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British conductor Michael Francis continues to make an impact on the world stage receiving countless accolades resulting in invitations to direct some of the finest orchestras. Building upon successful debuts with prestigious American and European orchestras, Francis is being sought after for his musicality and ability to elicit orchestral tone and shape suitable to the style of each composer.
Michael Francis has catapulted far beyond his impressive last minute ‘step-in’ engagements with the London Symphony, where he replaced Valery Gergiev and later John Adams in 2007. Recently appointed chief conductor and artistic advisor to Sweden’s Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Francis follows in the footsteps of Herbert Blomstedt and Franz Welser-Mösteach, whom were chief conductor with the orchestra in the early stages of their careers.
His successful 2010 ‘step-in’ debut with the San Francisco Symphony has led to his conducting that orchestra’s New Year’s concerts in 2011 and 2012 and to conduct its 2011 and 2012 summer seasons of 9 classical concerts each. Other acclaimed debut concerts included the New York Philharmonic, Houston, Cincinnati, Seattle, Indianapolis, and Oregon symphonies as well as with Mariinsky Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Münchner Symphoniker.
Most recent and upcoming debuts include those with the Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Bournemouth, Toronto, Milwaukee, New World, Ottawa and Quebec symphonies, as well as the Dresden, Lausanne, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan philharmonics, while making return visits to Stuttgart, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Oregon, Seattle and BBC Wales.
Musical collaborations with Anne-Sophie Mutter began in January 2009 when Francis made ‘step-in’ performances for
André Previn in four German cities conducting Mozart and Gubaidulina concerti plus major works of Hindemith. He also appeared with Mutter in the 2010 world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s Lichtes Spiel with the New York Philharmonic and on a 2012 European tour conducting Sebastian Currier’s Violin Concerto Time Machine with the RSO Stuttgart. In May 2012, they collaborated again on a tour of seven European cities with an orchestra of musicians from the Berlin and Vienna philharmonics.
Francis returned to Asia with Mutter for November 2012 for concerts in Taiwan and Hong Kong, having earlier conducted a series of concerts for Mutter in 2010 with the National Taipei Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. While on this tour, Francis again ‘stepped-in’ to conduct the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra to great triumph.