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Francesco Lecce-Chong’s first as SRS Music Director
Francesco Lecce-Chong is Santa Rosa Symphony's new Music Director

Santa Rosa Symphony’s New Music Director
Opens Season with Beethoven’s Fifth

Aug 27, 2018


The first Santa Rosa Symphony concert of the 2018-2019 season --Francesco Lecce-Chong’s first as SRS Music Director -- opens on October 6, 2018, with Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 5. In addition, Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient Arnaud Sussmann joins the orchestra to play Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major. “Passion and Power” begins with Pulitzer-prize-winner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s exuberant Celebration and also includes Sonoma Strong by local composer Paul Dooley, a work commissioned by the Symphony that captures the ordeal of last October’s tragic wildfires and the resilience and strength that arose from it.  All performances are at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. Evening Classical Series performances, Saturday and Monday, have an earlier start time: 7:30 PM. Sunday performances are at 3:00 PM. Francesco Lecce-Chong will be joined by Arnaud Sussmann for the pre-concert talks one hour before performances.

The Santa Rosa Symphony continues its one-for-one ticket offer again for its 91st season. Patrons may request a free youth ticket (for ages 7-17) per each paid adult ticket for any 2018-2019 Classical Series concert. This offer is only available by phone at Patron Services at (707) 546-8742.

New Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong brings fresh ideas, energy and dedication to the Santa Rosa Symphony. He is simultaneously Music Director for the Eugene Symphony Orchestra in Eugene, Ore. He recently concluded his tenure as Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. His previous posts include Principal Conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony under Edo de Waart.

Active as a guest conductor, he has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic and collaborated with renowned soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman. In the coming year, Lecce-Chong makes his subscription debuts with the Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and Xi’An Symphony Orchestra, as well as returns to the Civic Orchestra in Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony.

Lecce-Chong said, “I am thrilled to open the Santa Rosa Symphony’s 2018-19 season, and my first as Music Director, with one of the most iconic works of art ever created, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Even with its enduring popularity, the music continues to surprise its listeners with its sheer force of will and its virtuosity presents musicians with unique challenges at every performance. I look forward to this as the beginning of many exhilarating musical experiences with the Santa Rosa community in the years ahead.”

Violinist Arnaud Sussmann, an Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2006, distinguished himself early on with his unique sound, bravura and profound musicianship. Born in Strasbourg, France, and based now in New York City, Arnaud Sussmann trained at the Conservatoire de Paris and the Juilliard School with Boris Garlitsky and Itzhak Perlman. Winner of several international competitions, including the Andrea Postacchini of Italy and Vatelot/Rampal of France, he was named a Starling Fellow in 2006, an honor which allowed him to be Perlman’s teaching assistant for two years. In September 2015, Sussmann returned to his native France to work closely with violinist Kolja Blacher and the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris for intensive training on the play-direct technique, where he then won First prize of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris’s Paris Play/Direct Academy.

Santa Rosa SymphonyResident Orchestra at the Green Music Center
Santa Rosa Symphony
Administrative Office:
50 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Administration: (707) 546-7097

Patron Services Hours: 
M-F - 9 am – 5:00 pm
W – 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Patron Services: (707) 546-8742


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