IMG Artists is proud to announce that Francesco Lecce-Chong has been appointed the fifth Music Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony beginning with the 2018-2019 season.
Lecce-Chong, a San Francisco-born, Boulder, Colorado native, will continue his tenure as Music Director and Conductor of the Eugene Symphony in Oregon, which he has held since the 2017/18 season.
This summer he concludes his position as Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. The 30-year-old conductor has garnered acclaim for his dynamic performances, commitment to innovative programming and passion for community engagement. Lecce-Chong has appeared with orchestras around the world, including the National, Atlanta, Toronto, Milwaukee and St. Louis symphony orchestras and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
President and CEO of the Santa Rosa Symphony, Alan Silow says, “Francesco represents the total package – bringing fresh energy, innovation and a tested commitment to artistic excellence, music education and community engagement.”
Lecce-Chong says, “I am thrilled to join the Santa Rosa Symphony and become a part of its vibrant arts community. The passionate musicians, dedicated staff, engaged board, and enthusiastic patrons have created an enriching environment for music to thrive, so it truly is an honor to be chosen to continue the great legacy of this orchestra. After completing my commitments with the Pittsburgh Symphony this summer, I look forward to sharing my belief in the transformational and community-building power of music with both the Eugene Symphony in Oregon and the Santa Rosa Symphony.”
In October 2017, Lecce-Chong made an instant impression on musicians, patrons, Board and staff with his enthusiasm, talent, drive, warmth, professionalism and good humor. Francesco is eager to focus his energies on fulfilling the Symphony’s mission by providing quality orchestral music to SRS patrons and making their concert-night experience more meaningful with his insightful programming and engaging pre-concert talks. He is also dedicated to reaching the underserved communities in our county and shares the Symphony’s passion for its music education programs.
SRS Board Chairman Jamei Haswell says, “The Board’s vote was unanimous. He has the perfect balance of on-the-podium skills and off-the-podium passion for community outreach and music education. Francesco is an excellent communicator. As Bernstein said, ‘Technique is communication. The two words are synonymous in conductors.’”
SRS Principal Oboe and Music Director Search Committee member Laura Reynolds says, “Francesco is an inspiring presence on the podium, with deep commitment to the craft and a musical sense, or spirit, if you will, that invites players into a collaborative space to create our sound. I very much look forward to working with him!”
Music Director Search Committee chairperson Jim Hinton says, “We chose Francesco because we found excellence, passion and dynamic style in his conducting, a background of superior training and broad musical knowledge, genuine sincerity and humility in his personality, and a respectful and collaborative interaction with our professional musicians.”
“As we welcome Francesco Lecce-Chong, it signals a new era in our organization’s 90-year history. Francesco’s talent and engaging exuberance, combined with his rising international stature, are sure to take our orchestra to new heights and strengthen our position as one of the nation’s leading regional symphony orchestras,” adds Alan Silow.