Francesco Lecce-Chong will make his Colorado Symphony conducting debut at Boettcher Concert Hall this weekend. He stands in on short notice for the orchestra’s Music Director Brett Mitchell who withdrew due to illness. The concerts, on May 25, 26 and 27th, feature Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide” and Serenade (After Plato’s Symposium), the latter with Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams as soloist; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major, “Titan”.
He previously performed with the Colorado Symphony as a pianist, performing Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in 2004.
American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong has garnered acclaim for his dynamic performances, commitment to innovative programming and profound engagement in community outreach. In the 2017-2018 season Mr. Lecce-Chong was appointed Music Director & Conductor of the Eugene Symphony, following in the paths of renowned predecessors including Marin Alsop and Giancarlo Guerrero. In the same season, he became the winning Music Director candidate of the Santa Rosa Symphony, a post he assumes in 2018-2019.
In summer 2018, he concludes his tenure as Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with an all-Brahms program. 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, Mr. 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.
Mr. Lecce-Chong is equally at home with opera repertoire, having built his opera credentials as staff conductor with Santa Fe Opera and conducted Madama Butterfly with the Milwaukee Symphony at the Florentine Opera. In Europe, he took part in masterclasses at the Lucerne Festival under Bernard Haitink as well as with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. He has worked closely with a number of internationally celebrated conductors including David Zinman, Edo de Waart, and Manfred Honeck.
Also trained as a pianist and composer, Mr. Lecce-Chong champions the work of new composers and the need for arts education. As Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO), he curated and presented the works of both active and lesser-known composers, including two works commissioned by the orchestra, as well as two U.S. premieres. He also helped create the first MSO Composer Institute, providing performance opportunities for young American composers. Mr. Lecce-Chong has complemented his programming with a strong commitment to arts education for all ages. In Milwaukee, he provided artistic leadership for the MSO’s nationally lauded Arts in Community Education program–one of the largest arts integration programs in the country. His dedication to connecting orchestras and communities continues in Pittsburgh where he gives preconcert talks, conducts concerts for school audiences, and leads specially designed sensory-friendly performances.
Mr. Lecce-Chong is a native of Boulder, Colorado, where he began conducting at the age of sixteen. He is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music and Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit coloradosymphony.org.