DE RADIO FRANCE
Since its creation by the French national public broadcasting company in 1937, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France has established itself as an outstanding ensemble in the European symphonic landscape thanks to the eclecticism of its repertoire, the value it places on creation, the original nature of its concerts, the choice of artists and its educational and civic work.
This “Philhar spirit” finds in Mikko Franck – its musical director since 2015 – a flag bearer capable of upholding the values and ambitions of the orchestra, determined to make each concert a human and musical experience. His contract has been extended until 2022.
Mikko Franck has followed in the footsteps of Gilbert Amy, Marek Janowski and Myung-Whun Chung, but the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France’s 80-year history has also given other remarkable figures in the world of music the opportunity to direct it, from Inghelbrecht to Gustavo Dudamel, not to mention Aaron Copland, Pierre Boulez, Yuri Temirkanov and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
After residencies at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées then at the Salle Pleyel, the Orchestre Philharmonique now divides its Parisian concerts between the Radio France Auditorium for the most part and the Philharmonie de Paris. It is also regularly on tour in France and often performs in major international concert halls (Berlin’s Philharmonie, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Elbphilharmonie, Beijing’s NCPA, Suntory Hall, etc.).
Mikko Franck and the “Philhar” are pursuing an ambitious recording and broadcasting policy and videos of their performances can be viewed on the “Concerts” page of francemusique.fr and on ARTE Concert.
Keenly aware of the social and cultural role of the orchestra, each season the “Philhar” rethinks its projects to appeal to new audiences, particularly through creative programmes in schools, workshops, new forms of concerts, hospital concerts, participative concerts, etc. It is continuing to work with Jean-François Zygel on Clefs de l’orchestre (broadcast on the France Inter radio station and France Télévisions) so allowing the major works in the repertoire to be discovered. The musicians of the “Philhar” are particularly proud of their efforts to assist and train young musicians (“Orchestre à l’école” operation, Orchestra of the “Lycées français” of the world, an academy in liaison with the conservatories of the Paris region, etc.). The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Mikko Franck are Unicef ambassadors.
Musical director of Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Mikko Franck was born in 1979 in Helsinki, Finland.
He started his conducting career at the age of 17 and has since then conducted the most prestigious orchestras and opera houses around the world.
From 2002 to 2007 he was Music Director of the Orchestre National de Belgique. In 2006, he started to work as General Music Director of the Finnish National Opera. The following year, he was nominated as Artistic Director and General Music Director of the Opera. He held this dual position until August 2013.
Since September 2015, Mikko Franck is Music Director of Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and his mandate was renewed with great enthusiasm until September 2022.
During last seasons he has taken the orchestra on several tours in Europe, China and South Korea. In the 2018-2019 season Mikko Franck and the Orchestre Philharmonique will tour in Europe including concerts in Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich and Vienna.
In March 2019 Mikko Franck will also lead the Orchestra on tour to Spain.
Since September 2017 Mikko Franck is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra e del Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Besides his regular activities in Paris and Rome, he was invited in December 2017 to conduct the Cleveland Orchestra and in January 2018 the Berliner Philharmoniker. In May 2019 he will return to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Very devoted to the operatic repertoire as well, he has in recent years conducted in the Wiener Staatsoper productions of La Bohème, Salome, Lohengrin, Josephs Legende, Elektra, Tosca, La fanciulla del West, Die tote Stadt and Tristan und Isolde.
In November 2018 he conducts Pelleas et Mélisande at the Semperoper Dresden.
In February 2018 Mikko Franck was nominated Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF France.
In this role he wishes to support UNICEF in its important work around the world.
Upon his nomination he stated: “Every child is unique; every life is important. Every child, regardless of their origin, should have the right to live in a safe and healthy environment, to follow their dreams and realize their full potential.”