Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong earned critical acclaim for his San Francisco Symphony subscription debut. The concerts, on 6 – 8 June, featured works by Mozart, Verdi and Elgar. Soloist David Fray performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491

Joshua Kosman, in The San Francisco Chronicle, writes:

“Francesco Lecce-Chong, the young American conductor…made a first-rate debut with the San Francisco Symphony.

“There was no mistaking the vitality and brilliance of the music-making he drew from members of the San Francisco Symphony. He’s got a firm but flexible rhythmic control that allows him to shepherd an orchestra at top speed without losing a bit of precision, and he can shape big instrumental textures with a robustness and grace that is inspiring to behold. Perhaps best of all, Lecce-Chong seems to be a resourceful and imaginative programmer.

“Lecce-Chong and the orchestra found a musical vein that combined buoyant, potentially overcaffeinated tempos with the clarity of purpose to pull it off. The opening movement of the Mozart ballet music sounded superbly peppy and propulsive.

“Playing the opera’s five ballet movements together in an unbroken stream created the possibility of awkward hairpin curves in the transitions, but Lecce-Chong maneuvered those shifts without breaking a sweat.

“Lecce-Chong’s energetic leadership, which made room as well for interludes of tender lyricism, was a constant source of excitement.”

Francesco Lecce-Chong, Music Director of both the Eugene and Santa Rosa symphonies, has earned acclaim for his dynamic performances combined with a deep commitment to nurturing the art form. Described by critics as a “fast rising talent in the music world” with “the real gift,” he has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic while collaborating with renowned soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman.

In the 18/19 season, Mr. Lecce Chong debuts in subscription with the San Francisco Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic and Xi’An Symphony in China among others, while returning to conduct the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Milwaukee and San Diego Symphonies. The 19/20 season marks his debut with the New York Philharmonic. He is equally at home with opera repertoire, having built his opera credentials as staff conductor with the Santa Fe Opera and conducted Madama Butterfly at the Florentine Opera with the Milwaukee Symphony.

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