A Finnish touch for Academy of Santa Cecilia
ROME -- For the first time in the history of Accademia di Santa Cecilia, the Orchestra and Chorus has a Principal Guest Conductor: Mikko Franck, 38. The Finnish artist, internationally established on Opera stages, is one of the leading conductors of his generation. In his three-year stint, Mikko Franck will conduct at least three productions in each Santa Cecilia season and will head on a national – or even international - tour.
“I remember my June 2015 debut with Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia,” recalls the Finnish conductor, “as a great musical experience that immediately bonded me to the orchestra. I am truly excited about all the future projects we’re working on, including the tour in Italy this coming September. For me, these projects will be an opportunity to cultivate and develop my collaboration with the Orchestra and Chorus.”
The first engagements that will bring Mikko Franck to the Orchestra’s podium will be the concerts at the MITO Festival as part of an Italian tour in September 2017. And the Finnish Maestro’s first Opera in the upcoming concert season, in his new role as Santa Cecilia’s Principal Guest Conductor, will be Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, thus completing the cycle of great Wagnerian operas conducted in past seasons by Giuseppe Sinopoli, Christian Thielemann, Myung-Whun Chung, Daniele Gatti, and Kirill Petrenko.
A permanent guest at Vienna’s Staatsoper and a highly-regarded interpreter of contemporary music, Mikko Franck is considered a specialist in the romantic repertoire, and in fact made his Santa Cecilia conducting debut in the 2014-2015 symphony season with Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique.
Since 2015, Franck has been Music Director of Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, a position that has just been renewed through August 2022.
News of his Santa Cecilia posting comes just ahead of the 61st anniversary of the twinning between Rome and Paris, which dates back to January 1956. Inspired by this friendship, Accademia di Santa Cecilia and Radio France will remain committed to seeking and finding common goals and plans.
The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is one of the oldest musical institutions in the world. Officially established in 1585, it has evolved over the centuries from an organization of largely "local" musicians to a modern academy and symphonic concert organization of international repute. Uniting an academic body of 100 of the most illustrious exponents of culture and music with a symphonic orchestra and chorus that are among the most internationally renowned, the Accademia carries out professional musical training and conserves an extremely rich historical patrimony, thus reflecting its own multi-century history.
Its orchestra’s conductor is Sir Antonio Pappano while the Honorary Conductor is Yuri Temirkanov.
About Mikko Franck:
Born in Helsinki, Finland in 1979, he began studying violin at five years of age and entered the Sibelius Academy at 13, taking his diploma in conducting.
He first took the podium at sixteen years of age, and since 2002 he has conducted many orchestras in his own country and abroad, including the Philharmonia and the London Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, and Münchner Philharmoniker.
In September 2002, he was appointed music director and conductor of the National Orchestra of Belgium. That same year, his first recording, with music by Sibelius, was honoured with a Grammy Award nomination. In 2004, he was director of the Finnish National Opera. In 2011, he debuted with New York’s Metropolitan Opera.
In 2015, he succeeded Myung-Whun Chung as leader of Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, established in 1937.