(b Kidderminster, 1943). English conductor. He studied at the RMCM between 1960 and 1963 and for some years worked as a horn player with the Hallé Orchestra and the Bournemouth SO. His career as a conductor became established in 1966 with his appointment as chief conductor and artistic director of the Ulster Orchestra, a post he held for a year. Subsequently he became artistic director of the Northern Ireland Opera Trust (1974–84), director of the Northwest Chamber Orchestra in Seattle (1980–85) and director and artistic adviser of the Overijssels PO in the Netherlands (1985–7). In 1989 Francis was appointed principal conductor of the Berlin SO as well as chief conductor of the North-West German PO. His favoured repertory includes bel canto opera, as well as 20th-century music, especially such composers as Berio and Stockhausen. Among his recordings are Donizetti's Maria Padilla and Ugo, conte di Parigi, Offenbach's Christopher Columbus and Robinson Crusoé, and orchestral works by Milhaud and Pettersson.
Francis, Connie [Franconero, Constance]
(b Newark, NJ, 12 Dec 1938). American singer and actress. She began her career at the age of 12, appearing on the television programme ‘Startime’. She won her first gold record in 1958 with a revival of the 1923 ballad Who’s Sorry Now, and had further successes with a series of such songs, including My Happiness (1958), Among My Souvenirs (1959), Mama (1960), and Together (1961). She also appeared in a number of films, beginning with Where the Boys Are (1960). Francis was one of the most popular performers in the USA during the late 1950s and early 1960s, appealing particularly to teenagers with rock songs such as Stupid Cupid (1958).
‘Dream World’, Newsweek (5 Feb 1962)
C.Francis: Who’s Sorry Now? (New York, 1984)
Francis, Day & Hunter.
English firm of music publishers. It was founded by William and James Francis and David Day in 1877 (as W. & J. Francis and Day, then Francis Brothers & Day); Day had experience in music publishing, and the Francis brothers needed a publisher for the songs they wrote and performed (from 1873) with the Mohawk Minstrels. They were joined by Harry Hunter, songwriter and leader of the Manhattan Minstrels, who sold his interest in 1900. Their first offices were in Oxford Street; in 1897 they moved to Charing Cross Road, becoming the first popular music publishers in the area that became London’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’. They issued music-hall songs, and in 1882 published their first Comic Annual and Dance Album. About 1900 Day formed the Musical Copyright Association to protect the interests of songwriters and their publishers against pirate firms. Members brought the issue of music piracy to national attention; a new Copyright Act resulted (1911), and in 1914 Day helped found the Performing Rights Society.
Francis, Day & Hunter were among the first to publish inexpensive mass-produced editions of songs in sheet form, with at least 25,000 first-print copies at a much lower price than had been possible hitherto. Its most successful publication, however, was William Smallwood’s piano tutor, first published in 1881, which had sold three million copies by the 1950s. The firm opened an office in New York in 1905 (it soon joined with T.B. Harms & Co. and in 1920 with Leo Feist Co.); a Paris office was opened in about 1920, a Berlin office in 1928. After World War I Francis, Day & Hunter became one of the most important publishers of educational, classical and popular music in Great Britain; it had exclusive publishing arrangements with various artists, including Harry Lauder and Leslie Stuart, and its retail department sold music, records and instruments. In 1953 the firm took over B. Feldman & Co., and in 1972 became a subsidiary of EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
C.G. Mortimer: ‘Leading Music Publishers: Francis, Day & Hunter Ltd.’, MO, lxii (1938–9), 470–71
‘The Music Publisher of Tradition: the Francis Brothers and David Day’, MO, lxv (1941–2), 108–9
J. Abbott: The Story of Francis, Day & Hunter (London, 1952)
E. Rogers and M. Hennessey: Tin Pan Alley (London, 1964)
DEANE L. ROOT/PETER WARD JONES
Francis, Sarah (Janet)
(b London, 11 Jan 1938). English oboist. She studied at the RCM with Terence MacDonagh, who decisively influenced her style of playing, and continued her studies in Paris with Pierre Pierlot. From 1961 to 1963 she was principal oboe with the BBC Welsh Orchestra, but has subsequently built her reputation on her refined interpretations of chamber music, particularly 20th-century works and works by lesser-known early 19th-century composers such as Reicha and Kreutzer. Francis made the first commercial recording of Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid and has given numerous British premières, including Koechlin’s Oboe Sonata (1974, London) and Barber’s Canzonetta for oboe and strings (1982, London). Among numerous works dedicated to her are Gordon Jacob’s Seven Bagatelles for solo oboe (1971), Gordon Crosse’s concerto Ariadne (of which she gave the première at the Cheltenham Festival in 1972), William Mathias’s Oboe Concerto (1989) and an oboe quartet by Stephen Dodgson (1994). In 1981 she took over the direction of the London Harpsichord Ensemble from her parents John Francis and Millicent Silver. With this group she has made highly acclaimed recordings of Telemann’s complete concertos for oboe and oboe d’amore. In 1974 Francis became a professor of oboe at the RCM and in 1996 was appointed chairman of the British Double Reed Society.