Michael Franz joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2022. A native of Burlington, Vermont, he began playing double bass in public school at age 14 before studying with his mentor William Tilley. Mr. Franz is a 2014 graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he received his bachelor's degree in applied double bass and music education. He won the 2016 Doublestop Foundation Competition. In 2018 he completed his master’s degree from Bard College as a member of the inaugural class of the Orchestra Now. From 2018 to 2019, he was a fellow with the New World Symphony.
Before becoming a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Franz performed regularly as a substitute, joining that ensemble on all of its international tours since 2018. From 2020 to 2022 he was principal bass of the Pacific Symphony in Costa Mesa, California, as well as principal bass of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. While living in the Los Angeles area, he also recorded for film and television. In the summer of 2020 he co-founded Block X Block, an eclectic chamber ensemble that performed over 100 socially distanced outdoor concerts in yards and parks around Southern California.
Mr. Franz’s festival appearances have included the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the Moritzburg Festival Academy, and the Bard Music Festival.
A passionate music educator, Mr. Franz has taught in public schools in New York, Florida, and California. In the summers of 2016 and 2017, he coached and performed with string students in Cali, Colombia.
Photo by Asa Maynard