KD SCHMID Michael Francis


Michael Francis

Biography – about the artist.

Chefdirigent Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, 

Music Director Florida Orchestra and Mainly Mozart Festival San Diego

Michael Francis has developed an international reputation for sharing the power of music through his conducting and engaging speaking.

Appointed Music Director of the Florida Orchestra in the fall of 2014, he is now entering his eighth season with a contract extension through the 2024/25 season. His role in building transformative Community-Engagement initiatives has helped to grow the organization significantly. Music Director of the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego since 2014 (with a contract renewal through the summer of 2023), Francis and Mainly Mozart have recently completed an ambitious multi-year exploration of Mozart’s life. Entering his fourth season, Francis continues as Chief Conductor of Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. Previously, he was Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra from 2012-2016.

This season Francis will return to Cincinnati Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Philharmonia and the Minnesota Orchestra. Previous highlights include North American performances with The Cleveland Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, San Diego, Houston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Montréal, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. In Europe, he has conducted the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, , Dresdner Philharmonie, MDR Sinfonieorchester, the Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE Madrid and the Mariinsky Orchestra, amongst others. In his home country, he has worked with the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. In Asia, Maestro Francis has worked with the NHK Symphony, and the philharmonic orchestras of Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Seoul.

Michael Francis has collaborated with notable soloists such as Lang Lang, Arcadi Volodos, Itzhak Perlman, Christian Tetzlaff, Vadim Gluzman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Javier Perianes, Jamie Barton, Truls Mørk, Håkan Hardenberger, Maximilian Hornung, Miloš, Benjamin Grosvenor, Emanuel Ax, Ian Bostridge, James Ehnes, Sting, Rufus Wainwright and many others.

Alongside his extensive educational work with young musicians, Francis is passionate about sharing the hidden truths in music with audiences worldwide through his acclaimed podium talks. His “Inside The Music” series and pre-concert talks in Florida have greatly helped develop new audiences. An exciting new series of ‘Keynote’ presentations (explaining the music, alongside performances) with Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz has just been released on Naxos.

Francis’ discography includes the Rachmaninov piano concertos with Valentina Lisitsa and the London Symphony Orchestra, Rihm’s Lichtes Spiel with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic. A complete cycle of Mahler’s arrangements of Beethoven’s symphonies and overtures with Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz will be released soon.

A former double-bass player in the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), Michael Francis came to prominence as a conductor in January of 2007, stepping in for Valery Gergiev and John Adams with the LSO.

SEASON 2022/2023

The next dates:


Gedächtniskirche Speyer


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Gedächtniskirche Speyer


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Schloss Weilburg


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Schloss Weilburg



Staatstheater Braunschweig


> more about the promoter

Your contact persons:


Enrico Fischer

+49 30 5213 702-26


UK, Nordic:

Sian Watson

+44 20 7395 09-13


Florian Romanus

Artist Coordinator

+49 511 36607-38


Listen, See & feel the music.

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Need more material? Feel free to ask:

Florian Romanus

Artist Coordinator

+49 511 36607-38




Nørgård & Saariaho Cello Concertos

09.2021, BIS, CD

> Amazon

Valentina Lisitsa


03.2013, Decca, CD

> Amazon > iTunes

Beethoven, Kuhlau & Shirinyan

11.2012, Orchid Classics, CD

> Amazon > iTunes

Rachmaninov & Shostakovich

Julius-Jeongwon Kim

01.2012, Deutsche Grammophon, CD

> Amazon

Rihm & Kurrier

Anne-Sophie Mutter

09.2011, Deutsche Grammophon, CD

> Amazon


Michael Francis extends his contract with Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

Read more


„As a conductor, Francis is a deeply involved leader, with an unflagging attention to form, drama, balance, and the tiniest details. His baton technique is expansive and complex and communicates clearly and eloquently with his players, but is also refreshingly free of showiness.“

Cleveland.com, Mark Satola, 06.08.2018

„The ASO performed beautifully, with the strings sounding especially full and warm. Vaughan Williams’ music was turned out beautifully under Maestro Francis’ baton. It was truly a fine performance“

William E Ford, Bachtrack, 25.02.2017

„Francis […] drew a well-managed, splendidly evocative performance from the ASO musicians“

Mark Gresham, Arts Atlanta, 24.02.2017

„Francis led a brilliant and committed performance of this large and colorful canvas of a symphony, keeping close rein on the sprawling structure of the huge first movement while eliciting countless lovely details from the orchestration“

Mark Satola, cleveland.com, 18.07.2016