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Michael Francis in Action: From Windsor Castle to Zombies

Being a music director is a lot more than leading an orchestra on stage. Nobody knows that better than Michael Francis. Just look at where he’s popped up within the last two weeks as we get ready to launch our 50th anniversary season.

Still working on that English…

Sept. 27: In case you can’t tell by listening, Michael Francis and radio legends Jack Harris and Tedd Webb genuinely have a blast during these live radio interviews on WFLA 970 AM. Amazing, because it’s 7 freakin’ am. They start chatting like old friends the moment Maestro Francis walks into the Tampa studio. Good thing the TFO marketing team gets up before the crack of dawn so you don’t have to! They roll in to set up lights and cameras so you can laugh along with this video version any time.

A Morning Blend of TV and zombies

Sept. 27: It can get kind of boring in the TV studio while you’re waiting for your turn to be interviewed – except, zombies! So for once, Michael Francis turned the tables — and the camera — on TFO PR Manager Kelly Smith to capture the chaos at ABC’s Morning Blend talk show, where they were guests along with several delightfully undead folks from Howl-O-Scream.

The zombie-free TFO segment aired Thursday (Sept. 28) but you can watch it below.

Turn right on Florida Orchestra Way

Sept. 26: No TFO board members or staff were harmed in the making of this photo. Timed in honor of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary season, part of St. Petersburg’s First Street has been co-named Florida Orchestra Way. To celebrate, some TFO staff, board members and Michael Francis and his family gathered for a quick photo in front of a street sign near the Mahaffey Theater. Yes, they are in the street, but just for a minute! Then they all attended the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership luncheon inside the Mahaffey, where Maestro Francis was the keynote speaker on why the orchestra is such an important asset to the community.

Debut at Windsor Castle

Sept. 19: Then there is this stunning moment. Michael Francis made his debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra at Windsor Castle in England, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (the Queen’s youngest son). The concert was in the Waterloo Chamber, a magnificent ballroom built in 1831 to celebrate the victory over Napoleon, which seats about 400 people. On the program was Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and the Sibelius Violin Concerto, featuring 17-year-old violinist Nathan Meltzer, a prize winner in the Windsor Festival. “Windsor Castle was a great concert for me. My mother has lived in the area for 20 years and so I could walk to the castle from her home in Eton,” says Maestro Francis. “Needless to say, I had many friends and family attending.”

Days earlier, he conducted the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra as part of the ARD International Music Competition in Munich.

No zombies allowed.


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