News & Quotes|
WINDSOR MAYOR DREW DILKENS INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT FRANZ
Back in 1947 the Windsor Symphony Orchestra performanced on the Capitol
stage and now, having returned as the full-time residents of the
theatre, the WSO is celebrating their 70th season. In this Mayor’s
Minute, the Mayor sits down with WSO music director Robert Franz. They
talk about the exciting arts and culture hub that’s growing in downtown
Windsor, why Robert thinks the symphony is like a hockey game, and so
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WSO LAUNCHES FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND INTERNATIONAL CONDUCTORS WORKSHOP
WSO Maestro Robert Franz this week is leading a Conductors Guild
Education Workshop, offering tips on how best to direct an orchestra—and
how to present classical music to students.
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MAESTRO FRANZ STICKS WITH WINDSOR SYMPHONY FOR ANOTHER THREE YEARS
Windsor Symphony Orchestra music director Robert Franz will continue
filling up the Capitol Theatre & Arts Centre with the sounds of
everything from Bach to The Beatles.
The maestro will stay on with the WSO for another three years after
fulfilling his original three-year contract, which began in 2013. Franz
said he wants to stay in Windsor first and foremost because of the
relationship he has built with the musicians.
THE BOISE PHILHARMONIC’S ROBERT FRANZ FINDS A HOME IN BOISE
You wouldn’t think that an orchestra conductor and aeronautical
engineers would have a connection. But the exploits and genius of Wilbur
and Orville Wright are an endless well of inspiration for Boise
Philharmonic Music Director Robert Franz.
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FRANZ BRINGS NEW DIRECTIONS TO THE WINDSOR SYMPHONY
Robert Franz begins his new appointment as Music Director of the The
Windsor Symphony Orchestra with three Pops concerts, Sept. 27, 28, and
29, at Windsors Capitol Theatre, the orchestra's new permanent home. On
October 5, he will lead the orchestra in their first Masterworks
concert of the 2013-14 season with a program that includes two
orchestral works by Beethoven, including the Third Piano Concerto
performed by Canadian soloist Lorraine Min.
Franz, who is dedicating to improving the artistic quality of the
orchestra and making the orchestra a center piece of the Ontario
community, plans to bring in more guest artists, soloists and guest
conductors. He also has plans to reach out to the community starting
this season with a special Intimate Classics program of music that
relates to the Holocaust and is exploring ways to bump up the number of
classics concerts, with programming into the summer.
For more information,
FRANZ NAMED MUSIC DIRECTOR DESIGNATE OF THE WINDSOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
On February 26, 2013, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra announced the
appointment of Robert Franz as Music Director beginning July 1, 2013
following an extensive search led by a committee comprised of WSO
musicians, staff, Guild, and Board members and community leaders. In
making the announcement, the Orchestra cited Franzs vast artistic
experience and versatility, in addition to his passion for outreach in
the community and advocacy for arts education.
For more information,
ASHEVILLE, NC WLOS TV INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT FRANZ (APRIL 2010)
WLOS TV 13 in Asheville, NC interviews Robert Franz during a
recent engagement with the Asheville Lyric Opera. Robert
discusses the importance of music education.
MAESTRO ROBERT FRANZ NAMED THE 2010 RENAISSANCE PERSON OF THE YEAR
MANSFIELD, OHIO. The Renaissance Performing Arts Association announces
that Mansfield Symphony Music Robert Franz was selected as the 2010
Renaissance Person of the Year. Dave Harmon, president of the
Renaissance Board of Trustees, presented Franz with a special
commemorative clock and a plaque, which will hang in the Renaissance
Theatre, prior to the Mansfield Symphony performance of Symphonie
Romantique on Saturday evening. Renaissance President and CEO Michael
Miller spoke of the accomplishments Franz has made in the community
through a recorded message as he was attending a conference at the
Kennedy Center. Millers wife Deborah also presented Franz with a baton
that had belonged to Leonard Bernstein.
The Renaissance Performing Arts Association proudly selected Robert
Franz for this honor because of his love and abiding passion for music
and his impressive talents, which have left the north central Ohio
community deeply enriched. He has worked to showcase the talents of the
Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, taking the incredible musicians to even
greater heights and providing audiences with a world-class symphonic
experience. For the past seven seasons, Robert has engaged and
enthralled so many with his love of music, with his charm and elegant
rapport with an audience, and with the excitement and expressiveness of
his conducting. The Renaissance acknowledges and celebrates his dream,
Operation Bridge Building. Robert Franz has helped the Renaissance
create a path for the youth of our community that will allow them to
appreciate and cherish symphonic music for years to come.
IDAHO PUBLIC TELEVISION INTERVIEWS ROBERT FRANZ
Joan Cartan-Hansen, host of Idaho Public Televisions state-wide public
affairs program, Dialogue, interviews Robert in two programs. In the
first, Joan talks with Robert about his nationally recognized efforts in
arts education and the future of classical music and the arts in Idaho.
Watch 29 min.
In the second, Robert discusses how he became a conductor and what inspires him today.
Watch 8 min.
WNED RADIO INTERVIEWS ROBERT FRANZ
WNED interviews Robert as the BPO prepares to kick off the First Niagara Summerfest at Artpark in July 2009.
ROB LUCAS IN THE MORNING - DANCING WITH THE BUFFALO STARS
Robert Franz interviewed by Rob Lucas
on STAR 102.5 radio about Dancing With The Buffalo Stars, February 14, 2009 at Kleinhans.
OPENING NIGHT! PODCAST
The first Boise Philharmonic podcast ever! This episode features
performances from the first subscription concert of the 2008-09
including Gazebo Dances by John Corigliano and the Sixth Symphony of
Antonín Dvořák. Also we hear an interview with new Music Director Robert
Listen or Subscribe
BPO RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD FOR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS CREATED BY ROBERT FRANZ
As Resident Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic for the past three
years, Robert Franz has created and presented a series of arts
education programs designed to engage students, inspire them, and help
them to stretch their minds and imaginations through music. This
year, the BPO was honored to receive the prestigious Leonard Bernstein
Award for Educational Programming from The American Society of
Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), as did the Louisville
Orchestra in 2001, while Mr. Franz headed that orchestras educational
programming. Earlier this season, Franz was named the winner of the
2008 BPO/ECMEA Music Educators Award for Excellence.
For more information,
April 13, 2008, by Dana Oland
NEW DIRECTOR SAYS HELL LEAD PHILHARMONIC TO NEXT LEVEL
Hell visit Boise this month to announce the next season and get to
know the community.
At the end of Robert Franzs interview with the Boise Philharmonic
search committee in January, he asked them a show-stopping question.
Are you ready for me? When I come to a place, I give 110 percent, and
it takes a team to make it happen, he said. Yes, were ready to go,
recalled Stephen Trott, a federal judge who headed the committee made up
of board members and musicians. He really put us on our toes.
So get ready, because last week the Philharmonic hired Franz as its next
music director, filling the position left by James Ogle, who conducted
his farewell concert this weekend. Ogle suffered a stroke in November
2005 and resigned as music director in May 2006.
Franzs interview question was bold, but, What did I have to lose? he
said. What were they going to say, that they didnt want to work that
hard? We were all so excited, and I really wanted this job. I wanted to
know if they were ready for the work it will take to move this orchestra
to the next level. Franz spoke from his home in Buffalo, N.Y., where
he is resident conductor with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He
came to Boise in the second season of the two-year search, one of 11
candidates who guest-conducted the orchestra, worked with soloists and
interviewed with the search committee. He quickly became everyones
first choice, Trott said. Franz met and surpassed each requirement on
the committees dream conductor list. If anyone can do this, Robert
can. He is easy to work with, and he is a part-of-the-solution person.
For Franz, who turned 40 last month, his time in Boise left him
thrilled, he said. He conducted the January 2008 program. The
orchestra and I had so much fun. When I saw how far we went in one week,
I was so excited. There is so much talent in that orchestra. My job is
to focus and unleash it. There is so much potential, I cant wait to see
where that takes us.
The musicians are equally excited about Franzs arrival, said violinist
Jill Rowley, the orchestras associate concertmaster.
He knows how to place high expectations and ask a lot of us, but in a
way that is always positive and encourages us to want to reach our
highest level, Rowley said. He is ultimately energetic and upbeat
about everything he does, and he can be exacting, which is what we
Just a few days after learning he had the position, Franz already had
homed in on key areas: education, community partnership and repertoire.
His goal is to approach the orchestra as a holistic entity. He wants to
see pieces that have operated separately in the past, such as the music
ensembles and the foundation board, work closely together, even on
repertoire, which Franz wants to expand to consistently include new
works. If we make an effort in one realm, we need to universalize
it, Franz said.
One possibility for next season is to bring composer Shulamit Ran to
Boise and perform Vessels of Courage and Hope, a piece written to
commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Israel. While she
is here, Franz would like to build educational programs around her, as
well as perform one of her chamber pieces with the orchestras ensemble
groups. I mean, how exciting would that be? There is just huge
possibility, he said.
Franz also wants to deepen the Philharmonics commitment to music
education and to development programs that involve the classroom as well
as the music room. How about comparing being a writer to being a
composer? You can talk about character, story development and conflict
resolution, he said. Its a project he has worked on successfully in
other cities. My goal is to show that classical music has a place in
our lives every day.
Franz will be in Boise April 24-26 to announce the complete 2008-09
season and go on a listening tour, Franz said, as a way to explore
building community partnerships with arts groups and other
organizations. The music directors job will be set up differently
from how it has worked in the past, said Anthony Boatman, the
Philharmonics executive director. Initially, Franz will not live in
the Valley. He maintains a home in Buffalo, where he will keep his
position with the orchestra. He also will be spending time in Houston,
where he will start as the associate conductor in June. Both of those
orchestras have summer seasons. The Boise Philharmonics concert season
is in the fall and winter.
I did something the other day that just tickled me, Franz said. I
used pins and strings on a U.S. map to track my commute, and it makes
this huge triangle on the map. Each place (Buffalo, Houston and Boise)
has a different sort of vibe. Boise is beautiful. I get a real feeling
of positive energy and we-can-do-it-ness there. It is a successful city,
and you can feel it in the air. Franz will spend 12 weeks here next
season. The length of time may increase in the future depending on the
orchestras schedule and needs, he said.
MANSFIELD SYMPHONY CONCERT FEATURES WORK BY LOCAL ARTISTS
MANSFIELD, OHIO. The Mansfield Symphonys Art Live! concert this
Saturday will feature artwork by two talented local artists, Mindy
Duncan and John Donnelly. Each artist will paint a canvas inspired by
Michael Torkes Ash during the symphonys rehearsal for Art Live! on
Thursday evening. DRM Productions will document the development of each
canvas on film, which will be screened during the actual concert on
Saturday, May 17th at 8pm in the Renaissance Theatre. These original
pieces will be auctioned off to the highest bidder by Whatman Realtors
and Auctioneers following the concert. Proceeds from the auction will
benefit both the Mansfield Art Center and The Renaissance. Other works
by Mindy Duncan and John Donnelly will be on display in the theatre and
available for purchase.
John Donnelly paints while Robert reherses the Mansfield Symphony in Michael Torkes Ash.
Mindy Duncan is an art educator at Mansfield Senior High School and John
Donnelly is Professor of Art at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Both
artists have had numerous art exhibitions and awards to their credit and
their artwork has been shown throughout the United States. The
Renaissance is honored to have the talents of Mindy and John showcased
at the Art Live! concert.
Music Director Robert Franz will also lead the Mansfield Symphony and
Chorus, soloists Andrea Chenoweth, Lori Turner, Gerald Gray and Dalton
Derr, and vocal ensemble Cappricio! as they perform the extraordinary
Mass in B Flat Major (Maria Theresa Mass) by Haydn. The Mansfield
Symphony and members of the Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra will
perform Rossinis William Tell Overture.
Tickets for this unique concert are $32.50, $22.50 and $12.50 and are on
sale at the Renaissance Box Office, 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, by
calling 419-522-2726 and online at
The Renaissance $10 ticket offer applies to this concert. $10 tickets (seats
in the back row of the balcony) may be purchased beginning two hours
before the performance, in person, at the Renaissance Box Office. There
is a four ticket limit per person for $10 tickets.
Art Live! is presented by the Renaissance Performing Arts Association,
sponsored by A Donor Advised Fund of the Richland County Foundation, and
made possible with support from the Ohio Arts Council.
W H A T T H E C R I T I C S S A Y
Franz coaxed brilliant playing from the RSO, which has rarely
Fridays audience was fortunate beyond belief to have heard
the definitive performance of the Bruch Concerto No. 1 (Joshua Bell),
which was superbly partnered by conductor Robert Franz and the
The orchestra has seldom played with such rapt attention to its
collective tasks. Franz conducted the entire affair with masterly pace,
emphasis and technical control. The final minute was among the most
viscerally thrilling indulgences Ive heard in Whitney Hall.
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
Franz assured musicality gave his readings a vitality that
made the evening a fine musical adventure.
The music (Barbers Medeas Meditation and Dance of
Vengeance) crackles, communicating the essence of the Greek tragedy with
terse power. So too did Franzs reading, which matched the
composers own remarkable intensity.
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
Franz and company closed with a reading of the Schubert Symphony
No. 5. Tempos pressed forward in a way that with this nimble band, felt
blithe and refreshing.
The Charlotte Observer
The Carolina Chamber Symphony fills a void in Winston-Salems
concert life. Especially since the group is filled with such able,
energetic players and is led by so efficient and intelligent a
The Winston-Salem Journal
C O M P O S E R & S O L O I S T Q U O T E S
Robert Franz is a JOY to work with! Hes extremely competent. He
takes matters like preparation, musical rehearsals and performances very
seriously without being oppressive. He is all at once smart, fun,
careful, relaxed, but demanding of his musicians. I love working with
I must say that I was deeply impressed with [Roberts] work,
not only by his solid rehearsal techniques and fine-tuned ears, but also
by his extremely musical and passionate approach toward music
Thank you for your excellently prepared and insightful performance
of my Third Symphony last week.
I was very positively impressed with Mr. Franzs commitment
to communicating and educating audiences of all ages, and with his love
of contemporary music... His fine conducting and the enthusiasm he conveys
are certain to make a substantial difference in the musical life of any
community in which he works.
Aaron Jay Kernis
His genuine musical gifts, intelligence, and
down-to-earth approach to reaching audiences of all ages make him
certainly of the most talented conductors of his generation.
It is truly exciting to come across someone with your sense of
vision. I think your educational initiatives with the New Dimensions
series and its numerous ancillary activities are turning Louisville into
a stellar example of the role an orchestra can play in engaging a
community in truly meaningful ways.
He has a natural and highly developed ability to
present the widest range of orchestral repertoire with integrity and
insight. Musicians respond to his artistic command and personal style on
the podium with respect and loyalty.