Mikko Franck

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Mikko Franck (born 1 April 1979) is a Finnish conductor and violinist.

Conducting directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures

Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. It has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture." The primary duties of the conductor are to interpret the score in a way which reflects the specific indications in that score, set the tempo, ensure correct entries by ensemble members, and "shape" the phrasing where appropriate. Conductors communicate with their musicians primarily through hand gestures, usually with the aid of a baton, and may use other gestures or signals such as eye contact. A conductor usually supplements their direction with verbal instructions to their musicians in rehearsal.


Franck was born in Helsinki, and began to play the violin at the age of 5. He continued violin studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, beginning in 1992. In 1995, Franck took an opportunity from the Junior Department at the Sibelius Academy, which was celebrating its anniversary, to conduct an orchestra offered to any student who wished to do so. After this occurred, Jorma Panula immediately enlisted him as a private student. Franck entered Panula's conducting class at the Sibelius Academy in the fall of 1996. He has said of Panula:

Helsinki Capital city in Uusimaa, Finland

Helsinki is the capital and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, and has a population of 650,058. The city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 300 km (190 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It has close historical ties with these three cities.

Sibelius Academy Finnish music school

The Sibelius Academy is part of the University of the Arts Helsinki and a university-level music school which operates in Helsinki and Kuopio, Finland. It also has an adult education centre in Järvenpää and a training centre in Seinäjoki. The Academy is the only music university in Finland. It is among the biggest European music universities with roughly 1,700 enrolled students.

Jorma Panula Finnish conductor and composer

Jorma Juhani Panula is a Finnish conductor, composer, and teacher of conducting. He has mentored many notable Finnish conductors, such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mikko Franck, Sakari Oramo, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and Osmo Vänskä.

"He gave me everything that can be taught about this profession. For instance, we used video as an aid in losing my unnecessary mannerisms."

Franck ended his studies there in 1998 without receiving a diploma because his international career had already begun. [1]

Before age 23, Franck had made his conducting début with all of the leading Scandinavian orchestras, as well as with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the Berlin Staatsoper (Berlin State Opera) and the Israel Philharmonic. He received a Grammy nomination for "Best Orchestral Performance" for his first recording, which was of music by Jean Sibelius. He is a particular champion of the works of Einojuhani Rautavaara.

London Symphony Orchestra oldest symphony orchestra in London

The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), founded in 1904, is a British Orchestra and the oldest of London's symphony orchestras. It was set up by a group of players who left Henry Wood's Queen's Hall Orchestra because of a new rule requiring players to give the orchestra their exclusive services. The LSO itself later introduced a similar rule for its members. From the outset the LSO was organised on co-operative lines, with all players sharing the profits at the end of each season. This practice continued for the orchestra's first four decades.

Jean Sibelius Finnish composer

Jean Sibelius, born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius, was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia.

Einojuhani Rautavaara Finnish composer (1928–2016)

Einojuhani Rautavaara was a Finnish composer of classical music. He is among the most notable Finnish composers since Jean Sibelius (1865–1957).

Franck became artistic director of the National Orchestra of Belgium in September 2002, and held the post until 2007. In 2004, Franck was named general music director of the Finnish National Opera and officially took up the post in August 2006. In February 2007, he suddenly announced his resignation from this position, claiming a loss of confidence in the company's then-general director Erkki Korhonen and administrative director Pekka Kauranen. [2] However, in November 2007, the company nominated Franck to the dual post of Artistic Director and General Music Director, [3] and in December 2007, officially named him to both posts. [4] Franck concluded his tenure in both posts as of 31 July 2013. [5] Franck began his tenure as the music director of the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France in September 2015.

The Belgian National Orchestra is a Belgian orchestra, based in Brussels. Its principal concert venue is the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts. The orchestra also gives concerts outside of Brussels in such cities as Sankt-Vith and Hasselt.

The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France is a French radio orchestra, affiliated with Radio France.

Franck married the German opera director Martina Pickert in 2006. The couple divorced in 2010.

Selected Discography

Lemminkäinen figure in Finnish mythology

Lemminkäinen or Lemminki is a prominent figure in Finnish mythology. He is one of the Heroes of the Kalevala, where his character is a composite of several separate heroes of oral poetry. He is usually depicted as young and good-looking, with wavy red hair.

<i>En saga</i>

En saga, Op. 9, is a single-movement tone poem for orchestra written in 1891–92 by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The piece, which likely began as a septet or octet for flute, clarinet, and string ensemble before evolving into an orchestral tone poem, premiered on 16 February 1893 in Helsinki, Finland with Sibelius conducting. A decade later, in 1902, Sibelius substantially revised En saga in response to an invitation from Ferruccio Busoni to conduct the piece in Berlin; the tone poem thus stands alongside the Lemminkäinen Suite, the Violin Concerto, The Oceanides, and the Fifth Symphony as one of Sibelius' most overhauled works. The Berlin concert, which occurred a fortnight after Robert Kajanus had premiered the revised piece in Helsinki on 2 November, finally brought Sibelius the German breakthrough he had long desired.

Symphony No. 6 (Tchaikovsky) symphony by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, also known as the Pathétique Symphony, is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's final completed symphony, written between February and the end of August 1893. The composer entitled the work "The Passionate Symphony", employing a Russian word, Патетическая (Pateticheskaya), meaning "passionate" or "emotional", that was then (mis-)translated into French as pathétique, meaning "solemn" or "emotive".

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  1. Hako, P., Keskusteluja ja kirjoituksia (Discussions and writings; "Rautavaara & Franck"). WSOY 2006. ISBN   978-951-0-31058-8
  2. Vivien Schweitzer (15 February 2007). "With Harsh Words, Conductor Mikko Franck Resigns From Finnish National Opera". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  3. "Mikko Franck nominated for post of Artistic Director and General Music Director" (Press release). Finnish National Opera. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  4. "Mikko Franck appointed Artistic Director of the Finnish National Opera" (Press release). Finnish National Opera. 18 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  5. "Eight premieres at the Finnish National Opera in the 2013–2014 season" (Press release). Finnish National Opera. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
Preceded by
Yuri Simonov
Music Director, Belgian National Orchestra
Succeeded by
Walter Weller
Preceded by
Muhai Tang
Music Director, Finnish National Opera
Succeeded by
Michael Güttler (principal conductor)
Preceded by
Myung-whun Chung
Music Director, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Succeeded by