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MIKKO FRANCK is currently Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Orchestre National de Belgique and has recently been appointed General Music Director of the Finnish National Opera, a post he takes up in the 2006/07 season.

Still only in his 20s, Franck has rapidly built up a wide range of both symphonic and operatic repertoire. He first established his credentials with many of Finland's orchestras and now regularly conducts some of the world's greatest orchestras.

Franck began to play the violin at the age of five and entered Helsinki's Sibelius Academy in 1992, subsequently studying in New York, Israel, and Sweden. He began conducting studies in Finland in 1995, privately with Jorma Panula and at the Sibelius Academy.

In recent seasons, Franck has worked with the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, National Orchestra, Berlin Staatskapelle, Super World Orchestra Japan, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, and many others. He has toured Japan with both the Bamberger Symphoniker and the Orchestre National de Belgique, and in May 2002 was artistic director of a Rautavaara Festival with the Helsinki Philharmonic.

Highlights of the 2004/2005 season include concerts with the Munich Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestras.

Franck's recording of Sibelius's En Saga and Lemminkainen Legends with the Swedish Radio Symphony was nominated for a 2001 Grammy Award. Other recent discs include a recording of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony and Rautavaara's opera House of the Sun, both released on the Ondine label.