Conductor Candidates

The Santa Rosa Symphony has announced the music director candidates who will be introduced to audiences during the 2017-2018 Santa Rosa Symphony Season, as potential successors to Bruno Ferrandis. These five finalists represent three different nationalities, range in age and embody an extraordinary list of musical accomplishments. View press announcement here.


FRANCESCO LECCE-CHONG - October 7, 8, 9, 2017

American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong has worked with orchestras around the world including engagements with the National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He currently holds the positions of Assistant Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he served as Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Grand Teton Music Festival. Mr. Lecce-Chong has earned a growing reputation and critical acclaim for dynamic, forceful performances, garnering national distinction, including the Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award and The Presser Foundation Music Award. He has been featured in international masterclasses with Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, David Robertson, and Christopher Seaman. READ MORE

MEI-ANN CHEN - November 4, 5, 6, 2017

An innovative and passionate force on and off the conductor’s podium, Taiwan-born Mei-Ann Chen is one of America’s most dynamic young conductors. Music Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011, she also serves as Artistic Director and Conductor for the 2016 National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Orchestra Festival. A sought-after guest conductor, Ms. Chen’s reputation as a compelling communicator has resulted in growing popularity with orchestras both nationally and internationally. Among her honors and awards are being named one of Musical America’s 2015 Top 30 Influencers, and the 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras. Chen served as Music Director of the Memphis Symphony from 2010-2016. READ MORE

ANDREW GRAMS - December 2, 3, 4, 2017

Maestro Andrew Grams has built a reputation for dynamism, technical finesse, and engaging concert experiences. In leading the Elgin Symphony Orchestra as its music director, he has strengthened the organization/community dynamic, and his tenure was recently extended through 2021-2022. He is an active guest conductor, working with major orchestras in North America, Europe, South America, Australia, and Asia.
Grams began violin at age 8 in the Maryland public school system before attending the Baltimore School for the Arts and participating in the National Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Fellowship Program. He won a position in the violin section of the New York City Ballet while enrolled at Juilliard.  He pursued conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music while maintaining his position at NYCB, and in 2007, completed a three-year tenure as assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra under the supervision of music director Franz Welser-Möst. READ MORE

GRAEME JENKINS - January 13, 14, 15, 2018

The English Conductor Graeme Jenkins is renowned for the breadth of his repertoire and experience, particularly in opera. Straight from the Royal College of Music he was appointed Music Director of the Glyndebourne Touring Opera (1986-1991). He was Music Director of the Dallas Opera 1994-2013. Graeme Jenkins is also a Choral and Orchestral conductor, noted for his interpretations of Mozart and Richard Strauss, as well as all the major choral works.
Other Orchestral work has been with most of the major UK orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In the United States, he has worked with the Symphony Orchestras of Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, Minnesota, Utah and San Antonio. READ MORE

MICHAEL CHRISTIE - February 10, 11, 12, 2018

Michael Christie is a thoughtfully innovative conductor, equally at home in the symphonic and opera worlds, who is focused on making the audience experience at his performances entertaining and enlightening.
Christie’s conducting career has included serving as Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony and Brooklyn Philharmonic and as Chief Conductor of the Queensland Orchestra in Australia, as well as guest appearances leading top orchestras around the world. Christie also served as Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival from 2000-2013.
Christie was appointed Music Director of the Minnesota Opera in the 2012-13 season. He recently led the premiere of Paul Moravec’s opera The Shining, and in 2017, he leads the premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs by Mason Bates with Santa Fe Opera. Christie led the Minnesota Opera in the 2011 premiere of Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer-Prize winning Silent NightREAD MORE

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