In Saturday’s (9/27) Union-Tribune (San Diego), James Chute reports that British conductor Michael Francis has signed a three-year contract as music director of San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival. “ ‘We wanted a music director who would allow the voice of this extraordinary orchestra to be heard and the needs of this community to be recognized and realized,’ Mainly Mozart Executive Director Nancy Laturno Bojanic said in an interview last week.” Francis was recently named music director designate of the Florida Orchestra, and is now in his third season as chief conductor of Sweden’s Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. At Mainly Mozart, he succeeds David Atherton, “who cofounded the festival with Bojanic and retired after its 25th anniversary season in 2013.” Francis “seems the very model of a collaborative conductor.… But he’s not without strong musical ideas. In his case, they are often tied to the dramatic nature of the music.” Chute notes that “While Atherton … focused primarily on the orchestra, Francis anticipates taking a more holistic approach…. ‘What’s exceptional about the Mainly Mozart Festival is that it’s brave…. With programs like Mozart and the Mind and the Spotlight Series, they are really trying to explore and make music relevant to today.’ ”  

Posted September 29, 2014

Photo of Michael Francis by Marco Borggreve