Francis has received many first prizes in competitions, scholarships and other accolades around New Zealand as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. In 2014 he performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Thomas, and his trio L’Arc-en-Ciel won the National Final of the 2014 NZCT/CMNZ Chamber Music Contest. He was also founding associate principal cello of the Wairua Sinfonietta.
Moving to Australia, Francis was awarded the 2015 Troubadour String Quartet internship, studying with the New Zealand String Quartet, and was a finalist and prizewinner of the NSW Drs Orchestra Instrumental Scholarship. In 2016 Francis received the Sydney Conservatorium’s John Cassim Award for Music for the 2015 academic year. His string quartet, the Pentimento Quartet, was selected for intensive study with Eberhard Feltz (Hochschule Hanns Eisler Berlin), William Coleman (Salzburg Mozarteum), Meesun Hong-Coleman (Concertmaster, Kammerakademie Potsdam), Christian Müller (Hochschule Franz Liszt Weimar) and Wayne Foster-Smith (Hochschule Hanns Eisler Berlin) in the Conservatorio di Verona as part of the Sydney Conservatorium’s Estivo Summer School for Chamber Music.
Francis was a semifinalist in the inaugural Wallace International Cello Competition, and has played in masterclasses with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Philippe Müller, Richard Aaron, Li-Wei Qin and Tamás Varga.