A champion of new music, Franz has conducted numerous world premieres and works by living composers, the ASCAP award winning new music concert series (Louisville Orchestra) and co-hosted In a Different Key, a weekly contemporary music radio program.
A nationally recognized leader of arts education, Franz has forged partnerships with leading arts organizations and educational institutions, and a continuing relationship with Radio Disney. He has received the ASCAP Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming (2001, 2008) and the BPO/ECMEA Music Educators Award for Excellence (2008), created Kentucky Educational Television's Creating Music and Stories program, and participated in Children's Center and Enrichment Center chamber music residencies that provide arts enrichment experiences for disabled persons.
In addition to his post in Houston, Franz currently serves as Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic. Franz served as the Music Director of the Mansfield Symphony (2003-2010), Resident Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic (2005-2009), and Associate Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra (1997-2006). He continues 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 in 1992 as well as his Bachelor of Music degree in oboe performance in 1990 from the North Carolina School of the Arts. He has participated in conducting workshops in the Czech Republic, St. Petersburg (Russia), Nashville and the Festival at Sandpoint, and was a participant in the 1997 National Conductor Preview.
About the Houston Symphony: During the 2012-13 Season, the Houston Symphony will be in its 99th year as one of America's leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. Under the artistic leadership of Hans Graf, the orchestra's longest serving music director, the Symphony has established a reputation for innovative, powerful performances. With its Centennial Celebration on the horizon in 2013-14, the Houston Symphony is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas whose inaugural performance was held at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $28 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians is the largest performing arts organization in Houston, presenting more than 280 concerts for 300,000 people annually. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.