s musicians trusted his interpretations wholeheartedly. You may attribute that to his understanding of the place of the Britten and Vaughan Williams pieces in his country’s cultural history, for […]

The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

Andrew Meacham, Tampa Bay Times, 23rd February 2018

The composer sat in semi-darkness, his hand drifting like a slow pendulum at his side. On the Mahaffey Theater stage, the violins led a creaking and mysterious journey through a cypress swamp, the inspiration for the first movement.

The conductor stopped.

“Can we try something?” Florida Orchestra music director […]

Florida Orchestra mixes it up, collaborates with community in 2018-19 season

Andrew Meacham, Tampa Bay Times, 8th February 2018

Themes are useful sometimes. Right now, the Florida Orchestra is still enjoying the heart of its 50th anniversary season, which has been big and loud and celebratory.

At other times, maybe it’s best to just put a fine program together and let the public decide what to call […]

Elgar’s great Symphony No.1 triumphs at the Segerstrom

David J Brown, LA Opus, 18th January 2018

“…how well did Mr. Francis convey his obvious commitment and interpretative insights to an orchestra that had never played the work before? To my ears, the result showed the Pacific Symphony to be more responsive and skillful in their realizing of such an unfamiliar and complex masterpiece […]

Sting performs with the Florida Orchestra for 50th Anniversary Gala

Gabriella Angotti-Jones and Chris Urso, Tampa Bay Times, 10th December 2017

Sting was the guest and performer of honor for the Florida Orchestra’s fundraising gala Saturday in St. Pete. Sting performed some of his notable songs; Englishman in New York, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic and Roxanne.

Sting rocks the house with old and new hits in Florida Orchestra gala

Andrew Meacham, Tampa Bay Times, 10th December 2017

“The gala, the orchestra’s only major fund-raising event of the year, raised a record $1.5 million, money that will be used for securing soloists and expanding community work in such areas as schools and hospitals.”