As Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic, Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony and Music Director of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Opera and Orchestra, Robert Franz’s appeal as a first-rate conductor and enthusiastic award-winning educator is acclaimed by critics, composers and audiences of all ages.
In increasing demand as a guest conductor, his recent and upcoming guest conducting highlights include debuts with the Baltimore Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, and his Canadian debut with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.
Now in his fifth season as Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic, Franz continues to make great strides in reaching out to the community with collaborations and world-class guest artists. Under his leadership, the Boise Philharmonic has established a highly regarded composer in residence program with Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon, Shulamit Ran and Lawrence Dillon. He has led the Orchestra in numerous world premieres and works by these composers and other others, including Jake Heggie and David Earnest, and increased the size and diversity of audiences through expanded programming and partnerships with many of the leading arts organizations in Boise.
As Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Robert Franz leads the Symphony in a broad range of creative educational and family concerts, and has established a continuing relationship with Radio Disney. His concerts have reached over 72,000 audience members of all ages as he travels to various venues throughout the State of Texas. In 2012, Franz began his tenure as Music Director of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Opera and Orchestra.
ASCAP has recognized Franz on two occasions for his advocacy in arts education. Under his direction, both the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008 and the Louisville Orchestra in 2001 were awarded the Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming. He has addressed the Idaho Legislature on the importance of music in education and authored his first children’s book with a CD entitled Stella’s Magical Musical Tour of America.
In addition to his current posts, Franz served as the Music Director of the Mansfield Symphony in Ohio from 2003-2010, Resident Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic from 2005-2009, and Associate Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra from 1997-2006. He has also led the Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony, the Louisville Youth Orchestra and the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony. He continues to serve as Music Director Emeritus of the Carolina Chamber Symphony, an orchestra that he founded, and provides educational programming workshops at the National Repertory Orchestra during the summer.
Franz received his Master of Music degree in conducting from the North Carolina School of the Arts and his Bachelor of Music degree in oboe performance from that same institution.
For more information, please visit his website at www.robertfranz.com.