Recently promoted to Resident Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of its summer festival, Concerts in the Garden, Andrés Franco has established himself as a conductor to watch. Scott Cantrell concurred, writing in The Dallas Morning News, that “Mr. Franco displayed striking eloquence; one hopes to hear more from him soon.” Among Mr. Franco’s 2013/14 highlights are debuts with the Sphinx Virtuosi, the Lake Forest and Mississippi symphonies, and re-engagements with the Houston Symphony and the National Symphony of Colombia.
A frequent guest conductor in the U.S., Europe and South America, Andrés Franco has appeared with the Corpus Christi, Elgin, El Paso, Eugene, Fort Worth, Houston, St. Louis, Stockton and Springfield symphony orchestras, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Spain, the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, as well as with the Bogota Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic and EAFIT Symphony Orchestra in Colombia. He has also participated in the Oregon Bach Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Encuentro Internacional de Música de Medellín. He formerly served as Music Director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City (2004-2010) and as Leonard Slatkin’s Assistant Conductor during the Finals of the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Because of his wide range of interests, Andrés Franco has participated in projects as diverse as The Planets: an HD Odyssey, a multimedia concert developed by the Houston Symphony, and Caminos del Inka: a musical journey, a multimedia concert of music and motion graphics inspired by the Inca Trail. He has also collaborated with artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Ben Folds, The Canadian Tenors, Ann Hampton Callaway, Chris Mann, the Gatlin Brothers, Wynonna and Randy Travis.
Also committed to the education of young musicians, Mr. Franco serves as Conductor of the Fort Worth Youth Philharmonic. He has also conducted the Eastern Washington University Symphony and served, during a sabbatical year replacement, as director of the Texas Christian University Symphony Orchestra. In March of 2014 he will conduct the University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra in a special concert at the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, MO.
Born into a musical family, Andrés Franco began piano studies with his father, Jorge Franco. An accomplished pianist, he studied with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jose Feghali and attended piano workshops with Rudolph Buchbinder and Lev Naumov. He studied conducting with Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Helmut Rilling, Gerard Schwarz and Leonard Slatkin. Mr. Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as master of music degrees in Piano Performance and Conducting from Texas Christian University.
Mr. Franco lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife Victoria Luperi, Principal Clarinetist in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
To learn more about Andrés Franco, visit his personal website.