In spring 2011 Michael Francis was appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (Sweden), starting in the 2012–13 season. This appointment followed his impressive debut with the orchestra in October 2010, which was also his Scandinavian debut.
The 2011–12 season sees Michael Francis making his debuts with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Orquesta y Coro de RTVE (Madrid), the Hamburger Symphoniker and the Philharmonisches Orchester Kiel. He will return to Norrköping and be on tour twice with Anne-Sophie Mutter – in January with the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart and in June with the Kammerorchester Wien-Berlin. Furthermore, this season will see appearances with soloists such as Valentina Lisitsa, Daniel Müller-Schott, Ian Parker, Baiba Skride and Yevgeny Sudbin.
Last season also catapulted Michael Francis onto the American concert scene. Highlights included his debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s Lichtes Spiel for violin and orchestra with Anne-Sophie Mutter. He also made strong impressions in his debuts with the Indianapolis, San Francisco, Seattle and Oregon Symphonies. As in the summer of 2011, the summer of 2012 will see him return to the San Francisco Symphony to conduct ten concerts as part of the renowned Summer and the Symphony festival as well as performances with the Seattle and Oregon Symphony Orchestras; forthcoming debuts include appearances with the Houston and Cincinnati Symphonies.
In recent years Michael Francis has received invitations from the Münchner Symphoniker, the Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, the Radio Sinfonierorchester Stuttgart, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg with Roberto Alagna, the Netherlands Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra. In Asia he has worked with the Tokyo City Philharmonic, the Tokyo Symphony and the Seoul Philharmonic with soloist Ricardo Morales.
Replacing Valery Gergiev at a concert with the London Symphony Orchestra during the BBC’s Sofia Gubaidulina Festival at the Barbican Centre in 2007 was hailed as a turning point in Francis’ conducting career. Just one month later he stepped in for John Adams, conducting the London Symphony with Leila Josefowicz in a further concert in Luxembourg. He proved his talent once again as a finalist at the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2008.
On CD Francis can be heard conducting the London Symphony Orchestra with Ian Parker (the Ravel and Gershwin piano concerti, ATMA Classique label, 2010), Valentina Lisitsa (the complete Rachmaninoff piano concerti, summer 2011) and Julius-Jeongwon Kim (the Rachmaninoff-Warenberg Piano Concerto No 5 and the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No 2, autumn 2011).
Michael Francis graduated with a Masters degree from the Royal Academy of Music in 2000 and was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in May 2007 for his significant contribution to the music profession.