Personality Test: Andres Franco
Life is coming back together in an important way for Andres Franco, the Pittsburgh Symphony's assistant conductor who began here in September 2015.
He lives Downtown, a six-minute walk from Heinz Hall, but his wife, Victoria Luperi, has remained in Fort Worth, Texas, where she's been principal clarinet of the symphony. It's just been announced that she won the associate principal clarinet chair with the Pittsburgh Symphony starting with the 2016-17 season.
Franco grew up in Medellin, Colombia, where despite the notorious drug cartels he was able to live a relatively normal life. He began by studying piano with his father and, after earning undergraduate and graduate degrees, has enjoyed success as a young conductor.
The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:
Antonio Banderas or Gael García Bernal, I think they would get the accent almost right.
Childhood hero and why:
Spiderman. I loved climbing trees. I wanted to be able to climb buildings too.
The superpower I wish I had in real life and why:
Teleportation. I love traveling but sometimes there is just not enough time.
Whatsapp. I have family in Colombia, Argentina and Germany, and friends all over the world. I love staying in touch with them.
Favorite ethnic food:
Street tacos (the more authentic, the better!)
The song I want played at my funeral:
Bach: Sarabande from Cello Suite in C minor
My favorite cable channel:
I cancelled my cable subscription a couple of years ago and decided to use streaming services instead. I have been so busy lately that I haven't even been able to finish watching the last seasons of “Downton Abbey” or “House of Cards.”
I spend the most time on: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Other / None:
Facebook, trying to cut down the amount of time (and succeeding so far).
Favorite guilty pleasure:
Show I have or want to binge watch:
“Mozart in the Jungle” (have)
Place I'd most like to visit:
What dessert matches your personality?
Pick one: Pirates / Penguins / Steelers / Other / I hate sports:
Pirates! I recently attended my first professional baseball game in the U.S., at PNC Park and loved it. Our dog even has a Pirates outfit now.
The movie that always makes me cry:
The last scene of Charlie Chaplin's “City Lights.” I recently conducted it with a live performance of the score, and even after watching it more than 50 times in preparation, it still gets me.
The most dangerous thing I've ever done:
It wasn't dangerous, just a bit risky: I proposed marriage to my wife after six weeks of dating. I didn't get slapped, and got married 10 days after. We just celebrated our 8th anniversary.
Best vacation ever:
My honeymoon. My wife Victoria and I went to Cartagena, a city in the Colombian Caribbean coast. We stayed at a cloister that is now a hotel. It's a magical place.
My first job:
Teaching piano my first semester of college. One of my teachers asked me to sub for him, and ended up quitting. I was 17 and it was terrifying.
Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:
Heinz Hall, I love my “office.” I also love the fact that Pittsburgh has a world-class concert hall and a world-class orchestra.
Overused phrase you hate most?
We've always done it this way.
People would be surprised to know that I:
Was a heavy metal fan when I was a teenager.