Alun Francis

Biography

Alun Francis is one of the most respected conductors on the international scene, and is particularly admired for his efforts in bringing international recognition to several great tonal symphonists active in the post-World War II years, and for other efforts on behalf of twentieth-century music.

His "native" instrument is the French horn. He continued his studies on that instrument and took conducting while attending the Royal Manchester
Read more College of Music from 1960 to 1963. His first professional jobs were as an orchestral horn player with the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester under Sir John Barbirolli's leadership, and with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, with Constantin Silvestri as conductor.

He began looking for conducting opportunities at this time and by 1966 began an association with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, rising from short appointments as assistant conductor and associate conductor to becoming music director in 1969. While there, he became a conductor and artistic director of the Northern Ireland Opera, serving in that post from 1974 to 1984.

He ended these associations in 1970 after 10 years, becoming music director of the Northwest Chamber Orchestra in Seattle, Washington, from 1980 to 1985. Following that, he was conductor and music advisor to the Overiijssels Philharmonic Orchestra and the Opera Forum of Netherlands from 1985 to 1987.

Francis was principal conductor and general music director of the North West German Philharmonic and in 1989 received the appointment as principal conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Following a contract extension in 1996, he remained with the Berlin Symphony through 2000. Meanwhile, he became principal conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica Haydn of Bolzano, Italy, and in 1996 was appointed artistic director of the Orchestra Sinfonica de Milano "Giuseppe Verdi."

Among the orchestras with which he has guest conducted are the BBC Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, the five major orchestras of London, and the rest of the major orchestras of Britain, the RAI (Italian Radio) Orchestra of Torino, the Cologne RSO, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Frankfurt RSO, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and several other major European and American orchestras.

Francis' twentieth-century performances include the avant-garde composers such as Stockhausen and Berio as well as major and once-neglected symphonic composers of the post-War era such as Ernst Toch, Allan Pettersson, Darius Milhaud, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, and Casella. He received the MIDEM 2000 "Premiere Prize" at the Cannes Classical Awards for recording the complete symphonies of Milhaud on the cpo label.

While known as a proponent of twentieth-century orchestral music, as an active opera conductor he prefers to focus on the bel canto era (roughly the time from Rossini's debut through the early works of Verdi). He has fifty bel canto operas in his repertory, and in 1978 led the world premiere of the Donizetti opera Gabriella di Vergy. He records opera for the label Opera Rara, and for them and other companies he has taped recordings of Donizetti's Maria Padilla and Ugo, conte di Parigi and Offenbach's operettas Christopher Columbus and Robinson Crusoe. Another notable operatic engagement was his conducting Verdi's Rigoletto in staging directed by Roman Polanski.

In all, Francis estimates that he has conducted more than 150 orchestras and opera companies in 26 different companies so far in his conducting career. Read less

There are 54 Alun Francis recordings available.

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Biography

Alun Francis is one of the most respected conductors on the international scene, and is particularly admired for his efforts in bringing international recognition to several great tonal symphonists active in the post-World War II years, and for other efforts on behalf of twentieth-century music.

His "native" instrument is the French horn. He continued his studies on that instrument and took conducting while attending the Royal Manchester
Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
I. Moderato quasi andantino
II. Moderato - Allegro assai
III. Vivace marcato
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andantino semplice
III. Allegro molto
I. Allegro molto
II. Andante con moto
III. Presto
I. Allegro molto e energico - Meno mosso: Improvisato - Tempo I
II. Molto sostenuto: Improvisato
III. Vivo
I. Andante, tranquillo
II. Adagio
III. Allegro pesante
I. Allegro molto moderato e pesante
II. Adagio
III. Allegro commodo
IV. Andante, quasi adagio
V. Allegro
I. Molto tranquillo
II. Allegro molto
III. Langsam, zart
IV. Allegro non troppo
I. Molto dolce, molto tranquillo, molto equalmente
II. Lively con brio
III. Molto grave
I. Larghetto
II. Prestissimo
III. Adagio sostenuto
IV. Allegro
I. Maestoso sostenuto
II. Allegro non troppo
III. Andante
IV. Presto
V. Moderato con moto
VI. Allegro
Hymn
Fugue
Hymn
Fugue
Hymn
Chorale
Fugue
Hymn
Fugue
I. Decide
II. Expressif
III. Fantasque
IV. Emporte
I. Intense
II. Meditatif
III. Emporte
I. Pastoral
II. Vif et gai
III. Paisible
IV. Lumineux
I. Frenetico -
II. Cantabile espressivo -
III. -
IV. -
I. Beginning
II. Three measures after No. 23
III. One measure before No. 35
IV. Five measures after No. 53
V. After No. 69
I. Beginning
II. Two measures before No. 22
III. Five measures before No. 48
IV. Two measures before No. 59
V. One measure after No. 83
I. Allegro commodo
II. Molto grazioso e leggiero throughout
III. Allegro energico
I. Molto lento
II. Allegro giocoso
III. Allegro resoluto
I. Maestoso
II. Lento
III. Allegro molto
I. Moderato
II. Allegro molto
III. Adagio
I. Andante tranquillo
II. Capriccio. Andante scherzando
III. Adagio non troppo
IV. Allegro assai, quasi presto
I. Introduzione: Allegro con moto
II. Largo con espressione
III. Allegro comodo
IV. Allegro con moto
I. Beginning: Allegro
II. No. 20: Andante espressivo
III. No. 141: Larghetto
IV. Three measures after No. 151
V. One measure before No. 160
I. Vif et cinglant
II. Lent et tendre
III. Clair et leger
IV. Alerte et rude
I. Calme et tendre
II. Tumultueux
III. Lent et doux
IV. Joyeux et robuste
I. Anime
II. Grave
III. Vif
I. Avec mystere et violence
II. Avec serenite et nonchalence
III. Avec emportement
IV. Rapide et majestuex
I. Moderement anime
II. Lente et sombre
III. Alerte et vigoureux
Beginning -
2 Measures after No. 10 -
2 Measures after No. 18 -
1 Measure before No. 31 -
2 Measures after No. 41 -
2 Measures after No. 57 -
3 Measures after No. 78 -
1 Measure before No. 87 -
4 Measures before No. 122 -
No. 139 -
5 Measures after No. 153 -
4 Measures before No. 165 -
No. 179 -
4 Measures before No. 181 -
4 Measures after No. 189 -
No. 203 -
3 Measures before No. 208


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