Robert Franz













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Robert Franz Conducting at the Fairbanks Festival
 
Robert in front of Denali
 
In his eight years as Music Director of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, Robert Franz has provided artistic experiences for talented amateur musicians and students alike at this “very” northern music festival. He says the true highlight of the festival is the continuing success of his “Art of Conducting Workshop” because it allows the fellows a chance to work with a professional orchestra under his direction. Using a holistic approach to music making, the workshop he created allows participants to gain experience at the podium conducting a professional ensemble while fostering growth of the artist within..
 
In addition to conducting the orchestra each year, Franz initiated a partnership with other festival artists including vocalists, dancers and composers to work side-by-side with professional musicians. This past season culminated with a well received performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. During his third season at Fairbanks, Franz brought the orchestra to Denali National Park and Preserve in a performance that marked the first time an orchestra had performed there. He conducted a piece about Denali created by Stephen Lias, the artist in residence for the Gates of the Arctic, Wrangell-St. Elias and Glacier Bay national parks. He also directed the orchestra and choir in the world premiere of Mass for the Oppressed by Emerson Eads.