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Issue 88 | October 2017

The Santa Rosa Symphony begins its 90th Season! And in all that time, there have only been four music directors. Now you can be part of choosing our fifth, from five Music Director Candidates who will lead the orchestra with their hand-crafted programs for the first five concert weekends. 

This CHOICE SEASON also brings five talented, critically-acclaimed pianists, one for each of the first five concert programs, who will each play a popular piano concerto. In the spring we bid a bittersweet au revoir to Bruno Ferrandis after twelve years of inspired and dedicated artistic leadership. In addition to the engaging Classical Series, the Symphony has excellent programs and guest artists for the three-concert Finley Foundation Family Concert Series and the four-concert Pops Series. 

From Beethoven to Bates:  Oct 7, 8, 9

In Francesco Lecce-Chong’s brilliant program, pulsing with energy, you will hear innovation urgently calling in Grammy-nominated Mason Bates’ Garages of the Valley. Bates, a Bay Area resident, is the most performed composer of his time. Bates received accolades for his opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, which debuted this year. San Francisco Chronicle arts critic Joshua Kosman reacted with, "…such breathtaking inventiveness and dramatic power that it feels as if the tradition is being reinvigorated right before your eyes and ears." Garages of the Valley  is a similar tale, depicting the rise of the dot com titans from their Silicon Valley garages.  
Beethoven pushed the boundaries in his day with his soulful Third Piano Concerto, which provides breathtaking solo lines for what the Washington Post calls guest artist Joyce Yang’s “agility, balance and velocity.” Finally, Tchaikovsky’s stirring Symphony No. 4 moves from gloom to melancholy, through slow recovery to life-affirming energy. These works, all testaments to hard-won victory over challenges and adversity, will surely inspire and invigorate. 

Joyce Yang, as the youngest 2005 Cliburn contestant at 19, won a silver medal and took home the Steven De Groote Memorial Award for Best Performance of Chamber Music and the Beverley Taylor Smith Award for Best Performance of a New Work. She solos with the world’s top orchestras and chamber musicians.
Enhance your experience by attending a series overview presentation with Kayleen Asbo or watching a video specifically about this concert. See details in the Kayleen Asbo article below.



It’s not too late to become a subscriber. Save over single ticket prices and enjoy many special subscriber benefits. Learn more and get your season subscription now!
Want to see the full season brochure? Visit the website and browse through our virtual brochure anytime.

Music Director Candidate Francesco Lecce-Chong

Francesco Lecce-Chong is Music Director for the Eugene Symphony as well as Associate Conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony. He is winner of the Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award and The Presser Foundation Music Award, was appointed as Music Director and Conductor of the Eugene Symphony in Oregon in April of this year and promoted to Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra this summer. While at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, he helped create the first MSO Composer Institute.
Lecce-Chong says he’s "thrilled with the prospect of joining an orchestra with such a rich history of artistic excellence that is fully committed to serving and enriching its community through music."

You can "meet" Lecce-Chong and all the Candidates by watching a short film in which they each introduce themselves.

Candidate search – your opinion matters!

Just following each of the first five concert sets (Oct – Feb), patrons who attended the concert will receive an email with a link to a survey to provide experiential feedback, which will inform the Music Director Selection committee as they make that final decision between the five highly-qualified, extremely talented candidates. Please take the time to let the Symphony know your impressions. 

Joyce Yang CDs in GMC lobby

Get CDs of critically-acclaimed Joyce Yang in the GMC lobby for "From Beethoven to Bates." CDs are $20 each. Joyce will be on hand to sign during intermission.


Kayleen Asbo, SRS Musical Historian

Videos, presentations (Oct. 3 & 4) and Candidate interviews

 Photo credit: Rosalie Abbott

Ushered back by popular demand, local musicologist and lecturer Kayleen Asbo returns with engaging videos on the first five concert sets, season preview presentations and interviews with the Music Director Candidates.
You won’t want to miss the concert-specific videos, featuring Kayleen, about each of the first five concerts. Kayleen brings insights from her rich background as a pianist, composer and cultural historian, to enrich the concert experience for all patrons, regardless of their familiarity with the programs’ works. 

For a sneak peek at the season's first five concert weekends, watch a brief video overview in which Kayleen describes the Conductor Candidate portion of the season (October through February) and the Music Director search process. 
In addition, one hour prior to each of the performances in the first five concert weekends, Kayleen will interview each Music Director Candidate about what drew them to the SRS Music Director position, their background and the program they are presenting. There will also be an opportunity for Q & A with the Candidate. These Concert Conversations are general seating and free to ticket holders.
Sign up now for the Santa Rosa Symphony season previews with Kayleen to deepen your understanding and appreciation of the rich programming for the Symphony’s 90th Anniversary on October 3 and 4. The October 3 talk will be held at Church of the Incarnation, 550 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa. Kayleen will repeat the presentation on October 4 at Petaluma Historical Library and Museum, 20 4th St, Petaluma. The Symphony is very grateful to Church of the Incarnation and the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum for so graciously hosting these events. Reserve your tickets online or by calling Patron Services at (707) 546-8742 for this free lecture.
Want to learn more? Kayleen also offers a series of classes entitled Musical Mondays, in which she presents the evolution of Classical Music, tying in with the Symphony’s Classical season. Sign up for these through Kayleen’s website.

Creature Features Oct 29

begins Finley Foundation Family Concert Series 

The first Finley Foundation Family Concert Series concert, “Creature Features,” featuring treasured classics depicting real and fantastical animals will delight an all-age audience on October 29, 2017 at 3 pm. Richard Loheyde leads the orchestra in animal-themed music, primarily from 20th century musicals and movies, dramatically supported by Roustabout Theater, which will especially engage young children.

From Ludwig van Beethoven’s The Creatures of Prometheus Overture and Sergei Prokofiev’s “Wolf Theme” from Peter and the Wolf to more current favorites such as John Williams’ Theme from Jurassic Park and “Main Title" from the Star Wars Saga, there are treasured classics which appeal to all ages. Enjoy the rich, full sound of these favorites live, with a full orchestra and the playful antics of Roustabout Theater.

Trade in the overpriced movie popcorn for a memorable family concert with free petting zoo and photo booth!

Free pre-concert fun begins at 2 pm. Children are invited to learn about, handle and play instruments in the Instrument Petting Zoo, which is supervised by the Education Department, SRS Youth Ensemble members and parent volunteers. Children may dress up as their favorite animal or creature and have their photo taken in the free photo booth. Costumes are optional, but the photo booth is always a hit with young and old alike.

Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for children 12 and younger. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket. Performance is in Weill Hall, Green Music Center.


What a Wonderful World – with Symphony Pops in it!

The Symphony Pops Series is filled with incredible programming and talent, with Maestro Michael Berkowitz conducting. We’re starting the season with the timeless, feel-good music of Louis Armstrong!
What a Wonderful World: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong
October 22, 2017
Byron Stripling, trumpet/vocals
A Holly Jolly Pops
December 10, 2017
Tina Lloyd Meals, Jonathon Poretz, vocals
Roustabout Theater, Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus
Symphonic Surfin’ Safari
February 18, 2018
Featuring Papa Doo Run Run
Love, Lust and Rock ‘n’ Roll
April 22, 2018
Storm Large, vocals
All performances at Luther Burbank Center on Sunday afternoons at 3 pm.
Pops tickets may be purchased from the Luther Burbank Center Box Office at (707) 546-3600.




Restaurant deals for subscribers

Subscribers to the Santa Rosa Symphony Classical Series receive a special Restaurant Discount Card each season. The restaurants listed on the card provide a special discount just for Santa Rosa Symphony subscribers, which might be a “buy one get one,” or a percentage off.
The Symphony thanks the following restaurants for participating in the Symphony Restaurant Discount Card from September 2017 through August 2018:

Bacchus Restaurant & Wine Bar , Bistro 29, Cafe Zazzle, Criminal Bakery Company, East West Café-Sebastopol, El Coqui Puerto Rican Cuisine, Graffiti, La Vera Pizza, Luma, (New!) Main Street Bistro Piano Bar & Cabaret, Shangri-La Cafe & Grill, Shuffle’s Magical Ice Cream Shoppe, Sky Lounge Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, (New!) Sprenger’s Tap Room, The Spinster Sisters, Willie Bird’s Restaurant, Yeti Restaurant and Zazu Kitchen and Farm.         


Young musicians eagerly begin new season 

  • Simply Strings has 100 musicians this year, in grades two through six.
  • “She absolutely lights up with joy while she plays and shows and tells me about all that she has learned and is learning,” reports the parent of a new String Orchestra Workshop member.
  • The 40 musicians in Preparatory Orchestra are excited to perform in Napa, side-by-side, with Napa Valley Youth Symphony.
  • Repertory Orchestra – 60-strong – is enjoying guest conductor, Dana Sadava.
  • Young People’s Chamber Orchestra will perform at the Fountaingrove Lodge in October.
  • Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra 70 musicians prepare for a spectacular year, which kicked off at a weekend retreat in Occidental and ends with a tour to Salzburg, Vienna and Budapest.


Adopt a young musician...

From October 16 to November 19, all Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Ensembles are holding a Practice-a-Thon fundraiser. We are asking members to practice as much as possible during this time. Each musician will obtain sponsors to pledge a certain amount of money per hour for every hour the member practices his or her instrument. Call the Education Department at 707-546-7097 x220 to adopt a young musician and become a sponsor.


Subscribers have more rewards than ever before 

The Santa Rosa Symphony has increased the benefits for Full Series Subscribers! Now, 7-Concert Series Subscribers may purchase additional single tickets at a15% discount all season long, request two complimentary tickets to one SRS Youth Orchestra concert at Weill Hall and have ticket fees waived for any additional single tickets they may purchase. The complete list of benefits can be found on the SRS website, where you can also find a complete description of the many packages, each suited to different needs and schedules. You can even flip through the season brochure. If you’re not already a subscriber, call Patron Services at (707) 546-8742, Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm (after 10:30 on Wednesdays), and they will happily discuss which package will work best for you.

Symphony awarded California Arts Council grant

California Arts Council announced this year that it will award $14,400 to the Symphony through its Artists in Schools – Exposure program.
The grant will support It’s Elementary, which provides a comprehensive suite of free music education programs to thousands of underserved children, incorporating Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards into a curriculum of daily listening and response, multiple school assemblies, regular instrumental training, professional development for teachers, and a field trip to an orchestra concert in the world-class Weill Hall.
"We know the benefits of arts education—to improve test performance, reduce dropout rates and increase participation in higher learning," said Donn K. Harris, California Arts Council Chair, in a news release. "It’s Elementary, through our Artists in Schools – Exposure program, allows students to step outside the classroom for real-life arts immersion. Opportunities like these help fuel the fire and drive necessary within our youth to prepare them for success in school, in the workforce, and in their communities."

D'Addario Foundation is Simply Strings' newest supporter

The Symphony is excited to welcome the support of a new donor, the D'Addario Foundation, which recently awarded a $1,500 grant to Simply Strings.
Inspired by Venezuela's transformative El Sistema initiative, the Symphony's after-school instrument training and social development program is now in its fifth year at Sheppard Accelerated Elementary in Roseland—and is projected to reach 100 underserved students during the 2017-2018 school year.
The help of community leaders like the D'Addario Foundation has been essential to Simply Strings' rapid evolution from a pilot program to a permanent one that enjoys the unwavering support of Symphony leadership, participants’ families, and school staff. In addition to now offering viola, cello and bass classes on top of violin instruction, Simply Strings recently extended its commitment to each of its students to seven years (from the previous five-year program), serving them grades 2–8 in order to mitigate exposure to at-risk behaviors during the vulnerable middle school years.

Thank you to our Hotel and Restaurant Partners The Symphony gratefully acknowledges the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Sonoma Wine Country as its exclusive hotel partner for hosting our guest artists for 2017-2018. We value this continuing partnership.


Santa Rosa Symphony,  50 Santa Rosa Ave, Suite 410, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Patron Services  54-MUSIC (707) 546-8742 Hours: M-F 9 am - 5 pm; W 10:30 am - 5 pm

Programs, pricing and artists subject to change.

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Contact Us

Santa Rosa Symphony
Administrative Office:
50 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Administration: (707) 546-7097

Patron Services Hours: 
M-F - 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
W – 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed Saturdays & Sundays
Patron Services: (707) 546-8742