Ex-LSO bass becomes US citizen

Ex-LSO bass becomes US citizen


norman lebrecht

December 17, 2019

Michael Francis, the LSO doublebass who became a condcutor by stepping in for Valery Gergiev when he missed rehearsals, has taken US citizenship as a token of his burgeoning baton career. Michael is music director of the Florida Orchestra.

Another Brexit drifter.



  • M McAlpine says:

    Brexit drifter? He has been performing in the US since he was 16

    • Edgar says:

      He may become a real drifter once Florida begins to flood permanently, endangered by rising seas as it and every other low lying land is. (Actually, Florida’s natural state is that of a swamp, but to say this is not appreciated in some places in- and outside of Florida…)

  • Allen says:

    “Another Brexit drifter.”

    Who has not only moved to a country outside the EU, but which would not under any circumstances allow itself to be governed from outside.

  • rustier spoon says:


  • American Tramp says:

    Who the hell still wants to get a US citizenship this days? After living there for almost 15 years, I realized I had enough of super dumb / racist people, lack of freedom and lack of culture. The only thing that saves “the great U S of A” is their $$$$ which allows them to build advanced facilities, hire gifted players and conductors from other countries and helps them pretend they have a “diverse”, “free”, “independent” and “flourishing” country/society.

    • Anon says:

      If I had a nickel I’d find a game
      If I won a dollar I’d make it rain
      If it rained an ocean I’d drink it dry
      And lay me down dissatisfied

      — Star-Spangled Banner (alternate lyrics)

    • Petros LInardos says:

      The practical downside for a musician who seeks out a US citizenship is taxation: US citizens can be taxed for income earned anywhere in the world, though there are lots of exceptions.

      Otherwise, your generalizations grossly misrepresent the US. I have lived here a little longer than you, and am a naturalized US citizen.

    • Mark says:

      Well, I hear Venezuela is lovely this time of the year. Bring plenty of toilet paper …

    • Edgar says:

      Be glad you spell your last name with an a and no a u…;-)

    • Guest says:

      Another one who just couldn’t make it in the USA and had to go home with tail between the legs, barking on classical music blogs.

    • fflambeau says:

      Yup, Boris is far better and all those yobs who backed him are nicer and smarter too. Same for Putin and his Russian supporters; the Presidents of Poland, Hungry and their antisemitic supporters; the crazed and power hungry President of Turkey and his backers; La Pen and associates; and in Italy, Bernlusconi the clean-man and his mafia-like successors. Even Canada has a PM who enjoyed playing in black face and is a traitor to his alleged progressive ideals.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Rather worrisome that you lumped Putin and the President of Turkey with the others.

        Say what you like about Trump and Boris (and the others in Canada and the EU), but they were democratically elected by voters who were free to elect someone else if they had wanted to. Perhaps, rather than calling those voters names, you should consider why the electorate made such choices.

  • Noter says:

    Not LSO Principal.

  • C Porumbescu says:

    Yep, that’ll be Brexit alright. A US passport famously confers full rights to live and work in the EU27.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    He stepped in to conduct a piece by Sofia Gubadulina as Gergiev had flu. He had been conducting on and off for a while. He managed but hopefully he has improved!

    • Anon says:

      He also stepped in for John Adams conducting his music. In fact, he stepped in many times and was always successful – the LSO doesn’t tolerate fools. (And he wasn’t a principal.)

  • Malcolm james says:

    His wife is American and the US will now allow dual nationality, so he probably still has his British passport.

  • Anon says:

    Mark Zuckerberg conducting…

  • BassBoogie says:

    I think he wanna be also recognised for being a chief conductor in Ludwigshafen, Germany rather than an ex-LSO principal…

  • Rob says:

    He married an American so instant US citizenship. Lives in Tampa which has a serious sinkhole problem.


  • Symphony musician says:

    Gergiev is condcute but Michael Francis is condcutor!