Recently appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor to Sweden’s Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Michael Francis follows in the footsteps of Herbert Blomstedt and Franz Welser-Möst each of 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 nine classical concerts in each the 2011 and 2012 summer seasons.
Most recent and upcoming debuts include those with the Boston, Washington, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Bournemouth, Toronto, Milwaukee, New World, Ottawa and Quebec Symphonies, as well as the Dresden, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan Philharmonics, while making return visits to Stuttgart, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Oregon, Seattle and BBC Wales.
Other acclaimed debut concerts included the New York Philharmonic, Houston, Seattle, and Oregon Symphonies as well as with Mariinsky Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Münchner Symphoniker.
His musical collaboration with Anne-Sophie Mutter began in January 2009 when he made ‘step-in’ performances for André Previn in four German cities conducting Mozart and Gubaidulina concerti plus major works of Hindemith. He has also appeared with Ms. 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.
Michael Francis will return to Asia with Ms. Mutter in November 2012 for concerts in Taiwan and Hong Kong having earlier conducted a series of concerts for her in 2010 with the National Taipei Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. While on this tour, Mr. Francis again ‘stepped-in’ to conduct the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra to great triumph.
Michael Francis came to prominence as a conductor in January 2007 when he was asked, with 12 hours’ notice, to replace an indisposed Valery Gergiev for the rehearsals and performance of Gubaidulina's Märchen-Poem and Pro et Contra with the London Symphony Orchestra during the BBC Gubaidulina festival at the Barbican Centre. Only one month later, Michael was asked, this time with only two hours’ notice, to replace the composer/conductor John Adams in a performance of his own works with the LSO at the Philharmonie Luxembourg: the program was Slonimsky’s Earbox, The Dharma at Big Sur (an electric violin concerto with Leila Josefowicz) and Naïve and Sentimental Music.