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Issue 95 | May 2018
The Symphony had so much going on in April with the announcement of our new Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, his whirlwind of appearances during his three-day visit  – all while preparing for Bruno's final concert and "Merci Beaucoup, Maestro!" receptions. As subscription renewals begin, we will pause for a moment on Wednesday, April 25, the day of the Symphony's first concert in 1928 to celebrate our 90th birthday. It's Santa Rosa Symphony Day. Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey so proclaimed!

The coming season is so full of musical goodness! Read what Diane Peterson has to say about it in The Press Democrat. If you are not a subscriber and can't wait to see the new brochure, you can browse through it online now. We look forward to spending the 2018-2019 season with you, Francesco, Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis and Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane as guest conductors, and fabulously talented guest artists, including Ogla Kern and Sharon Isbin. It's "a new era. Be here from the beginning!"


Au Revoir, Bruno

May 5, 6 & 7
The Symphony's beloved Bruno Ferrandis closes the season, and his spectacular 12-year tenure, with Mahler's Symphony No. 9 and the US premier of Temporis by Czech composer Michal Rataj, with Jan Mikušek on cimbalom.

Austrian composer Alban Berg calls Mahler's 9th "the most heavenly thing Mahler has written." Bruno describes it as full of "emotional intensity and contrasting nuance." The piece is both a celebration of life and an acknowledgement of its impermanence.

Don't miss this last chance to see Bruno on the podium as Music Director. Tickets are still available for Merci Beaucoup, Maestro! post-concert farewell receptions. (See article below.)

Merci Beaucoup, Maestro!

A limited number of tickets are still available for this special opportunity to spend time with and celebrate our beloved Bruno's rich contributions to our Symphony. Tickets are $100 per person for these post-concert receptions in Prelude Restaurant at the Green Music Center. See for more information and to purchase your ticket today. 

Renew your subscription at Au Revoir, Bruno!

Santa Rosa Symphony staff members will be in the lobby to assist you prior to, at intermission and post-concert for all four performances during the May 5, 6 & 7 concert weekend. Even if you forget to bring your form, we can help you renew your seats, or request a seat change, or sign up to become a subscriber. Please consider adding a gift to your renewal to help support our Classical Series and the Symphony's many educational programs and outreach.  


Francesco Lecce-Chong

– our new Music Director

Francesco Lecce-Chong has garnered considerable attention for his conducting throughout the nation and is now represented by one of the top global management firms, IMG Artists.  He will continue as Music Director for the Eugene Symphony, where he currently lives, and will establish a second residence here prior to the 2019-2020 season, which he will program and conduct.

Francesco was selected from the five finalists by unanimous Board vote. Here are some of the articles which appeared following  the announcement of his selection as the Symphony's fifth Music Director.

The Press Democrat

The Press Democrat Lifestyles


Eugene Weekly


2018-2019 Season – Be here from the beginning!

The Symphony's 91st season, the inaugural season with our fifth Music Director, is full of excellent programming; favorite guest artists, including Olga Kern and Sharon Isbin and returning maestros, Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis and Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane.
"Passion and Power," the Symphony's first concert conducted by new music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong on October 6, 7 and 8, begins with Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s exuberant Celebration. The ravishing romance and drama of the Brahms Violin Concerto will flow from the fingers and bow of violin virtuoso Arnaud Sussmann. The monumental Symphony No. 5, written at the dawn of Beethoven’s deafness, a testimony to the unquenchable power of the human spirit to triumph despite the challenges of fate, concludes this inaugural program.
On November 3, 4 and 5, "Dancing Across Time" features multiple Grammy-Award-winner Sharon Isbin playing Villa-Lobos' Guitar Concerto, with its Brazilian folk song influences. The program dances with Kodaly's gypsy-laced Dances of Galánta and Liszt's intoxicating and dreamlike Mephisto Waltz. Lecce-Chong caps the evening with Leonard Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.
The Symphony's December 1, 2 and 3 performances, "Viva Italia," include Antonio Vivaldi's choral work Gloria. The SSU Symphonic Chorus, led by SRS Choral Director Jenny Bent will be joining the orchestra for this joyous holiday favorite. Guest conductor Jayce Ogren and the orchestra musicians will warm up with Gioacchino Rossini's Overture to Guillaume Tell (William Tell) and, after intermission, close with Hector Berlioz' Harold in Italy, featuring viola solos by the Symphony's talented guest artist Nokuthula Ngwenyama.
On January 12, 13 and 14, "Tiers of Heaven" begins with Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu’s bold brass fanfare Signals From Heaven, the perfect contrast to Mozart’s darkest and most turbulent orchestral masterpiece, the tragic Symphony No. 40 in G minor. Soprano Marie Plette’s sings Mahler’s luminous Symphony No. 4, a work that juxtaposes the darkness of a dance of death with the celestial portrayal of a child’s innocent view of paradise.
In February, the Symphony and guest conductor Sarah Ioannides (pictured left) celebrate the love between two lauded female and two male composers. Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel’s Overture in C major begins the February 9, 10 and 11 "Love Letters" concerts with light, delicacy and joie de vivre. Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto explodes with the passion, frustration and longing of Clara Schumann's secret engagement. Robert Schumann’s poetic Manfred Overture, inspired by Byron’s tragic hero, weaves ardor with despair. Felix Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony is a love letter to the haunting history and evocative landscape of the British Isles. Guest pianist to be announced.
Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane returns to conduct "American Dreams" March 16, 17 and 18. George Gershwin’s jazzy tone poem An American in Paris sets the tone for this American tribute that also features highly acclaimed violinist Elena Urioste for Samuel Barber’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. The program concludes with Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3, a hymn of hope.
The final 2018-2019 Classical Series concert, "From Russia with Love," brings the return of our beloved Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis and the ever-popular pianist Olga Kern on May 4, 5 and 6. Stravinsky’s bright and festive fairytale-like Scherzo fantastique warms the audience for Olga Kerns' performance with the Symphony of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which was written as a playful birthday present for his 19-year-old son. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 is an emotion-packed soundscape of luscious Slavic folksongs, melancholy melodies, lilting waltzes, tempestuous drama and on to a cry of victory.


Santa Rosa Symphony Day!

Tomorrow, April 25, 2018 is officially Santa Rosa Symphony Day – so proclaimed by the Mayor of Santa Rosa. Besides the fact that it's the Symphony's 90th birthday, here are just a few excerpted reasons for this honor:

WHEREAS, the Symphony Board, administrative and artistic leadership, staff and volunteers continue to uphold their vision to create one of the nation's leading regional symphony orchestras, recognized as a model of artistic vibrancy, educational leadership, and community engagement; and

WHEREAS, the Santa Rosa Symphony has one of the most comprehensive music education programs in the country, breaking down barriers for music education in schools and presenting life-changing performance opportunities to young musicians, reaching more than 30,000 children annually; and

WHEREAS, the Symphony administrative and artistic leadership, staff and volunteers work together with a focus on the Symphony's mission to inspire and engage the residents of this region with the finest musical performances and educational programs.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Chris Coursey, Mayor of the City of Santa Rosa, on behalf of the entire City Council, recognize and commend the Santa Rosa Symphony for its historic contributions, and do hereby proclaim April 25, 2018, as Santa Rosa Symphony Day.

Spring Bounty

Final 2017-2018 RO/PO concert and farewell to Rogers and Arnold

This Sunday, April 29, the Preparatory and Repertory Orchestras will perform their final 2017-2018 season concert, "Spring Bounty." This concert is also a farewell to conductors Bobby Rogers and Tristan Arnold. The performance will be held at the Jackson Theater on the Sonoma Country Day School campus at 4400 Day School Place in Santa Rosa. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for youth. Tickets are $20/adult and $10/youth at the door. 

Evening in Vienna – a night to remember

Santa Rosa Symphony League's Evening in Vienna, a fundraiser for the SRS Youth Orchestra's European Tour drew hundreds to SRJC's Shone Farm on Saturday, April 14 for food, music, bubbles, raffle, auction, waltzing – and even a sing-along of songs from "The Sound of Music" played by a quartet from the SRS Youth Orchestra. The painted violins that were raffled and auctioned off were magnificent. There were even edible works of art – beautiful cakes and truffles in the silent auction.

Summer Music Academy

July 9 through 28, 2018

During Summer Music Academy, your child can learn to play an instrument for the first time, or enrich his or her music studies. In this fun-filled program, students participate in instrumental workshops, music fundamentals, rhythm workshop and choir—all while making new friends with other young musicians from throughout Sonoma County!
Choose full day options from 9 am to 3 pm or a la carte options that include workshops, ensembles and specialty classes. SMA welcomes students ages 5-23 (with some special sessions for adults) who will participate with peers of comparable skill level—and have a good time while building strong foundational skills.
Beginning full-day programs include: violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, brass, woodwinds and kinderviolin for ages 5-6, coupled with rhythm, fundamentals and choir classes. 

For more experienced instrumentalists, Performance Academy classes include: prelude string orchestra, intermezzo string orchestra, jazz ensemble, theater/film ensemble and chamber strings, coupled with composition, conducting and improvisation classes.
Full Day Tuition ranges from $600-$700, depending on length and level of class. All Full Day registrations must be received by June 12, 2018.
A la carte classes range from $285-$350.
Applications and information on class schedules, tuition and financial aid are available online at or by calling 707-546-7097 x 219.  A $50 non-refundable deposit is required with each application.

Join the Human Race

to support our incredible young musicians

There are just a couple weeks left to join the Human Race in support of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s award-winning Training Young Musicians program. The families of our young musicians have a fundraising goal of $7,000 this year, and every gift contributes to crucial financial aid for the students’ life-changing June 2018 concert tour to Vienna, Salzburg and Budapest. Such a transformative educational experience as an international tour is expensive and, in light of the October wildfires’ devastation, all the more vital to our young musicians.


Please visit our Human Race page to donate for these incredible young people. Donations must be received no later than Thursday, May 10.

“My SRS Youth Orchestra tour was really a coming of age in my preparation for a career in music. It was a point of pride and a signal of a certain level of achievement to be part of a touring group. We received unique opportunities on tour such as a collaborative concert providing a camaraderie with musicians that live on the other side of the world. I've kept in touch with many of the friends that I made during that trip, and several of us have been able to serve as professional contacts for each other as we start our musical careers. In the following years, I found that the level of musicianship I received from the SRS Youth Orchestra met and even exceeded the expectations I encountered in older groups. For me, the SRSYO have been the single greatest influence on my career as a professional musician and teacher.”

Tim Zieminski
Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchesra alumnus
Music Director at Sebastopol Independent Charter School

The Human Race is a nationwide community fundraising event. Kicking off the morning of April 28, Sonoma County’s race will benefit local nonprofits and feature a 3K and 10K run or walk through Howarth and Spring Lake parks.

Au Revoir, Bruno

Single tickets start at $29

Merci Beaucoup
Farewell celebration

Post-concert in Prelude

SRS Youth

Concerts at GMC

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, dates and artists subject to change.
Orchestra and musician photos by Susan and Neil Silverman Photography unless otherwise noted. 

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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