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Resident Orchestra at the Green Music Center

SRS @ Home - May 16


This concert is available for viewing here on the SRS website, but for a more enriching experience, watch it on the Santa Rosa Symphony YouTube channel on your smart TV, computer or other device. Please visit our Ways to Watch page well in advance, so you'll be ready on concert day. YouTube users find they can navigate back to the channel more easily by clicking on "subscribe." They also find it helpful to click on the bell icon to receive notifications of new content.  View instructions here.

Please note: Dates, program and artists are subject to change.

Season Subscribers please note: On May 19, you will receive a special access link to watch the concert for up to 30 days. So, if you missed the premiere, or just want to watch it again, look for an email with your special access link.


This performance will be recorded on May 1, 2021 at Weill Hall at the Green Music Center.

Conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong
Artistic partner, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
Elizabeth Dorman, piano


ROSSINI: Overture to Il signor Bruschino
MICHAEL DAUGHERTY: Asclepius, Fanfare for Brass and Percussion
ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH: Peanuts® Gallery for Piano and Orchestra
PAUL DOOLEY: Sonoma Strong
HAYDN: Symphony No. 45, Farewell

May Concert Program Flipbook coming soon!

The Extras

  • Pre-concert talk with Francesco, live on YouTube one hour prior to the concert.

  • During the concert, the camera crew take you closer than ever before to Francesco and the musicians, and orchestra members introduce the works. 

  • Stay tuned immediately after the performance for a Q & A with Francesco ans SRS musicians.

Exclusive Symphony Season Ticket Subscriber Benefits!

To acknowledge the support of Symphony season subscribers, please read below for some new benefits, available only to you.

Only Season Ticket Subscribers will have the opportunity to re-watch the above virtual concerts, whenever they want, up to 30 days after the Live Stream dates on YouTube.

Only Season Ticket Subscribers will receive exclusive access to guest artist recitals and concert conversations with Francesco on YouTube.

Exclusive access link to view the 2012 historic Orchestral Opening concert of Weill Hall  Soon, all subscribers will receive an exclusive access link to watch the 2012 Orchestral Opening Concert of the Green Music Center on the Symphony’s YouTube Channel. This celebratory extravaganza featured Bruno Ferrandis and Corrick Brown conducting, plus Jeffrey Kahane performing on piano. The palpable excitement will move you to your feet. Relive that momentous event, or view it for the very first time. 

May 9, 2021 on YouTube—Symphony Season Subscriber Exclusive Access
Julian Rhee, pianoin Recital and In Conversation with Francesco Lecce-Chong
JOHANNES BRAHMS: Sonatensatz (Scherzo) in C minor for Violin and Piano, F-A-E Sonata               
FRANZ SCHUBERT: Rondo in B minor for Violin and Piano, D. 895, Rondo Brillant (Adagio – Allegro giusto)
FRANZ RIES: La Capricciosa for Violin and Piano

Julian Rhee underwritten by Sigmund Anderman, In memory of Susan Anderman


Information for 2020-2021 Season Ticket Holders

We understand that you purchased tickets for live concerts, but we are very excited for you join us on this virtual journey, experiencing a season like no other. Your subscription tickets are your access to Santa Rosa Symphony orchestral virtual concerts, special virtual soloist recitals and more! If access to these virtual performances is not possible, the SRS kindly asks that you convert your tickets to a donation, before January 15, which will allow us to sustain our ability to bring great musical performances to our community and music education programs to 30,000 young people annually. Thank you for your support and commitment—we are truly grateful. Please contact SRS Patron Services at (707) 546-8742 or by email. Symphony staff, working from home, continue to monitor voicemails, email and mail.


Ways to Watch

SRS @ Home Series will be available to watch on YouTube. Visit our Ways to Watch page for specific guides for viewing on a variety of devices. We highly recommend doing all the prep work at least a few days in advance of the event or concert. That way, the day of, you'll be ready to watch. Click here for Ways to Watch.

Concert Sponsors

Classical Concert Series underwritten by Sara and Edward Kozel, in memory of Laura Tietz
SRS @ Home Series Lead Sponsor – Charles M. Schulz Museum, dedicated to the Peanuts Creator
SRS @ Home Series Supporting Sponsor – Victor and Karen Trione
SRS @ Home Series Supporting Sponsor – The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
SRS @ Home Supporting Sponsor – County of Sonoma – Board of Supervisors
Concert Sponsor: Viking Cruises
Supporting sponsor: The E. Nakamichi Foundation 
Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust
Pre-Concert Talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Media Sponsor: The Press Democrat


May 2021 Program Notes by Elizabeth Schwartz
Overture to Il signor Bruschino
COMPOSER: born February 29, 1792, Pesaro, Italy; died November 13, Passy, France
WORLD PREMIERE: The complete opera Il signor Bruschino premiered January 27, 1813, at the Teatro del San Moisè in Venice
INSTRUMENTATION: flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bassoon, 2 horns and strings
Il signor Bruschino epitomizes the best of Gioachino Rossini’s farse (farce) operas. The complexities of its plot defy easy summary, but Rossini managed to incorporate wit, comedic effects and occasional forays into sentimentality into a tight one-act opera. Farses were popular mainstays of the Venice stage in the early 1800s. They featured a cast of five to eight singers, always including a pair of lovers and at least two comic roles. Farse relied heavily on visual comedy, frequently improvised by the performers on the spot. Characters were often associated with a signature phrase that became their verbal calling card; in Il signor Bruschino, the title character complains incessantly, “Oh, it’s so hot!”
As is the case with many operas, today Il signor Bruschino is known best for its overture, which is more often performed in orchestral concerts than the complete opera. Rossini, possessed of great wit in his own right, puts the audience on notice almost immediately with a then-innovative effect. Just after the slow introduction, the strings solemnly tap their bows on their music stands (in Rossini’s time, the score indicated the players tap the candle holders attached to their stands). While Rossini left no clue as to any possible narrative or musical meaning in this tapping, it becomes the musical centerpiece, repeating several times throughout the five-minute overture.
Asclepius, Fanfare for Brass and Percussion
COMPOSER: born April 28, 1954, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
WORK COMPOSED: 1997. Commissioned by Dr. Cyrus Farrehi for the grand opening of the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center.
WORLD PREMIERE: Emily Threinen led the CVC Brass and Percussion Ensemble at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center on June 7, 2007.
INSTRUMENTATION: 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, brake drum, chimes, crash cymbals, suspended cymbals and glockenspiel
Multiple Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty has been praised by The Times (London) as “a master icon maker” with a “maverick imagination, fearless structural sense, and meticulous ear.” His orchestral music, recorded by Naxos, has received six Grammy Awards, including Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2011 for Deus ex Machina for Piano and Orchestra, and in 2017 for Tales of Hemingway for Cello and Orchestra. Recent commissions include new orchestral works for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony and a concerto for violinist Anne Akiko Meyers.
Daugherty first came to international attention when the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, led by David Zinman, performed his Metropolis Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1994. Since then, Daugherty’s work has become an important component of orchestral, band and chamber music repertory. The League of American Orchestras ranks Daugherty as one of the 10 most performed living American composers.
Daugherty’s music combines the eclectic influences of jazz pianist/composer Gil Evans and classical avant-garde composer György Ligeti with the hyperbolic, Technicolor qualities of American pop culture. Among Daugherty’s compositions are homages to Superman comics, Elvis Presley, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and Liberace.
Asclepius Fanfare for Brass and Percussion was written for the CVC Brass and Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Emily Threinen,” writes Daugherty. “The title refers to Asclepius [pronunciation: as-klee’-pee-uhs], the Greek god of medicine. Using the pulse of a beating heart as a musical metaphor, the majestic fanfare celebrates men and women who devote their lives to the noble cause of medical research and healing.” The “beating heart” runs continuously through Asclepius, while the brilliant timbres of the brasses, chimes and glockenspiel deliver a vibrant series of themes that capture the cutting-edge excitement of scientific and medical breakthroughs.
Peanuts® Gallery for Piano and Orchestra
COMPOSER: born April 30, 1939, Miami, Florida
WORK COMPOSED: The Carnegie Hall Corporation commissioned Peanuts Gallery® for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Zwilich dedicated it “to Charles M. ‘Sparky’ Schulz, in hopes that it will give him a small measure of the pleasure that his Peanuts® characters have given all of us.”
WORLD PREMIERE: Pianist Albert Kim and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra gave the first performance at Carnegie Hall on March 22, 1997.
INSTRUMENTATION: solo piano, flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, bass drum, hi-hat, snare drum, suspended cymbals, tom-toms and strings
In the summer of 1990, while watching PBS’ MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour one evening, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, creator of the beloved Peanuts® comic strip, saw a profile of composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Intrigued, he began immersing himself in her music and soon became a fan. Later that year, Schulz featured Zwilich’s music in a strip in which Peppermint Patty and Marcie attend a performance of her flute concerto. Zwilich, who did not know of Schulz’ interest in her work beforehand, saw the comic and reached out to thank him; thus began a friendship that lasted until Schulz’ death in February 2000.
In 1995, the Carnegie Hall Corporation named Zwilich to their newly-created position of Composer’s Chair. During her tenure, the CHC asked Zwilich to write a work for children. She immediately thought of basing it on Schulz’ Peanuts characters, and when she proposed the idea to him, Schulz was charmed.
Zwilich and Schulz’ mutual admiration comes together in this delightful work. “I had no trouble finding the music because they are such clear characters,” Zwilich said. “I really feel like I know them.” Both the music and the comic find inspiration in children and their clear-eyed perspective on the world, but both creations also appeal to people of all ages, adults and children alike. Zwilich’s music treats each character with respect and insight. The music is by turns thoughtful, wise, stormy, ebullient, melancholy, furious, joyful and always engaging, like the characters themselves.
Zwilich provided her own notes, in the form of a letter addressed to the whole Peanuts® gang:
“Dear Peanuts®,
I have written some music for and about you.
FOR SCHROEDER: Schroeder’s Beethoven Fantasy is based on a few bars of a piece you play on your toy piano (Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata). Since you love Beethoven so much, I imagine you improvising and creating a new piece (a fantasy) on Beethoven's music.
FOR LINUS: It seems that naptime is never far from your mind, or, at least, that you’re always prepared with your blanket, so here’s Lullaby for Linus just for you.
FOR SNOOPY: I think you're really cool, and I know you like to dance, so get your paws in gear for a hot-blooded Brazilian whirl in Snoopy Does the Samba.
FOR CHARLIE BROWN, for all those times when life causes you to cry ‘Good Grief!’ a rather wistful, but not terribly sad Charlie Brown’s Lament.
FOR LUCY, who can go from perfectly calm to absolutely wild in a single cartoon frame: Lucy Freaks Out. (I hope you can hold your composure during this concert).
FOR PEPPERMINT PATTY AND MARCIE, with thanks for encouraging me in my work (‘Good Going, Ellen!’) and because you're such good campers: Peppermint Patty and Marcie Lead the Parade. Yes Sir!”
Paul Dooley
Sonoma Strong for Chamber Orchestra
COMPOSER: born December 22, 1983, Santa Rosa, California
WORK COMPOSED: 2018. Commissioned by the Santa Rosa Symphony to mark the devastating wildfires of 2017.
INSTRUMENTATION: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, timpani, glockenspiel, vibraphone, bass drum, bongos, suspended cymbal, triangle, crotales, harp, 22 whirlies and strings.
Paul Dooley is one of the most prolific and performed composers in America today. His path has embraced not only his Western Classical heritage, but also a cross-cultural range of contemporary music, dance, art, technology and the interactions between the human and natural worlds. His music has been described as “impressive and beautiful” by American composer Steve Reich.
A native of Santa Rosa, Dooley began his musical life listening to Beethoven, Bruce Hornsby, Nirvana, and Rush, and started composing his own music at age 12. Dooley received his undergraduate degrees in mathematics and music composition at the University of Southern California, where he studied with Frank Ticheli and Stephen Hartke. Dooley went on to earn his master’s and doctoral degrees in composition at the University of Michigan, where he worked with fellow composers Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng and Evan Chambers. In 2013, Dooley himself joined Michigan’s music faculty, where he teaches composition.
The devastating wildfires of 2017 inspired Dooley’s Sonoma Strong, which was commissioned and premiered by the Santa Rosa Symphony in 2018. Dooley writes, “The music commemorates the impact of and recovery from the wildfires in Sonoma County in October 2017. I am honored to receive this commission from my hometown orchestra. As a high school student, I was fortunate to attend many SRS concerts, as well as sing in the orchestra chorus several times. SRS clarinetist Mark Wardlaw was an important mentor while I attended Santa Rosa High School.
“Experiencing the fire from out of state, I was able to empathize with the city by closely following the media coverage of Fountain Grove, Coffey Park, Mark West Springs, Calistoga, Sonoma, Larkfield, and Oakmont. I was able to help by relaying phone calls from and back into Santa Rosa.
Sonoma Strong is presented in two parts: Part 1 is reflective – the percussionists [and strings] play [whirlies] which create a beautiful sustained tone.” Dooley explains that he included the whirlies to “capture some of the wind and some of the energy” of the fires. A whirly consists of a large flexible tuned tube, which creates an eerie whistling sound when swung overhead. “The swirling of the whirlies sort of looks a little bit like a siren; it can kind of evoke that feeling,” says Dooley. “But it’s also a very beautiful sound. . . . The first entrance of the woodwinds signals the beginning of Part 2, which expresses hope and rebirth and builds to a heroic climax.”
In choosing Sonoma Strong for the closing concert of this unprecedented COVID season, Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong observes, “I think Sonoma Strong was always about something even bigger than our recovery from the horrific wildfires. It is a work that celebrates the strength of our community. Paul created a piece that focuses on our collective resiliency and creative capacity in the midst of tragedy. The support and commitment of our community to the arts has helped the Santa Rosa Symphony innovate and thrive during the pandemic, bringing the restorative power of music to all. I cannot think of a more perfect work to sum up our gratitude and hope as we complete this most unusual season of music.”
Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp minor, Hob. 1:45, Farewell
COMPOSER: born March 31, 1732, Rohrau, Lower Austria; died May 31, 1809, Vienna
WORK COMPOSED: Autumn 1772
WORLD PREMIERE: Autumn 1772 at Eszterháza
INSTRUMENTATION: 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horns and strings
What’s in a name? Most nicknames for classical compositions have little or nothing to do with their authors. Sometimes an enterprising music publisher will add a nickname, as with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, in hopes of boosting sales. Many of Franz Joseph Haydn’s best-known symphonies bear interesting monikers: Surprise, The Clock, Miracle, Il Distratto.” Some of these nicknames refer to the musical content – we can clearly hear the ticking of a clock in the second movement of Haydn’s Clock Symphony, for example – while others like the Paris and London symphonies indicate the cities where they were first performed.
Haydn’s playful wit often found its way into his music, and there is no better example than in the Farewell symphony. In the summer of 1772, Haydn’s patron, Prince Nicholas Eszterházy, relocated his family and court to his country home, Eszterháza. Unlike previous summers, however, this particular year the Prince refused to allow any of the musicians’ families to accompany them. As the summer wore on, the musicians counted the days until they could return to their wives and children in Eisenstadt. By the autumn of 1772, the Prince indicated he intended to remain in the country for a few more months, and the musicians grew frantic. At his players’ request, Haydn included a pointed message to the Prince in the closing Presto–Adagio of his 45th symphony. As the movement unfolds, Haydn incorporated a clear “farewell” into each musician’s score: He stopped writing individual parts (Haydn wrote the words “No more” at the end of each player’s music). As their music ran out, each instrumentalist extinguished the candles on his music stand and exited the stage one at a time, until only Haydn and his concertmaster Luigi Tomasini were left playing a rather forlorn duet.
Prince Nicholas had a robust sense of humor himself; according to the story, the Prince said, “If they are all going, so too must we.” The next day, the court returned to Eisenstadt.
The Finale of Symphony No. 45 is a delicious visual and aural joke for both players and audience, but the preceding movements are full of interesting moments as well. Haydn’s choice of F-sharp minor as the home key for this symphony hints at the unusual nature of this music. (In the 18th century, difficulties related to tuning made F-sharp minor a problematic key for all but the best musicians.) Haydn’s orchestra at Eszterháza was made up of first-rate players, as Haydn’s choice of F-sharp minor indicates.
The agitated quality of the Allegro assai, with its relentlessly propulsive forward motion and its series of almost angry outbursts demonstrates Haydn’s mastery of the Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) aesthetic style popular in German literature and music of the mid-18th century. Sturm und Drang provided a dramatic contrast to the evenly balanced phrases typical of many Classical-era works, and Haydn used it effectively in the outer movements of the Farewell Symphony, especially when juxtaposed against the elegant refinement of the Adagio and Menuet-Trio.
© 2021 Elizabeth Schwartz


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ATTENTION: Symphony offices are currently closed due to COVID-19. Symphony staff, working from home, continue to monitor voicemails, email and mail.

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