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Santa Rosa Symphony concerts to be televised for first time

by Diane Peterson, The Press Democrat, April 15, 2021

For the first time in its 93-year history, the Santa Rosa Symphony will reach TV audiences. The broadcasts of three concerts, in partnership with Northern California Public Media, will be on two NorCal Public channels this spring.

The “Santa Rosa Symphony Presents” concerts, recorded and streamed online earlier this year as part of the symphony’s “SRS @ Home” series, will air on PBS channel KRCB and non-PBS channel KPJK in April, May and June.

The symphony was one of the first California orchestras to stream virtual orchestra concerts, beginning in October 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online viewership averaged more than 5,000 per concert, drawn from 22 states and three countries, according to the symphony.

All three “Santa Rosa Symphony Presents” concerts were conducted by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong at the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall on the Sonoma State University campus. Each concert includes a guest artist performing with the orchestra and a work by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, artistic partner with the symphony and the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize in music.

“The symphony is, once again, stretching and growing rather than closing its doors,” said Alan Silow, the symphony’s president and CEO.

“The symphony has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with NorCal Public Media over the years. We are very grateful for their similar commitment to delivering arts to the community.”

“This series on KRCB-TV and KPJK-TV extends the reach and the impact of the Santa Rosa Symphony into homes all throughout our region,” said Darren LaShelle, president and CEO of NorCal Public Media. “Having this exciting new series on our air is a perfect fit for our mission.”

The KRCB broadcasts of “Santa Rosa Presents” will air at 8 p.m. Sundays on April 18, May 30 and June 20. The KPJK broadcasts will air at 7:30 p.m. Mondays on April 19, May 31 and June 21.

The first of the three concerts, airing on April 18 and 19, will feature cellist Zuill Bailey performing Zwilich’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. That program also includes Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Jessie Montgomery’s “Starburst” for String Orchestra, Charles Ives’s “Unanswered Question” and Brahms’s Serenade No. 2 in A major for String Orchestra.

The second concert, airing on May 30 and 31, will feature Santa Rosa Symphony Concertmaster Joseph Edelberg performing Zwilich’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra, Caroline Shaw’s “Entr’acte” for String Orchestra, Arturo Marquez’s Danz├│n No. 4 for Orchestra and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade in C Major for String Orchestra, Opus 48.

The third concert, airing June 20 and 21, will feature pianist Elizabeth Dorman performing Zwilich’s “Peanuts Gallery” for Piano and Orchestra; Rossini’s Overture to “Il signor Bruschino;” Michael Daughtery’s “Asclepius,” Fanfare for Brass and Percussion; Paul Dooley’s “Sonoma Strong” for Orchestra and Haydn’s Symphony No. 45, “Farewell.”

KRCB broadcasts over the air on Channel 22.1. Viewers can access it on Channel 22 on Comcast Cable, ATT U-verse, DirecTV and Dish.

KPJK’s over-the-air channel is 60.1. Viewers can access it on Channel 17 on Comcast, Channel 43 on ATT U-verse and DirecTV and Channel 60 on Dish.

“I am so proud of what this orchestra and organization have accomplished, both artistically and technically throughout the pandemic,” Lecce-Chong said. “These televised broadcasts of our virtual performances across the Bay Area are a testament to the brilliance of my musician colleagues on stage, the dedication of our staff and the belief of our patrons and donors in the vitality and necessity of music in our lives.”

The televised concerts are expected to reach 2.8 million households across nine Bay Area counties, from Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties in the South Bay to the southern tip of Mendocino and Lake counties in the North Bay.

Staff Writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @dianepete56

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