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Zuill Bailey performs West Coast Premiere of Zwilich Cello Concerto on Weill Hall stage with Santa Rosa Symphony

Santa Rosa Symphony, February 25, 2021

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony presents a virtual concert experience, including, for the first time this season, a guest artist on stage with the orchestra. On Sunday, March 28, 2021, at 3 PM, internationally acclaimed, Grammy-winning cellist Zuill Bailey will perform Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, which he premiered less than one year ago (see press quote below). This free YouTube concert features works by three additional American composers: Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst for String Orchestra, Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question for Chamber Orchestra. Anchoring the SRS @ Home Mar 28 concert, conducted by SRS Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, is Johannes Brahms’ Serenade No. 2 in A major for Orchestra.
Lecce-Chong says, "One of the major highlights of our season will be giving the West Coast Premiere of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's Cello Concerto on our March program. With the performance streaming on YouTube, it’s also the first time audiences around the world will have a chance to hear this incredible new work performed by Grammy-winning cellist Zuill Bailey. I’m also looking forward to showing off our incredible woodwinds with Brahms’ Serenade No. 2, which is, essentially, a symphony for woodwinds.”
SRS @ Home Artistic Partner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich is one of the most performed living American composers. Her extensive list of awards and honors includes being the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for music and the first woman to earn a doctorate in composition from The Julliard School. Though it wasn’t Zwilich’s original intention, her love of jazz and experience playing bebop trumpet and big band found its way into her cello concerto, which has a jazz character. Of its performance by Bailey on March 8, 2020, music critic John Fleming noted, “His warmth and richness of tone, lyrical phrasing, and rhythmic flair brought a splendid sense of freedom to the 15-minute work that was infectious.”
A consummate concerto soloist, Bailey has been featured with symphony orchestras worldwide. He is Artistic Director of El Paso Pro Musica, the Sitka Summer Music Festival (Alaska), the Northwest Bach Festival (Washington), the Mesa Arts Center Series (Arizona) and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso. Read full bio.
Opening the program is a work by a young, prolific American composer the Symphony performed just last season. Jessie Montgomery wrote Starburst for String Orchestra with the Sphinx Virtuosi in mind. She refers to it as a “play on imagery of rapidly changing musical colors.”
From the exhilaration of Starburst, virtual audiences will experience lower, more earthy vibrations, with Barber’s somber Adagio for Strings, an American staple that one broadcaster referred to as our “national funeral music.”
For Ives’ Unanswered Question, musicians will be scattered throughout the Hall, turning the empty hall into a positive for a unique virtual concert experience.
Brahms’ Serenade No. 2 in A major is unique in that there are no violins. The remaining strings collaborate with the star of the piece, the woodwinds.
Recorded on March 20, 2021, in Green Music Center's Weill Hall, the concert premieres March 28 at 3 PM, preceded by a live pre-concert talk at 2 PM and followed by a live post-concert Q&A with Lecce-Chong—all on YouTube. All three elements of this event are free, though donations to support the ongoing music and outreach programs of the Symphony are gratefully accepted during the event.
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, President and CEO Alan Silow
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "SRS @ Home Mar 28"  
WHO: Santa Rosa Symphony  
WHEN: Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 3:00 PM
Pre-concert Talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM
WHERE: Santa Rosa Symphony’s YouTube Channel (also accessible from the event page)
COST: Free, with donations gratefully accepted
INFORMATION: Leave message at (707) 546-8742 (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
Close-ups of musicians and conductor
Introduction to works by SRS musicians
Thirty-minute pre-concert talk on YouTube with Lecce-Chong at 2 PM on concert day
Post-concert Q&A on YouTube with Lecce-Chong immediately following the performance
Program book (online flipbook and printable version) available on concert event page
Classical Concert Series underwritten by Sara and Edward Kozel, in memory of Laura Tietz
SRS @ Home Lead Sponsor: Charles M. Schulz Museum, dedicated to the Peanuts Creator
SRS @ Home Supporting Sponsor: Victor and Karen Trione
SRS @ Home Supporting Sponsor: The Stare Foundation and David Stare
of Dry Creek Vineyard
SRS @ Home Supporting Sponsor: County of Sonoma – Board of Supervisors
March 28 Concert Sponsor: Jim Lamb
Zuill Bailey underwritten by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David and Corinne Byrd
Pre-concert talks Sponsor: Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Media Sponsor: The Press Democrat
-High-res photos available upon request-
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third-oldest professional orchestra in California, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Symphony's fifth music director in its 93 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2019.
The Symphony is recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 30,000 youths annually. Collaborations with schools and organizations across Sonoma County have gained the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Ann Hutchinson
Marketing Associate

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