“When I was four years old,” says Mikko Franck, “I suddenly wanted to play the violin – no idea why. My parents didn’t take me seriously at first. But I kept asking for a year until they were finally so annoyed that they decided: okay, let the boy have his violin and take a few lessons. When I was five, I think I also announced that I wanted to be a violinist and a conductor.”
Mikko Franck did indeed begin his musical training as a violinist: from 1992, he studied violin at the Sibelius Academy in his hometown of Helsinki. In 1995, he also turned to orchestral conducting – under the legendary “conductor-maker” Jorma Panula, who had already led many up-and-coming Finnish conductors to international success. Franck, whose further studies took him to New York, Israel and Sweden, was music director of the Orchestre National de Belgique as well as general music director and artistic director of Finnish National Opera. In addition to his activities there, Mikko Franck has also conducted performances at the Opernhaus Zürich, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and the Royal Opera House in London. He has been a guest conductor several times at the Wiener Staatsoper, where he conducted [La Bohème], [Salome], [Lohengrin], [Tristan und Isolde], [Elektra], [Tosca] and [Die tote Stadt], among others. In September 2015, Franck took over the musical direction of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, with which he toured Europe, China, Japan and South Korea. In addition to his concert activities in Paris, he regularly appears with leading orchestras worldwide, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, where he made his debut in 2003. In September 2017, Franck also became principal guest conductor of the orchestra and chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.