IMG Artists is delighted to announce that American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong has joined the company for Worldwide General Management. Mr Lecce-Chong will be represented by Vice President & Artist Manager Linda Petrikova from the company’s New York office.
The 30-year old Curtis graduate has recently been named Music Director of Oregon’s Eugene Symphony, following in the path of such predecessors as Marin Alsop and Giancarlo Guerrero. His appointment has been welcome by audiences and press alike: “Lecce-Chong has the real gift. He’s going to be a fast-rising talent in the music world,” commented Oregon Arts Watch.
A captivating presence on the podium, Mr. Lecce-Chong has earned acclaim for his dynamic performances, commitment to innovative programming, and passion for community engagement. In addition to his role with Eugene, which began this season, he is Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has led orchestras around the world including the National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic. Equally comfortable with opera repertoire, Mr. Lecce-Chong recently led productions of Madama Butterfly, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Die Fledermaus, and was a previous staff conductor at Santa Fe Opera. Among his conducting mentors are Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, Edo de Waart and Manfred Honeck.
Mr. Lecce-Chong says: “It is an honor to join IMG Artist’s prestigious roster and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Linda Petrikova. I know I will benefit greatly from her expertise and am very excited to be working together.”
Linda Petrikova adds: “The excitement Francesco has already been able to generate within the community as the newly appointed Music Director of the Eugene Symphony is palpable. I very much look forward to working with a musician who is not only unusually talented but serious about music-making, passionate about outreach, adventurous in programming and has charisma to spare on-stage and off.
A native of Boulder, Colorado, Mr. Lecce-Chong began conducting at age sixteen. He is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller. As Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO, 2011 – 2015), he was a champion of the work of new composers and arts education. During his tenure at MSO, he created the MSO Composer Institute, providing performance opportunities for young American composers; presented two works commissioned for the orchestra; and provided artistic leadership for the MSO’s nationally lauded Arts in Communication Education program. His dedication to community engagement extends to Pittsburg where he gives preconcert talks, conducts concerts for school audiences, and leads specially designed sensory-friendly performances.