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The wait is over! The Symphony unveiled its exciting 2019-2020 season on March 1. The first season programmed by the Symphony's new Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong includes world premieres, cherished masterworks and renowned guest artists. Season renewals have been pouring in. As the 2018-2019 season comes to a glorious finale, Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane  and the orchestra earned standing ovations for "American Dreams" in mid-March and Bruno returns with a SRS favorite, Olga Kern, at the beginning of May. In less than two weeks, Francesco returns to conduct the SRS Family Series concert "The Composer is Dead." We invite you to consider introducing a child or two in your life to the magical world of classical music on Sunday, April 7. 

Happy Spring!

Clef Notes

with Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong

The recently announced 2019-2020 season celebrates some of the most beloved orchestral masterpieces, while putting the focus on composers as much as their music. It is so easy to forget that all composers were at one time or another struggling with their art form, unsure if what they were creating would stand the test of time. Especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, they faced brutal criticism (and occasional praise) from musicians, critics and the public whenever they unveiled a new work. A great example is Modest Mussorgsky – we’ll be performing his famous Pictures at an Exhibition in November. Without Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bald Mountain (made famous in Disney’s Fantasia), we would probably never hear his music in the concert hall. And yet, both those famous works have been heavily edited and altered by composers and conductors to reach their current state. Maurice Ravel created the most famous orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (originally for solo piano), but he also cut out entire movements that he deemed less worthy. Despite bringing to life his uniquely brazen, dream-like creations, Mussorgsky’s music stretched the understanding of his contemporary audiences (and musicians!) and it was only in the years after his death that he began to achieve his current status alongside the other great Russian composers.

This is just one example of why the music of today is so important. The variety of music being created is greater than at any point in the history of music and audiences are playing an important role in determining the next great composers. Next season, we will present to you eight works written in the past decade with a wide range of styles and ideas – a Copland-inspired banjo concerto, a humorous overture to the film 2001 Space Odyssey, a work for Mariachi and orchestra, music based on a discovered collection of old blues records, and so much more. You probably won’t like all of it and that’s fine! But if even one of these pieces speaks to you strongly and opens up a new world of musical possibilities, let us know! It helps the orchestra and me begin to set a course for the future and keep our music thriving!

Yours sincerely,
Francesco Lecce-Chong

The Composer
Is Dead


April 7   3:00 pm

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Jeff Coté, narrator
This symphonic murder mystery, conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong, features music by Nathaniel Stookey, with narration written by famous children's author Lemony Snicket (San Francisco writer Daniel Handler's nom de plume). Local actor and 6th Street Playhouse Board President Jeff Coté will perform as the wily inspector (narrator).
This engaging program, designed to excite and inspire young audiences, has been performed by hundreds of orchestras on four continents since its San Francisco premiere in 2006. As the story unfolds, audience members learn about the orchestra and its instruments as the inspector interrogates each section of the orchestra to find the culprit.
San Francisco Symphony commissioned Stookey, an alumnus of its youth orchestra, to write the work when he was 17. San Francisco Chronicle's Joshua Kosman, in his 2006 review of the premiere of The Composer is Dead, wrote, "The perpetrator is probably lurking somewhere in the orchestra, and as the unnamed inspector interrogates each group of players in turn, Stookey takes the opportunity to focus a musical spotlight across the entire ensemble. So the violins twirl their way through a vivacious waltz while the cellos and basses provide oom-pah-pah accompaniments and the mournful violas sing their undervalued countermelodies. The flutes do bird imitations, the trombones tango and the tuba, in the piece's sweetest and funniest moment, enjoys a moment of quiet domesticity with his landlady, the harp."

The concert begins at 3:00 pm and all ticket holders are invited to arrive early for a FREE Instrument Petting Zoo, beginning at 2:00 pm, in the Weill Hall lobby, staffed by SRS youth ensemble musicians, parents and volunteers. 
Buy Tickets Now

Santa Rosa Symphony announces

The 2019-2020 season: 
An experience best shared!

Francesco Lecce-Chong's first full season! 

DISCOVER rich symphonic music of the past
and vital, relevant new works.

CONNECT with fellow patrons and the orchestra 
as Francesco connects with them and they to you. 

MARVEL at the magic and power of classical music
performed in a world class venue. 


October 5-7, 2019

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

ANNA CLYNE: Masquerade
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4
MATT BROWNE: How the Solar System Was Won
STRAUSS: Also sprach Zarathustra

Learn More


November 2-4, 2019

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Béla Fleck, banjo

COPLAND: Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo
FLECK: Juno Concerto for Banjo
MUSSORGSKY/RAVEL: Pictures at an Exhibition

Learn more


December 7-9, 2019

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Shawnette Sulker, soprano; Laura Krumm, alto, 
Benjamin Brecher, tenor; Philip Skinner, bass;
SSU Symphoninc Chorus, SRS Choral Director Jenny Bent

HAYDN: Symphony No. 39
JESSIE MONTGOMERY: Records from a Vanishing City
MOZART: Requiem in D minor

Learn more


January 11-13, 2020

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Simone Porter, violin

MAZZOLI: Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)
SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto in D minor
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2

Learn more


February 8-10, 2020

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Natasha Paremski, piano

BEETHOVEN: Leonore Overture No. 3 
MATT BROWNE: Commissioned Work
[First Symphony Project World Premiere]
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3

Learn more


March 21-23, 2020

Gemma New, conductor
Jennifer Frautschi, violin

KATHERINE BALCH: like a broken clock
SAINT-SAËNS: Violin Concerto No. 3
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6, Pastorale

Learn more


May 2-4, 2020

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Mariachi Champaña Nevín
Vocal Soloists, tba

ENRICO CHAPELA BARBA: Commissioned Work for Mariachi and Orchestra
[World Premiere]
RESPIGHI: The Fountains of Rome AND The Pines of Rome

Learn more

Renew your same seats before April 12! 

There's still time to get your renewal in to ensure your same seat. Contact Patron Services to renew by phone or in person. The friendly staff can answer any of your questions. 
(707) 54-MUSIC   546-8742
50 Santa Rosa Ave., First Floor, Santa Rosa

Storytime with the Symphony!

2019-2020 SRS Family Concert Series


October 27, 2019

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy

This interactive concert with storytelling and delightful mayhem will entertain, engage and educate children of all ages, with music from Harry Potter and more. Costumes are encouraged. FREE photo booth begins at 2:00 pm. 

Learn more


January 26, 2020

Bobby Rogers, conductor
Roustabout Theater

The irresistible music of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf captures the imagination of young and old as Peter. This timeless story plus Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals come alive through the orchestra and the antics of Roustabout Theater. FREE Instrument Petting Zoo at 2:00 pm. 

Learn more


April 19, 2020

Bobby Rogers, conductor
Classical Kids Live!

Celebrate Beethoven's 250th birthday! 
A young boy comes to understand the genius of Beethoven, the beauty of his music and the torment of his deafness. Hear 25 selections from the master's music. FREE Instrument Petting Zoo at 2:00 pm. 

Learn more

Keep the young people in your life happy

Renew your family subscription or add one onto your Classical Subscription for the first time. 
(707) 54-MUSIC   546-8742
50 Santa Rosa Ave., First Floor, Santa Rosa

Meet our musicians

Edmond Fong, violin

Kindergartner Edmond Fong tuned into the Jack Benny show on TV and heard guest Isaac Stern play Wieniawski Polanaise Brillante on the violin. Edmond wanted to play the violin from that very moment. After taking some piano lessons, he began studying the violin at age seven.  
Edmond loves playing Mozart most of all, because, "It's invigorating. It gives you a charge and you feel good." In addition to classical music, he enjoys listening to early rock and roll like the Beatles, and Chinese music. He learned to play the erhu, a two-stringed Chinese fiddle, but hasn't played it for many years.
When he's not playing the violin, Edmond likes to watch movies and read. A recent trip to Boston sparked his interest in American history, a departure from his favorite genres, mystery and horror. Edmond worked for a Federal agency, building, upgrading and troubleshooting its computer systems, and even won awards for writing programs. He still enjoys occasionally troubleshooting computer issues for his friends because he likes the challenge.


Summer Music Academy

Early Bird discount ends April 1

Summer Music Academy Early Bird discount deadline is April 1. Join the SRS Institute for Music Education at Sonoma Academy for three weeks of amazing music immersion July 15- August 2, with a concert for Performance Academy participants on Saturday, August 3. Find more information and register online at

The winner of the first annual Summer Music Academy T-shirt design contest is Gwendolyn Przyjazna! Gwen is in ninth grade and plays cello in Santa Rosa Symphony Aspirante Youth Orchestra.


Youth Orchestras perform in April

Aspirante Youth Orchestra will perform with Marin Symphony Crescendo Orchestra on April 20 at College of Marin Theater at 3:00 pm.
Santa Rosa Symphony Debut Youth Orchestra and Santa Rosa Symphony Aspirante Youth Orchestra perform their final concert of the season, "Spring Dreams," on April 29 at Jackson Theater at Sonoma Country Day School. The concert begins at 3:00 pm. Tickets are available at


Join the Human Race

Support music education for 30,000 children

Walk or run in this wonderful tradition the morning of Saturday, May 4. Connect with your community and ask your friends and family to pledge toward your personal campaign to support music education for elementary school children in our area!
The Human Race allows individuals to set a goal, raise money and walk or run together with friends, family, and neighbors. Visit the Human Race website and click on “Register for 2019 Race,” select “Individual” and “Fundraise and Participate.” Select the Santa Rosa Symphony as your preferred nonprofit to support the Symphony’s Institute for Music Education, which provides free and low-cost programs across Sonoma County. Learn about the Institute for Music Education.

Symphony Pro Tip

Riding the bus to the Sunday afternoon performances of the Classical Series just got easier! Now you may purchase a ticket and review the schedule for the Sunday Oakmont or Spring Lake Village buses online. The tickets are $16.00 for round trip, and arrive in time for the pre-concert talk.
Buy Sunday Bus Tickets

Fazioli & Friends

The Fazioli is a 10-foot grand piano, a precious instrument, perhaps one of its kind in Sonoma County. The Friends are Ken Piters, Piano; Roy Zajac, Principal Clarinet, Santa Rosa Symphony; and members of Scattered Winds, a woodwind ensemble. These two afternoon performances will be held at a Calistoga residence on April 13 and 14 from 2-4 pm. Refreshments will be served, along with wine from Petrified Forest Vineyards.

Tickets, available on the League's website are $50.

Proceeds will be shared by the SRS League in support of SRS music education and FACE 2 FACE, whose mission is to end HIV in Sonoma County.

A new era. Be here from the beginning!

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 SRS 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