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2018-2019 Season

April 23, 2019: SRS announces Stults Family Instrument Scholarship Award: Petri Alva receives a flute

Santa Rosa Symphony, April 23, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony, via the Stults Family Instrument Scholarship, presented Petri Alva, a member of the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra (SRSYO), with a professional-quality flute to further his musical career. The Stults Family Instrument Scholarship is made possible by a donation of $15,000 by the Stults Family. After years of playing on borrowed instruments, Alva now has a new, silver flute from Lillian Burkart Flutes and Piccolos, near Boston.
 
The Stults Family Instrument Scholarship Award recipient is chosen from the SRSYO based on talent and need. Only applicants enrolled in private lessons and who agree to remain with the orchestra for at least one more season are considered. Alva has been taking private lessons for three years.
 
Fourteen-year-old Alva grew up in a very musical household and has played flute for six years. Since every family member plays at least one musical instrument, nothing gives him more pleasure than to play with them and share their musical talent with other people.

Until this award Alva was borrowing a flute from the Santa Rosa Symphony. Now, thanks to the Ken Stults Family Instrument Scholarship, he owns a high quality instrument that will last a long time and will help him realize his intention to “continue to play music for the rest of my life.”
 
SRS President and CEO Alan Silow says, “A gift like this can be a life-changer. The Symphony is very grateful to the Stults Family for continuing to support young musicians through this scholarship.”
 
The scholarship selection committee included SRSYO conductor Bobby Rogers and SRS Director of Education (and professional cellist) Wendy Cilman, joined by (then) Santa Rosa High School band and orchestra director Mark Wardlaw (who also plays clarinet in the SRS orchestra) and the donor also participating for the final selection process.
 
High Res photo of Petri 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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

April 9, 2019: SRS and Green Music Center present THE FOUR SEASONS OF SONOMA COUNTY Our FREE Community Concert AND Call to photographers

Santa Rosa Symphony, April 9, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) and Sonoma State University (SSU) present "The Four Seasons of Sonoma County - Our Free Community Concert" at SSU’s Weill Hall + Lawn at the Green Music Center on Sunday, July 28, 2019 at 7 PM. Audience members will enjoy pastoral photos of Sonoma County, showcasing our county's exquisite beauty, while the Santa Rosa Symphony, conducted by SRS Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, performs Antonio Vivaldi's iconic ode to nature, The Four Seasons, live on stage. 
 
The images, which will be displayed on a large screen over the stage and on the outdoor screen for lawn and outdoor table seating, will be chosen by blind selection in a photo contest* jointly administered by the Symphony, SSU and the Museum of Sonoma County. These seasonal images may be submitted now through 5 PM on May 3. (See more information at the end of this release and in the attached Call to Artists.)
 
Lecce Chong says, "These concertos were the most innovative and groundbreaking music of their time – three-hundred years later they will feel as fresh and vibrant as ever against the backdrop of our own surroundings. I look forward to this celebration of music, nature and our unique community."
 
The Four Seasons, conducted by Lecce-Chong from the harpsichord, will feature SRS principal musicians as soloists: Concertmaster Joseph Edelberg (Spring and Summer), Principal Second Violin Karen Shinozaki Sor (Autumn) and Assistant Principal Second Violin Michelle Maruyama (Winter). The orchestra will also perform Mozart's Divertimento in D major for Strings and Gustav Holst's Saint Paul's Suite for String Orchestra.
 
Tickets are required to enter this free event and are available beginning at 10 AM on July 9. Seating options include: inside Weill Hall, outside at terrace tables or open seating on the lawn. 
 
SRS President and CEO Alan Silow says, "We are thrilled to be partnering with these two local organizations and pulling in visual art from the community to produce this multimedia event that celebrates the beauty of our county and the transformative power of Vivaldi's iconic masterpiece."
 
New Music Director and Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong brings fresh ideas, energy and dedication to the Santa Rosa Symphony. Also Music Director for the Eugene Symphony Orchestra in Eugene, Ore., Lecce-Chong is an active guest conductor. His conducting credits include appearances with the National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic. He has collaborated with renowned soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman. This season, Lecce-Chong made his subscription debuts with the Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and Xi’An Symphony Orchestra, as well as returning to the Civic Orchestra in Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony. Read full bio here.
 
This is a ticketed eventall patrons must have a ticket to enter the venue
 
Tickets available beginning at 10 AM on July 9 and may be reserved from Santa Rosa Symphony by calling (707) 546-8742, or in person at 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM (10:30 AM – 5:00 PM Wednesdays)
 
Tickets are also available through the Green Music Center Box Office at (707) 664-4246.
 
 
Concert sponsors
Wells Fargo
Shanna Thompson Trust
 
-Photos of the orchestra and Music Director provided upon request-
 
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
What:  "The Four Seasons of Sonoma County - Our Free Community Concert"
A co-production by Santa Rosa Symphony and Sonoma State University's Green Music Center
 
WhoSanta Rosa Symphony
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
 
When:  Sunday, July 28, 2019 at 7 PM; Gates open 5 PM for picnics; Weill Hall lobby open 6 PM
 
Where:  Weill Hall + Lawn, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  Free, but tickets required. Seating options include: inside Weill Hall; outside at terrace tables or open seating on the lawn. SRS Box office (707) 8742 or GMC box office (707) 664-4246
 
 
*CALL TO PHOTOGRAPHERS:
The Santa Rosa Symphony, in its commitment to community engagement, is collaborating with Sonoma State University and Museum of Sonoma County to curate a juried photo contest calling for photos representing the four seasons in Sonoma County to pair with the Symphony's performance of Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. The Symphony invites hobbyists, amateur and professional photographers to submit inspiring photos depicting our beautiful seasons.
 
The panel of jurors who will choose the winning photos by a blind selection process, includes: Jeff Nathanson, Curator of Art and Executive Director of Museum of Sonoma County; Michael Schwager, Professor of Art History/Gallery Director, Sonoma State University; and Neil Silverman, professional photographer.
 
Photos must have been taken in Sonoma County. Each entrant may submit up to 12 high-res digital images and is encouraged to include selections representing all seasons. Deadline for entries is May 3 at 5 PM. See appended rules and guidelines for more information.
 
 
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 92 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
The Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
 
About Museum of Sonoma County
Located in Downtown Santa Rosa, the Museum of Sonoma County welcomes visitors to experience regional history and contemporary art. The Museum opened its doors in 1985 as the Sonoma County Museum, housed in the historic 1910 post office, a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. After a series of expansions, the Seventh Street campus now includes two buildings, multiple galleries, and a sculpture garden. With 10-12 changing exhibitions and over 50 programs and events per year, there is always something new to experience at the Museum of Sonoma County.
 
About the Green Music Center
The Green Music Center is the performing arts presenter at Sonoma State University, a regionally serving public university committed to educational access  and excellence. The mission of the Green Music Center is to present the most compelling artists of our time, to investigate ideas, and to provide access to
diverse artistic experiences that educate, connect, and inspire Sonoma State University and neighboring North Bay communities.
 
Surrounded by the foothills of Sonoma County, the Green Music Center includes the 1,400-seat Weill Hall, with a rear wall that opens to lawn seating for a unique summertime experience, and the intimate 240-seat Schroeder Hall. As a focal point for the arts and education in the region, the Green Music Center presents artists year-round, serving as home to the Santa Rosa Symphony, Sonoma Bach, and the Sonoma State University Department of Music.

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

March 12, 2019: Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis and Pianist Olga Kern Together again for "From Russia with Love" May 4-6

Santa Rosa Symphony, March 12, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) welcomes the return of its Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis and pianist extraordinaire Olga Kern for a program of Russian composers on May 4, 5 and 6 at the Green Music Center. "From Russia with Love" opens with Stravinsky's bright and festive Scherzo fantastique. Highly-acclaimed, award-winning pianist Kern plays Shostakovich's playful Piano Concerto No. 2. The program concludes with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, which includes Slavic folksongs, melancholy melodies, waltzes and drama.
 
Russian-American pianist Olga Kern jumpstarted her United States career with her historic Gold Medal win at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, as the first woman to do so in more than thirty years. First-prize winner of the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at seventeen, Kern is a laureate of many international competitions. In 2016, she served as Jury Chairman of the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition and the first Olga Kern International Piano Competition, where she holds the title of Artistic Director. Kern frequently gives masterclasses and, since September 2017, has served on the piano faculty of the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. For the 2018-2019 season, Kern will or has performed with the Moscow Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony, as well as opening Pacific Symphony’s season. Read full bio.
 
Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis has led orchestras in Europe, Asia and North America, and his breadth of conducting experience includes symphony, opera, ballet, musical theater and cinema-accompanying music. During his twelve-year tenure as Music Director, Santa Rosa Symphony won an ASCAP first place award for Adventurous Programming (2012-2013 season). He became the Santa Rosa Symphony's Conductor Laureate in 2018. A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, he received a master’s in conducting from The Juilliard School. He was conductor of the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra and Juilliard Opera Center. He also co-founded the New Music ensemble “Music Mobile” in New York City and has recorded three compact discs with the Radio France Orchestra. In 1997, he received a “Critic’s Grand Prize” for his conducting of Wozzeck by Manfred Gurlitt. Read full bio.

Interesting facts about "From Russia with Love":
Shostakovich wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2 as a playful birthday present for his son Maxim

The second movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 contains one of the most famous horn solos ever written

Sergei Diaghilev of Ballets Russes invited Stravinsky, after hearing Scherzo fantastique, to collaborate, resulting in Firebird and The Rite of Spring
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Olga Kern, Bruno Ferrandis
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "From Russia with Love"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis, conductor
Olga Kern, violin
 
WHEN:
Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, May 4, at 2:00 PM – Doors at 1:00 PM, no talk)
Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 3:00 PM (Doors at 1:30 PM, Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM)
Monday, May 6, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
COST:  $24-$87
FREE tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request (by phone or in person) ONE FREE ticket for a youth 7-17 with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert.
 
TICKETS: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
ENHANCEMENTS:
Program notes, a Spotify playlist of the works and an overview video with SRS Cultural Historian Kayleen Asbo PhD are available on the concert event page. Informative, engaging, 30-minute pre-concert talks, given by Bruno Ferrandis, begin one hour prior to each performance, concluding with Q&A.
 
Sponsors
Concert sponsored by Viking Cruises
Bruno Ferrandis underwritten by Norma Person, in memory of Evert Person
Olga Kern underwritten by The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of
Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Additional support provided by the County of Sonoma – Board of Supervisors and The Press Democrat
  
-High-res guest artist, conductor and orchestra 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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

March 1, 2019: Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong's first full season! 2019-2020 Season: "An experience best shared!"

Santa Rosa Symphony, March 1, 2019

Season Highlights

First season programmed and conducted by the Symphony's fifth Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong

Classical Series Subscriptions on sale beginning March 4

Ambitious First Symphony Project launches, with first world premiere by Matt Browne, who serves as Composer-in-Residence for two performance weeks  

World premiere of SRS-commissioned work for mariachi, orchestra and voice by Enrico Chapela Barba

Sonoma County Historian Gaye LeBaron honored and celebrated at season-opening, fundraising event

Eighth season as the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center

Programmatic highlights: Masterworks by Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Mahler and more, with new works by seven living composers

Outstanding guest artists: 16-time Grammy winner Béla Fleck plays his Juno Concerto for Banjo, renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson plays Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, the SSU Symphonic Chorus returns for Mozart's Requiem in D minor, the wildly popular Mariachi Champaña Nevín perform for the first time as part of the SRS Classical Series

Seven works by seven living composers that celebrate the vitality, originality and relevance of our current music culture

The SRS three-concert Family Series returns, with Francesco Lecce-Chong conducting the October concert

Michael Berkowitz conducts four Symphony Pops concerts at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts – programs to be announced later this spring 

92nd Performance Season: October – May
 
(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony's 92nd season is one of many firsts. The most notable are the first season programmed and conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong and the First Symphony Project's maiden co-commissioned symphony. In addition, the 2019-2020 season marks the first appearance of Béla Fleck and the world premiere of the first major work blending Mariachi and Classical music traditions (commissioned by SRS). The Santa Rosa Symphony Classical Concert Series, which runs from October through May in Weill Hall at Sonoma State University's Green Music Center, includes seven concert programs, each with three performances: Saturday and Monday evening performances at 7:30 PM and Sunday afternoon performances at 3 PM. Pre-concert talks with Lecce-Chong (often joined by the guest artist) commence one hour prior to these concerts (See Classical Series Enhancements below). The Symphony also offers a Discovery Dress Rehearsal Series. These reasonably-priced working rehearsals are at 2 PM, with no pre-concert talk.
 
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong says, "I think what I'm most happy with in our programming for next season is that with two world premieres of major orchestral works and the presentation of seven different living composers, we've clearly laid down the road map for how to keep our art form alive and relevant. We've done this by programming these less familiar works in ways that connect them with masterworks from the past. It's not about 'something for everyone' or winning an award for adventurous programming; it's that music from all eras communicates with us in important ways. I think these programs will inspire us not only through great music, but also provoke us to think more deeply about the essential nature of art and creativity in our lives. I think they will also remind our audience that "new music" is not a genre – by its very name, we cannot know what it will be and I believe these new works will surprise, delight and inspire in ways more powerful than any music from the past."
 
The Santa Rosa Symphony invites classical music lovers to DISCOVER the rich symphonic music of the past three hundred years, punctuated with works by seven living composers that celebrate the vitality, originality and relevance of our current music culture, and CONNECT to their community, the orchestra and the composers through the shared experience unique to a classical music concert, and MARVEL with childlike wonder, as the 2019-2020 programming inspires and challenges us to think more deeply about the essential nature of art and creativity in our lives.
 
Santa Rosa Symphony President and CEO Alan Silow says, "Our 92nd season features a cornucopia of musical riches ranging from ground-breaking world premieres to stellar soloists and rapturous works, all highlighted by the excitement surrounding the first full season to be conducted by our new music director."
 
Celebration 2019!
The Symphony begins Lecce-Chong's first full season with a celebration honoring Sonoma County historian Gaye LeBaron in a spectacular fundraising event at Weill Hall. LeBaron, a long-time patron of the SRS, has been taking The Press Democrat readers down memory lane in her column for decades and released The Wonder Seekers of Fountaingrove, co-authored with Bart Casey in 2018. The celebration begins with an elegant reception in Prelude Restaurant followed by a recital by renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson. A gourmet dinner in the Person Lobby culminates in a paddle raise for the Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education's programs.
 
Limiting seating available. Tickets, which are $350 per person, may be purchased by phone or at the box office.
 
2019-2020 Classical Series Overview
The 2019-2020 Classical Series season begins in October with premier pianist Garrick Ohlsson playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. The Deseret News (Salt Lake City) said of Ohlsson's performance of the piece, "a gloriously warm, richly romantic and effusively mellifluous reading that was, simply put, sheer poetry." November features Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and master of the modern banjo Béla Fleck playing his Juno Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra. Four soloists and the Sonoma State Symphonic Chorus join the Symphony in December for Mozart's Requiem in D major. The season continues with masterworks by Brahms, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and the two world premieres.
 
The first world premiere, in February, is a work commissioned by the Santa Rosa and Eugene symphonies and nine patron households, including Francesco Lecce-Chong (who is also Music Director for the Eugene Symphony) as the first in four world premieres of the four-year First Symphony Project, in which four acclaimed American composers are commissioned to write their first symphonies.
 
The second world premiere this season is the first major work written for mariachi and orchestra, with voice, blending the two traditions. This SRS-commissioned work by Enrico Chapela Barba will be performed by the popular Mariachi Champaña Nevín, that has played with the Symphony in years past for the Symphony's free community concerts.
 
Subscribers enjoy significant savings over single ticket prices and an array of benefits, which include free ticket exchanges, discounts on additional single ticket purchases with fees waived, two complimentary tickets to a Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra concert at Weill Hall and a restaurant discount card, to name a few. Subscriptions range from $147-$581, depending on performance day and seat section. Concert dates and details follow later in this release.
 
Discovery Rehearsal Series
The Discovery Rehearsal Series subscription to seven Saturday afternoon dress rehearsals in Weill Hall is a wonderful way to experience the orchestra and conductor working together. These working rehearsals, with their occasional starts and stops, provide a unique perspective on the creative dynamic between Lecce-Chong and the musicians. This series is perfect for those new to classical music, is an excellent value and because it is general seating, patrons may become acquainted with different sections of the hall. Discovery Rehearsal subscriptions cost $126 for adults, $70 for youth.
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Family Concert Series
The SRS Family Concert Series consists of three concerts on Sunday afternoons which are ideal for small children, yet a delight for adults as well. Lecce-Chong will conduct the first concert, "Halloween with Harry Potter." For the January and April concerts, the orchestra will be led by SRS Youth Orchestra Conductor Bobby Rogers. Rogers is also Music Director at Pioneer High School in Woodland, Director of Jazz Program at Solano Community College, adjunct Professor of Band at Woodland Community College and Artistic Director of the Yolo Community Band.  
 
Family Concert Series subscriptions are $54 for adults and $27 for children (12 years of age and younger). This reflects a decrease for the youth subscription price over the 2018-2019 season. Concert dates and details follow later in this release.
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Pops Series
The Symphony Pops Series, conducted by Michael Berkowitz, returns with four Sunday afternoon concerts performed at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. All concerts begin at 3 PM, with a pre-concert talk with Berkowitz one hour before performances. This co-produced Symphony Pops Series will be announced  in the spring. Subscription tickets for the Symphony Pops concerts will be available this spring, and ONLY through the Luther Burbank Center box office: (707) 546-3600, www.lutherburbankcenter.org.
 
An experience best shared! Season Overview
Performances Saturdays and Mondays at 7:30 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM
Discovery Rehearsals Saturdays at 2:00 PM
 
2019-2020 Classical Series Details
 
Opening the season on October 5, 6 and 7, is "Unmasking the Stars," with Garrick Ohlsson playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. Regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Ohlsson has also come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. Strauss’ epic tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra, which formed the bold soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic masterpiece 2001: A Space Odessey is paired with How the Solar System Was Won, a rousing and rhythmic homage to the film, which introduces Santa Rosa Symphony audiences to Composer-in-Residence and First Symphony Project composer Matt Browne. Anna Clyne’s Masquerade opens this heavenly program, which is conducted by Lecce-Chong.  
 
"Master of the Modern Banjo," Béla Fleck plays his Juno Concerto, which pays homage to Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man with the Symphony on November 2, 3 and 4. Reinventing and elevating the instrument, Fleck has, since 1998, won 16 Grammy Awards, earned 30 nominations and has been nominated in more categories than any instrumentalist in Grammy history. Lecce-Chong's program also includes Copland's Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo and Ravel’s incandescent orchestration of Mussorgsky’s visually-inspired Pictures at an Exhibition.
 
"Mozart's Swan Song," conducted by Music Director Lecce-Chong on December 7, 8, and 9, will find Lecce-Chong conducting from the harpsichord for Haydn's Symphony No. 39, adding a level of historical authenticity to that work. In addition, the Sonoma State University Symphonic Chorus and four vocal soloists (Shawnette Sulker, soprano; Laura Krumm, alto; Benjamin Brecher, tenor and Philip Skinner, bass) join the Symphony for Mozart's Requiem in D minor. Jessie Montgomery’s Records From a Vanishing City intertwines vibrant jazz and folk influences with a haunting Angolan lullaby.
 
On January 11, 12 and 13, Simone Porter plays Sibelius' Violin Concerto in D minor for "Shadows and Sunshine,"  The Los Angeles Times proclaimed, "Porter’s assured, lovingly lyrical, occasionally frisky playing only confirmed what is becoming common knowledge in the musical world: that she is on the cusp of a major career."  From acclaimed American composer Missy Mazzoli, audiences will experience the stark grandeur of the creation of the cosmos with her Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres). Johannes Brahms’ masterpiece, the lilting and richly melodic portrait of the German countryside, Symphony No. 2 finishes this rich concert, conducted by Lecce-Chong.
 
February 8, 9 and 10, Lecce-Chong conducts "Riveting Rachmaninoff," which opens with Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3 and features Natasha Paremski playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. The highly-anticipated world premiere of a commissioned work by award-winning composer (and Composer-in-Residence) Matt Browne is the first premiere of the four-year First Symphony Project, jointly commissioned with the Eugene Symphony, four patrons from each Symphony and Lecce-Chong.    
 
"Showcasing Contemporary Women," on March 21, 22 and 23, will be conducted by Gemma New who is sought after for her insightful interpretations and dynamic presence, and features virtuoso Jennifer Frautschi performing Camille Saint-Saëns' romantic Violin Concerto No. 3, which combines French nuance, subtlety and delicacy with Spanish swagger and flair. The program begins with Katherine Balch's like a broken clock and concludes with Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, Pastorale, which evokes babbling brooks to thunderstorms and country dances.
 
Lecce-Chong conducts "Visions of Hope" May 2, 3 and 4, featuring a world premiere of a SRS-commissioned work by Mexican composer Enrico Chapela Barba for mariachi, orchestra and four vocalists (to be announced) performed with Mariachi Champaña Nevín. The work is written in memory of the innovative Bracero Immigration Program from 1942-1964. Two tone poems by Ottorino Respighi, The Pines of Rome and The Fountains of Rome, offering sensual splendor in vignettes of the Eternal City, complete the program and season. 
 
Performances: Green Music Center
All Classical Series performances are at Weill Hall, at the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center on the campus of Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, with access from the Rohnert Park Expressway entrance near Petaluma Hill Road. The campus is just 42 miles north of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.   
 
Symphony subscriptions are on sale beginning March 4, 2019. More details may be found below and at srsympony.org. Tickets are only available through the Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services Office (in person or 54-MUSIC). Subscription sales are not available online.
 
All guest artist bios follow later in this release.
 
Classical Series Enhancements
 
Concert Conversations
Santa Rosa Symphony’s Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong discusses the music and composers, often with the guest artists, one hour prior to the Classical Concert Series performances in Weill Hall. These popular 30-minute talks include time at the end for Q & A. These informative pre-concert talks, which are available at no cost to all ticket holders, are general seating. Concert Conversations are held before Saturday and Monday night performances at 6:30 PM and prior to Sunday afternoon performances at 2 PM.   
 
Program Notes Online
Program Notes offer insight and fascinating details about the concert program and are posted on each of the seven Classical Series concert event pages at srsymphony.org.
 
Spotify Playlists
Each of the Classical Series concerts' event pages will soon include a Spotify playlist of that concert program.
 
List of Works 2019-2020 Classical Series
* indicates first time performed by SRS
**indicates World Premiere
 
Anna Clyne                                           Masquerade for Orchestra*
Ludwig van Beethoven                           Concerto No. 4 in G major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 58
Matt Browne                                          How the Solar System Was Won for Symphony Orchestra*
Richard Strauss                                    Also sprach Zarathustra [Thus Spake Zarathustra] (tone poem)  for Orchestra [after Nietzche], Opus 30*
Aaron Copland                                      Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo for Orchestra
Béla Fleck                                             Juno Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra*
Modest Mussorgsky / Maurice Ravel       Pictures on Exhibition
Franz Joseph Haydn                             Symphony No. 39 in G minor, Hob 1:39*
Jessie Montgomery                               Records from a Vanishing City*
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart                    Requiem in D minor for Solo Vocalists, Orchestra and Chorus, K. 626
Missy Mazzoli                                        Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) for Orchestra*
Jean Sibelius                                        Concerto in D minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 47
Johannes Brahms                                  Symphony No. 2 in D major, Opus 73
Ludwig van Beethoven                           Leonore Overture No. 3 for Orchestra, Opus 72b
Matt Browne                                          Commissioned Work (First Symphony Project)**
Sergei Rachmaninoff                             Concerto No. 3 in D minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 30
Katherine Balch                                     like a broken clock*
Camille Saint-Saens                              Concerto No. 3 in B minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 30
Ludwig van Beethoven                           Symphony No. 6 in F major, Opus 68, Pastorale
Enrico Chapela                                      SRS-Commissioned work for Mariachi, Voice and Orchestra**
Ottorino Respighi                                  Le fontane di Roma [The Fountains of Rome] for Orchestra
Ottorino Respighi                                  I pini di Roma [The Pines of Rome] for Orchestra
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Family Series
The 2019-2020 Santa Rosa Symphony Family Series, a three-concert series ideal for sharing with young children, celebrates beloved works from the past and enchanting works by living composers. Each of these Sunday afternoon concerts features guest artists or actors who further engage, inspire and educate the audience through storytelling and drama. These concerts draw young people into the rich world of classical music and its composers.
 
Before each of these interactive concerts, the Symphony includes a free Instrument Petting Zoo in the lobby, staffed by SRS youth ensemble members, SRS Institute for Music Education staff and volunteers. Children have the opportunity to handle and play an assortment of instruments and have their questions answered by the volunteers and staff.
 
"Halloween with Harry Potter," conducted by Lecce-Chong, on October 27, 2019, features music from popular movies children will recognize, including the theme music from Harry Potter. The Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy will further enhance the concert for young and old alike. For this concert only, costumes are encouraged and a free photo booth will be available in the lobby.
 
"Peter and the Wolf," which will be performed once again on January 26, 2020, never fails to delight. This timeless classic will come to life with the help of the Roustabout Theater, a local children's theater troupe. In addition, this concert, conducted by Bobby Rogers (also SRS Youth Orchestra Director), includes Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals.
 
On April 19, 2010, the Symphony celebrates the 250th birthday of Beethoven with Classical Kids Live!'s "Beethoven Lives Upstairs," conducted by Rogers. This concert program features 25 selections from the master's music for what Billboard Magazine calls, "One of the most wondrous examples of children's entertainment ever!"
Classical Kids Music Education is a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to classical music for children "by humanizing the lives of the great composers, creating an emotional connection to their musical masterpieces, and inspiring a personal excellence that leads to greater achievement and success in life."
 
Hospitality Partner – DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Santa Rosa Symphony gratefully acknowledges the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sonoma Wine Country in Rohnert Park for providing lodging for our esteemed guest artists and conductors.
 
DoubleTree by Hilton, where "the little things mean everything" includes warm chocolate chip cookies upon arrival.  The hotel features Bacchus Restaurant and Wine Bar, perfect for pre- and post-concert dining.
 
2019-2020 Classical Series Sponsors (as of February 18)
Classical Series performances underwritten by Jim Lamb (October), Joseph A. and Judith M. Gappa (November), Donald and Maureen Green (December), The Peggy Anne Covington Endowment Fund and supporting sponsor The E. Nakamichi Foundation (January), Linda Castiglioni (February) and Viking Cruises (March)
Discovery Series underwritten by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Concert Conversations underwritten by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David and Corinne Byrd (Nov., Dec., Jan. and Feb.) and by Norma Person, in memory of Evert Person (Oct. and May)
Conductor Gemma New underwritten by David and Corinne Byrd
SSU Symphonic Chorus Director Jenny Bent underwritten by Linda and David Hanes
Guest artist Garrick Ohlsson underwritten by Marcia Wagner, in memory of Hap Wagner
Béla Fleck underwritten by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Shawnette Sulker underwritten by Amy and Joel Levine
Simone Porter underwritten by Ava and Sam Guerrera
Natasha Paremski underwritten by The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust
Jennifer Frautschi underwritten by Sigmund Anderman, in memory of Susan Anderman
First Symphony Project composer Matt Browne commissioned by SRS and Eugene Symphony, SRS Emeritus Board Members Nancy and David Berto, Chuck and Ellen Wear, Creighton White, current board member Gordon Blumenfeld, Francesco Lecce-Chong and four patron households of the Eugene Symphony
Media sponsor: The Press Democrat
 
Subscription Series Tickets for the 2019-2020 Season
On Sale March 4
 
Classical Concert Series
The seven-concert package is the ONLY way for patrons to secure their preferred seat to EACH Symphony Classical Series concert. Subscribers choose between seven Saturdays, Sundays or Mondays and enjoy the same seat for all seven concerts. (some seating areas require a minimum per seat donation)
Saturday and Monday Packages: $147-$560
Sunday Packages: $175-$581
 
Mini Series
Patrons may select four of the seven Classical Series concerts to create a customized Mini Series and enjoy many of the benefits of subscribing.
Saturday and Monday Packages: $96-$344
Sunday Packages: $108-$348
 
Come As You Can Series
This is the most flexible subscription package—eight ticket vouchers which may be redeemed in any combination, for example: two tickets to each of four concerts, or eight tickets for one concert. Seating is the best available at the time of redemption.
Packages: $400
 
Discovery Rehearsal Series
On seven Saturdays at 2 PM, audiences experience a concert in the making at this open rehearsal series. It is ideal as a shared family experience, a sneak preview for the performance or as an economical alternative for price-conscience patrons. These working rehearsals, which include starts and stops, and during which all pieces on the program may not be played completely through, offer a unique perspective on the creative dynamic between the orchestra and conductor. Because the rehearsals are general seating, patrons may choose a different seat each time to get better acquainted with the hall. Patrons have also been known to come back for the performance later.
Packages: $126 for adults; $70 for youth 18 years old and younger
 
Bus Packages
The Santa Rosa Symphony sponsors private bus service to Sunday Classical Series concerts at the Green Music Center. The cost is $84 for all seven Classical Series concerts, $60 for four and $16 for individual concerts. For details and specific bus schedules, please call the Patron Services Office at 707-546-8742.  
 
Parking
Entering the Sonoma State University campus from Rohnert Park Expressway, there are parking lots immediately to the right. Parking in lots L, M, N and O is included in the price of ticket for Santa Rosa Symphony Classical, Discovery Rehearsal and Family Series concerts. (Parking fees may be charged during additional or special events.)
 
 
Symphony subscriptions are available only through the Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services Office (in person or 54-MUSIC) beginning March 4, 2019. Subscriptions are not available online at this time.
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services Office
Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM   (Wednesday 10:30 AM– 5:00 PM)
50 Santa Rosa Avenue (1st floor, off elevator lobby)
Mail to: Santa Rosa Symphony, 50 Santa Rosa Avenue Suite 410, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
srsymphony.org       54-MUSIC (707) 546-8742      Fax: (707) 546-0460
 
Ways patrons may connect:
Facebook: srsymphony
Twitter: @SR_Symphony
Instagram: srsymphony
Email:  tickets@srsymphony.org
Email Newsletter: eNotes provides timely event and performance information, insider news and more.
      Patrons may enroll at srsymphony.org.
 
 
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education
Serving 30,000 youth and young adult students annually, the Santa Rosa Symphony has the most comprehensive music education program in northern California, and an unwavering commitment to train musicians and audiences of the future and to inspire an enduring love of music.
 
Music for Our Schools 
Free Concerts for Youth – Orchestral performances in Weill Hall for elementary school children

Elementary School Listening Program – Daily music listening for classrooms

Youth Discovery Card – Free admission to Discovery Rehearsal performances

In-School Performances – youth and professional musicians perform concerts in area schools

IGNITE! – students participate in a free concert on recorder or voice

It’s Elementary Customized music education activities for six Sonoma County schools

Primarily Classical – SRS musicians perform chamber music in every Sonoma County school
 
Social Action through music with Simply Strings
Inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela’s acclaimed social action music network, Simply Strings provides instruments and daily intensive ensemble instruction after school at Sheppard Accelerated Elementary School in Roseland to develop musical excellence and promote social engagement. Beginning in second grade, this program trains young people to become excellent musicians, responsible citizens and agents of change. This program is fully supported by the Symphony and is free to its students.
 
Training Young Musicians 
Five youth ensembles (beginning to advanced) and a three-week summer day camp. The top level ensemble, Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra, performs in Weill Hall and has also toured internationally as far as China and, most recently, in Central Europe.
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerts at Weill Hall
Sunday, November 17, 2019 – 3:00 PM
Sunday, March 8, 2020 – 3:00 PM
Saturday, May 9, 2020 – 3:00 PM
 
ALL ENSEMBLE SHOWCASE: Saturday, March 15, 2020 – 3:00 PM
 
 
Conductor and Guest Artist Biographies – 2019-2020 Season
High resolution photos of Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong and all guest artists and conductors available upon request
 
Full bios available at srsymphony.org/Artists
Conductors – in order of appearance
 
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Music Director, conductor
A captivating presence on the podium, American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong has garnered acclaim for his dynamic performances, commitment to innovative programming and passion for community engagement. Lecce-Chong begins his post as Music Director and Conductor of the Eugene Symphony, in Eugene, Oregon, in the 2017-2018 season, following in the path of renowned predecessors including Marin Alsop and Giancarlo Guerrero. In addition, he holds the positions of Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Active as a guest conductor, he has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic and collaborated with renowned soloists including Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman.
 
Lecce-Chong is equally at home in opera, having built his credentials as a staff conductor with Santa Fe Opera. At the Florentine Opera, he conducted Madama Butterfly with the Milwaukee Symphony, where he has been invited to close its 2018-2019 season with Carmina Burana. Additional highlights for the 2018-2019 season include subscription debuts with the Louisville Orchestra and the Louisiana Symphony. In Europe, he has taken part in master classes at the Lucerne Festival under Bernard Haitink, as well as with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich.
 
Lecce-Chong is represented by IMG Artists, one of the premier artist management firms in the United States, representing artists such as vocalist Renee Fleming, violinist Joshua Bell and conductor Andre Previn.
 
Gemma New, conductor
New Zealand-born conductor Gemma New is currently Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Ontario, Canada and Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Her 2018-2019 Season guest engagements include Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, CMI Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio and Santa Fe Pro Musica, as well as the philharmonic orchestras of Calgary, Louisiana and Rochester, the symphony orchestras of Charlotte, Detroit, Drummondville, Jacksonville, San Diego, Toronto, Tucson and Winnipeg, the Florida Orchestra and the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester in Germany. In November 2018, she led a Young People’s Concert with the New York Philharmonic. In the summer of 2018 New made her debut with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and returned to the Grant Park Music Festival, while also serving as a Conducting Fellow at Tanglewood Music Center.
 
In recent seasons as guest conductor, New has led the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester, Malmö Symfoniorkester, Filharmonia Szczecin and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne in Europe, many major symphony orchestras in North America, as well as the Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony and Opus Orchestra in New Zealand.
 
New has been awarded numerous fellowships, which include: Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a David A. Karetsky Conducting Fellowship at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, an Ansbacher Fellowship (which culminated in a residency at the Salzburg Music Festival) and resided in Leipzig, Germany, as a Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Fellow. New holds a MA in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, where she studied with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar.
 
Composers of SRS 2019-2020 World Premieres
 
Matt Browne, composer
New York-based composer Matt Browne (b. 1988) strives to create music that meets Sergei Diaghilev’s famous challenge to Jean Cocteau: “Astonish me!”, through incorporating such eclectic influences as the timbral imagination and playfulness of György Ligeti, the shocking and humorous eclecticism of Alfred Schnittke, and the relentless rhythmic energy of Igor Stravinsky.  His music has been praised for its “unbridled humor” (New Music Box) and described as “witty” (The Strad) and “beautifully crafted and considered” (What’s On London).
 
Matt has collaborated with such ensembles as the Minnesota Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Albany Symphony, Harold Rosenbaum and the New York Virtuoso Singers, New Jersey Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, the New England Philharmonic, the Villiers Quartet, the Donald Sinta Quartet, the Tesla Quartet, the PUBLIQuartet and SEVEN)SUNS. Recently, Matt’s music has received honors such as winner of the ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize (2017), an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers award (2014), a BMI Student Composer award (2015), a residency at the Mizzou International Composers Festival, fellow at CULTIVATE Copland House (2017), winner of the New England Philharmonic Call for Scores (2014), a residency at the Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute (2016), winner of the American Viola Society’s Maurice Gardner Composition award (2014), and a residency at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s First Annual Composers Institute (2013). Matt holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Composition from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Previous teachers include Michael Daugherty, Kristin Kuster, Carter Pann, and Daniel Kellogg.
 
Enrico Chapela Barba, composer
Enrico Chapela Barba is one of the most exciting young composer to emerge from Latin America, with a growing number of international performances and commissions. His musical style seeks to fuse different geographic traditions and musical soundworlds, so that contemporary techniques can happily coexist with minimalist, jazz or rock idioms. His symphonic poem ínguesu, a nine-minute musical rendering of the 1999 Mexico vs. Brazil soccer match, has travelled widely since its premiere by the Carlos Chavez Symphony Orchestra in 2003, including a North American tour in 2007 by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Other works include: MAGNETAR Concerto for Electric Cello and Orchestra (2011), Noctámbulos Rock Trio Concerto (2008) and La Mengambrea Saxophone Quartet (2002). Enrico Chapela Barba studied guitar and composition in Mexico City and Paris.
 
Guest Artists – in order of appearance
 
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
Virtuoso pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, he commands an enormous repertoire. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. He expertly performs more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him. This season begins a two-season project exploring the complete solo piano works of Brahms in four different programs performed in New York, San Francisco and Montreal.
 
Béla Fleck, banjo
Some who say Béla Fleck is the world’s premier banjo player. Others claim that Fleck has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. If you are familiar with Fleck, you know that he just loves to play the banjo, often reimagining it in unique settings. The 15-time Grammy Award winner has been nominated in more categories than any other artist in Grammy history, and remains a powerfully creative force globally in bluegrass, jazz, classical pop, rock and world beat. 
 
Sonoma State University Symphonic Chorus 
The Sonoma State University Symphonic Chorus, under the direction of SRS Choral Director and SSU professor of Choral Music Jenny Bent, comprises music majors, students from other majors, staff, faculty and community members and had its debut at the Green Music Center's 2012 opening weekend. The chorus performs large works such as Mozart’s Requiem, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Orff’s Carmina Burana, as well as thematic projects such as Madrigals and All That Jazz and the annual holiday Family Concert By Candlelight. Beginning with a special Sunrise Choral Concert during the Green Music Center’s 2012 grand opening weekend, the Symphonic Chorus makes its permanent home in the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall and Schroeder Hall at Sonoma State University. The SSU Symphonic Chorus is often joined by the The Santa Rosa Junior College Chamber Singers, under the direction of Jody Benecke.
 
Shawnette Sulker, soprano
Shawnette Sulker has performed with American Bach Soloists, Eugene Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Choral Society, Santa Clara Chorale, UC Davis Symphony Chorus & Orchestra, Masterworks Chorale, Avedis Chamber Music Series and Redwood Symphony, to name a few. She made her European concert debut with the Jugendsinfonieorchester Leipzig, singing all the female roles in a concert version of Porgy and Bess and the soprano solos in Mendelssohn's Psalm 42. A native of Guyana, Sulker earned her Bachelor's in vocal performance at Bennington College (Vermont) and studied at the Contemporary Opera and Song Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada) and the OperaWorks Summer Intensive Program in Los Angeles. She has also been an award winner with the Irene Dalis Vocal Competition.
 
Laura Krumm, alto
Iowa native Laura Krumm is a recent graduate of the prestigious Adler Fellowship at the San Francisco Opera. In the 2017-2018 season, Krumm returned to San Francisco Opera for several projects, including Javotte in Vincent Boussard’s production of Manon and Siegrune in Francesca Zambello’s production of Die Walküre. The 2018-2019 season sees her as Lola in Cavalleria rusticana and the Kitchen Boy in Rusalka, both with San Francisco Opera.
 
Benjamin Brecher, baritone
The acclaimed American tenor Benjamin Brecher has performed more than ten roles with The New York City Opera since 1997. Other recent engagements include: La Sonnambula, I Capuleti e I Montecchi and Otello with Opera Orchestra of New York; La Fille du Règiment with Arizona Opera and concerts entitled A Celtic Celebration with the symphonies of St. Louis, Milwaukee, Detroit, Columbus, Indianapolis, Knoxville, Ft. Worth, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Omaha, Salt Lake City, Naples, Seattle, Florida and the National Symphony at Kennedy Center. In the summer of 2001, he made his debut in Pesaro, Italy, at the Rossini Opera Festival, followed by The Barber of Seville in Palm Beach, and Così fan Tutte in Israel. 
 
Philip Skinner, bass
Bass-baritone Philip Skinner's His operatic roles have ranged from the standard bass repertoire such as King PhiIip in Don Carlo to the Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer and Scarpia in Tosca in the helden and dramatic baritone repertoire. Equally prolific in the concert hall, Philip Skinner has performed the Verdi Messa di Requiem at Carnegie Hall with the Masterworks Chorale and in Europe with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. He sang Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 at the Hollywood Bowl and with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Skinner sang the Beethoven Missa Solemnis with Kent Nagano and the Berkeley Symphony, the Lord Nelson Mass at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, and Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, Haydn Creation and other concert pieces with the Dusseldorf Symphoniker, Minnesota Orchestra and others. Skinner was a Schwabacher Debut Recitalist and Adler Fellow (1986-1987) with San Francisco Opera. 
 
Simone Porter, violin
Violinist Simone Porter, an emerging artist of "impassioned energy, interpretive integrity and vibrant communication," has recently debuted with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and with a number of renowned conductors, including Stéphane Denève, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Nicholas McGegan, Ludovic Morlot, Donald Runnicles and Esa-Pekka Salonen. In the 2017-2018 season, at the invitation of the composer, Porter appeared in the New York Philharmonic's presentation of Esa-Pekka Salonen's "Foreign Bodies," a multi-sensory performance experience involving live dance and a video installation. She also performed with orchestras in Rhode Island, Albany (NY), Oregon, Texas and Alabama. She is a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and plays a 1745 J.B. Guadagnini violin on generous loan from The Mandell Collection of Southern California.
 
Natasha Paremski, piano
Natasha Paremski ​is a regular return guest of many major orchestras, including Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco, Winnipeg, Kitchener-Waterloo, Oregon, Elgin, Colorado and Virginia symphonies, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Grant Park Festival, and annually, since 2008, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed with major orchestras in North America including Dallas, San Diego, Toronto, Baltimore, Houston and Nashville symphonies, the NAC Orchestra in Ottawa and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. She has toured extensively in Europe with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vienna’s Tonkünstler Orchester, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre de Bretagne, the Orchestre de Nancy, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchester in Zurich, Moscow Philharmonic and many others. Paremski is also a regular recital partner of Grammy-winning cellist Zuill Bailey, with whom she has recorded a number of CDs. Paremski won the Gilmore Young Artists prize in 2006, at eighteen, the Prix Montblanc in 2007 and the Orpheum Stiftung Prize in Switzerland. In 2010, she was awarded the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year.
 
Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Two-time Grammy nominee and Avery Fisher career grant recipient Jennifer Frautschi has appeared as soloist with Pierre Boulez and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, and at Wigmore Hall and Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. Selected by Carnegie Hall for its Distinctive Debuts series, she made her New York recital debut in 2004. As part of the European Concert Hall Organization's Rising Stars series, Frautschi also made debuts that year at ten of Europe's most celebrated concert venues, including the Salzburg Mozarteum, Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, La Cité de la Musique in Paris and Brussels’ Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. Born in Pasadena, Frautschi began the violin at age three. She was a student of Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. She also attended Harvard, the New England Conservatory of Music and The Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Mann. She performs on a 1722 Antonio Stradivarius violin known as the "ex-Cadiz," on generous loan to her from a private American foundation.
 
Mariachi Champaña Nevín
Mariachi Champaña Nevín is making a name for itself as a virtuoso ensemble of uncompromising quality with a multicultural aesthetic unique in the world of music. Led by accomplished classical and mariachi trumpeter, composer, professor and author Jeff Nevin, Ph.D., this ensemble's performances, recordings and workshops have thrilled and inspired mariachi and Classical-music enthusiasts alike. Turning effortlessly from classic, very traditional Mexican music to transcriptions of beloved works from Classical music literature, their skill and authenticity within both of these traditions thrills audiences nationwide.
 
Full bios available at srsymphony.org/artists.   
 
Classical Concert Series
 
Unmasking the Stars
October 5, 6 & 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
 
 
Master of the Modern Banjo
November 2, 3 & 4, 2019
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Béla Fleck, banjo
Copland: Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo
Béla Fleck: Juno Concerto for Banjo
Mussorgsky/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition    
 
 
Mozart’s Swan Song
December 7, 8 & 9, 2019
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor and harpsichord
Shawnette Sulker, soprano
Laura Krumm, alto
Benjamin Brechner, tenor
Philip Skinner, bass
SSU Symphonic Chorus
Haydn: Symphony No. 39
Jessie Montgomery: Records from a Vanishing City
Mozart:  Requiem in D minor
 
 
Shadows and Sunshine
January 11, 12 & 13, 2020
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Simone Porter, violin
Missy Mazzoli:  Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)
Sibelius:  Violin Concerto in D minor
Brahms:  Symphony No. 2
 
 
Riveting Rachaminoff
February 8, 9 & 10, 2020 
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Natasha Paremski, piano
BeethovenLeonore Overture No. 3
Matt Browne:  Commissioned Work [First Symphony Project World Premiere*]
Rachmaninoff:  Piano Concerto No. 3
 
 
Showcasing Contemporary Women
March 21, 22 & 23, 2020 
Gemma New, guest conductor
Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Katherine Balchlike a broken clock
Saint-Saëns:  Violin Concerto No. 3
Beethoven:  Symphony No. 6, Pastorale
 
 
Visions of Hope
May 2, 3 & 4, 2020 
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Mariachi Champaña Nevín
Four vocalists, tba
Enrico Chapela Barba:  Commissioned work for Mariachi and Orchestra [World Premiere]
Respighi:  The Fountains of Rome
Respighi:  The Pines of Rome
 
Classical Series Concert Times: Saturday and Monday at 7:30 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM. Discovery Open Rehearsals: Saturday at 2 PM.
 
 
Family Concert Series
 
Halloween with Harry Potter
Sunday, October 27, 2019  3:00 PM
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy
 
Peter and the Wolf
Sunday, January 26, 2020  3:00 PM
Bobby Rogers, conductor
Roustabout Theater
 
Beethoven Lives Upstairs
Sunday, April 19, 2020  3:00 PM
Bobby Rogers, conductor
Classical Kids Live!
 
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Ensemble Concerts
Bobby Rogers, conductor
 
Great Composers Revisited
Sunday, November 17, 2019  3:00 PM
Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra
 
Shall we dance?
Sunday, March 8, 2020  3:00 PM
Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra
 
Fantastic Alumni
Saturday, May 9, 2020  3:00 PM
Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra
 
All Ensemble Showcase Concert
Saturday, March 15, 2020  3:00 PM 
 
All listed Classical, Family and SRS Youth Orchestra concerts performed at Weill Hall, Green Music Center.
 
 
 
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, who began his tenure in 2018, is the fifth Music Director in the organization’s history. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

February 26, 2019: An afternoon of music and mystery for the whole family "The Composer is Dead" April 7

Santa Rosa Symphony, February 26, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) presents "The Composer is Dead," an affordable family concert on April 7, 2019, at 3 PM at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. This symphonic murder mystery, conducted by Santa Rosa Symphony Music Director and Conductor 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. His concerto for two violins and strings, Double, was commissioned to represent the year 1999 in the millennial Festival of 999 Years of Music in Sheffield, England. Stookey’s Mahlerwerk (2011), commissioned by NDR-Sinfonie (Hamburg) for their centennial Mahler cycle, was premiered under Christoph Eschenbach before an audience of ten thousand people. His critically acclaimed String Quartet No. 3 The Mezzanine was commissioned and premiered by Kronos Quartet in 2013. Yield to Total Elation for chamber orchestra, commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and inspired by the architect A.G. Rizzoli’s imaginary city, premiered in April 2016.  
 
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 range 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 PM and all ticket holders are invited to arrive early for a free Instrument Petting Zoo in the Weill Hall lobby, staffed by SRS youth ensemble musicians, parents and volunteers. The Petting Zoo is available beginning at 2 PM.
 
Tickets are $18/adult; $12/youth (12 and under) and may be purchased at srsymphony.org, 546-8742, or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays).
 
Sponsors
The SRS Family Series: The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust
"The Composer Is Dead": Donald and Maureen Green
Additional support: County of Sonoma—Board of Supervisors and The Press Democrat
 
High resolution photos available upon request
 
CALENDAR LISTING:
 
What:    Santa Rosa Symphony Family concert "The Composer is Dead"
 
WhoSanta Rosa Symphony
Francesco Lecce Chong, conductor
Jeff Coté, narrator  
 
When: Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 3 PM
Pre-concert fun begins at 2 PM with an Instrument Petting Zoo, free to all ticket holders
 
Where:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  $18/adult; $12/youth (12 and under)
 
Tickets: 546-8742; srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

February 20, 2019: SRS Youth Ensembles perform in FREE mini-concerts in Railroad Square venues March 23 AND two concerts with special guests, concerto winners

Santa Rosa Symphony, February 20, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — On Saturday afternoon, March 23, musicians and faculty from the Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education will play music in various Railroad Square venues. These "Music Around Town" performances are free to the public. The Institute has partnered with a select group of historic businesses and venues to create community and expose more people to classical music and the amazing array of SRS education programs. The public is invited to stroll through the shops, restaurants and galleries as chamber ensembles of 2-14 young musicians and faculty perform 20-30 minute sets.
 
This unique event will be held 2-5 pm on Saturday, March 23. Maps will be available at each venue for this musical walking tour of historic Railroad Square. Some of the stops, which include Museums of Sonoma County, 6th Street Playhouse, Cast Away Yarn Shop, Chevy’s Fresh Mex and A'Roma Roasters, may offer refreshments or special exhibits.
 
The Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education's Training Young Musicians programs include four performing orchestras, many of which have concerts in March, as noted below.
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra
Concerto Concert
Saturday, March 9, 3 pm
Bobby Rogers, conductor
Featuring concerto winner: Grace Yarrow, violin
Special Guests: Napa Valley Youth Symphony and Santa Rosa High School String Orchestra
Weill Hall, Green Music Center
 
Young People’s Ch amber Orchestra
The Lives of Composers: a seriously delirious musical pageant
Sunday, March 10, 7 pm
Aaron Westman, director
Featuring concerto winner: Devon Bolt, flute
Special Guest: Jim Beloff, ukulele
Phoenix Theater, Petaluma
 
Tickets at srsymphony.org and (707) 546-8742 
in advance: $15 adults; $5 youth; $10 group
at the door: $20 adults; $10 youth
 
In addition, the following recitals are free and open to the public:
 
Simply Strings Recital
Friday, March 8, 6 pm
Piner High School, Santa Rosa
No tickets or reservations required
 
SRSYO Chamber Players Recital
Sunday, March 24 at noon
First Congregational Church of Santa Rosa
No tickets or reservations required
 
-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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org 

February 15, 2019: SRS to receive second $10,000 grant from NEA in its 2018-2019 season

Santa Rosa Symphony, February 15, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) —National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $27 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019.  Included in this announcement is a Challenge America grant of $10,000 to the Santa Rosa Symphony for the sixth concert program of the 2018–2019 season, “American Dreams,” with performances March 16, 17 and 18, and accompanying youth engagement activities by guest violinist Elena Urioste.
 
Challenge America grants support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. This is the first time the Symphony has received two National Endowment for the Arts grants within a single season, having recently been awarded a Challenge America grant in support of its July 29, 2018, free community concert with Mariachi Champaña Nevín.
 
“The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
 
“This unprecendented second National Endowment for the Arts grant in a single season speaks to the Santa Rosa Symphony’s  leading national role as a regional orchestra providing meaningful programming to its community,” said Alan Silow, President & CEO of the Santa Rosa Symphony.
 
“American Dreams” will feature the world-renowned Urioste performing Barber’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in a program led by beloved Santa Rosa Symphony Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane at Weill Hall in Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. With the support of the Challenge America grant, Urioste will lead an engaging masterclass for advanced young musicians and visit the Symphony’s El Sistema-inspired social action after-school program for underserved Roseland youth, Simply Strings, during her time in Sonoma County.
 
For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
 
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org 

February 11, 2019: Santa Rosa Symphony partners with Eugene Symphony for ambitious four-year commissioning project

Santa Rosa Symphony, February 11, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS), in partnership with Eugene Symphony, will launch the
First Symphony Project in the fall of 2019. Four acclaimed American composers have been co-commissioned by the Santa Rosa Symphony, Eugene Symphony and nine patron households including Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, to write their first symphony, to be premiered and given second performances between the two symphony orchestras over the next four years.
 
Increasing the scope of the project, the orchestra performing the world premiere will also perform a shorter work by that composer earlier in the same season. Additionally, each of the composers will be Composer-in-Residence for both performance weeks, participating in community outreach activities.
 
SRS Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, who is also Music Director of the Eugene Symphony, proposed this unique project to shift the commissioning paradigm to a collaborative and interactive process between the commissioners, performers, composers, and their communities. Lecce-Chong selected American composers whom he knows to be open to collaboration and feedback during the composition process.
 
"Our art form relies on the creative vision of today's composers," says Lecce-Chong. "In the large-scale form of a symphony, these composers will be able to create a musical world that is both deeply personal and powerfully universal. Just as importantly, the multiple residencies will allow us to not only celebrate these new creations, but bring us closer to their creators."
 
Commissioned composers and season of their first symphony world premiere:
Matt Browne – 2019-2020
Gabriella Smith – 2020-2021
Angélica Negrón – 2021-2022
Michael Djupstrom – 2022-2023
 
Said Matt Browne, the first composer to premiere his first symphony, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be present in the Eugene and Santa Rosa communities throughout the creative process. So often composers are shut in our studios writing music, only to send it off with minimal contact. It is refreshing and so important for us composers to be present and available throughout the process, not only to the musicians but also to the community as a whole.”
 
Gabriella Smith, whose commissioned work will be premiered during the 2020-2021 season said, “The reason this project is so exciting to me is that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to write an orchestral work of this scope. I have always been attracted to long, continuously developing musical arcs, and a work of this scope will give me the opportunity to develop this sense of trajectory and evolution to a much fuller extent than I have ever been able to in the past.”
 
Angélica Negrón, commissioned composer of the 2021-2022 season, commented, “Undertaking such a large-scale work is a stimulating challenge as well as a creative opportunity to take risks and explore what it means to write a symphony in the 21st century. With my new piece, I am hoping to reimagine this tradition, considering the orchestra as an ever-evolving and expanding sonic palette with infinite possibilities. I am interested in submerging myself in this long form to discover new sonic spaces that make room for fresh perspectives that reflect what it means to be a composer in today's complicated landscape.”
 
The final commissioned composer, Michael Djupstrom, said, "It was orchestral music that first really sparked my interest in classical music. I am still in love with orchestral music today.  I have written for several works for the medium, but I have never had the chance to compose something large-scale. These opportunities are extremely rare today, and I'm very excited to take part in this project."
 
Lecce-Chong wanted the commissioning support to be locally based to strengthen community engagement during the compositional process. Moreover, his commitment to this project extends to his being one of the nine donors, unusual for a music director. Thus, four local patrons of the Santa Rosa Symphony and four from the Eugene Symphony, as well as Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, provide support for this project. All nine donors will be listed on the music scores as co-commissioners. Santa Rosa Symphony patron donors are Emeritus Board Members: Nancy and David Berto, Chuck and Ellen Wear, Creighton White and current board member Gordon Blumenfeld.
 
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to be patrons, to support Francesco and the four composers by investing in these new major works. We look forward to hearing these commissioned pieces played by our symphony,” commented donors Chuck and Ellen Wear.
 
Interview Opportunities
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Music Director
Alan Silow, Santa Rosa Symphony President & CEO
 
About the Composers
New York-based composer Matt Browne (b. 1988) strives to create music that meets Sergei Diaghilev’s famous challenge to Jean Cocteau: “Astonish me!”, through incorporating such eclectic influences as the timbral imagination and playfulness of György Ligeti, the shocking and humorous eclecticism of Alfred Schnittke and the relentless rhythmic energy of Igor Stravinsky.  His music has been praised for its “unbridled humor” (New Music Box) and described as “witty” (The Strad) and “beautifully crafted and considered” (What’s On London). See full bio here.
 
Gabriella Smith is a composer from the San Francisco Bay Area whose music is described as “high-voltage and wildly imaginative” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “bold, original and suggests exciting new directions for American music” (Giancarlo Guerrero), and “You really get the Pacific Ocean, man!” (Cabrillo Festival audience member). Her music has been performed throughout the United States and internationally by eighth blackbird, Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, PRISM Quartet, Aizuri Quartet and yMusic, among others. Upcoming season highlights include the world premiere of a new work for Roomful of Teeth and Dover Quartet at Bravo! Vail Music Festival, and performances of Tumblebird Contrails by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in January 2019, conducted by John Adams. See full bio here.
 
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1981 and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Interested in creating intricate yet simple narratives that evoke intangible moments in time, she writes music for accordions, toys and electronics as well as chamber ensembles and orchestras. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR radio's Q2) and “mesmerizing and affecting” (Feast of Music) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and her “quirky approach to scoring.” She was selected by Q2 and NPR listeners as part of “The Mix: 100 Composers Under 40,” by Flavorpill as one of the “10 Young Female Composers You Should Know” and by Paste Magazine as one of the 20 most innovative musicians working today. See full bio here.
 
The work of composer and pianist Michael Djupstrom (b. 1980) has been honored with first prizes in the international composition competitions of the United Kingdom’s Delius Society, the American Viola Society and the Chinese Fine Arts Society. He has been further recognized through awards and grants from institutions such as the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Charles Ives Fellowship, Charles Ives Scholarship), Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (Pew Fellowship), New Music USA, S&R Foundation (Grand Prize, Washington Awards), Meet the Composer, the American Composers Forum, the Académie musicale de Villecroze, and the Sigurd and Jarmila Rislov Foundation, among many others. The Music Teachers National Association named him its 2005 MTNA-Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year. See full bio here.
 
High resolution 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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Visit srsymphony.org to learn more.
 
 
About Eugene Symphony
Now in its 53rd season, the Eugene Symphony is a nonprofit and 83-member orchestra based in Eugene, Oregon. Led by Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, Eugene Symphony reaches more than 50,000 adults and children annually with live music performances. Recognized as a cornerstone of the performing arts in Oregon's southern Willamette Valley, Eugene Symphony pursues its mission of enriching lives through the power of music by presenting annual classical and pops concerts, as well as music education and community engagement programs, regularly commissioning and premiering new American works, and disseminating its performances via radio broadcasts and recordings. More at eugenesymphony.org.

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Communication
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

February 6, 2019: Clover Sonoma supports Santa Rosa Symphony's Free Concerts for Youth

Santa Rosa Symphony, February 6, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) —Clover Sonoma made a generous donation to the Santa Rosa Symphony to help fund the Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education's "Free Concerts for Youth" program, which provides North Bay schools with access to free, engaging educational concerts in Weill Hall, at the Green Music Center. Clover Sonoma support extends to the two remaining (of three) concert dates:  Thursday, February 7, 2019, and Thursday, May 2, 2019. In the 2018-2019 season, the Free Concerts for Youth will reach approximately 7,000 children, teachers and chaperones with a total of six concerts (two on each date).
 
What's unique about the SRS Institute's Free Concerts For Youth program is that for the February and May concert dates, the elementary students hear concerts by youth ensembles, making it all the more inspiring. On February 7, elementary students will be treated to a concert by the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra (ages 14-22), the highest level of the Institute's Training Young Musicians program. They will be joined by students from the El Sistema-inspired Simply Strings afterschool program for John Williams' Imperial March from Star Wars. Simply Strings provides no-cost, after-school music instruction for underserved students from second grade through middle school at Sheppard Accelerated Elementary School in Santa Rosa. The May concert will be performed by the Santa Rosa Symphony Aspirante Orchestra, the SRS' mid-level youth orchestra.
 
Free Concerts for Youth is the longest-running component of the Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education. Eugene Shepherd, founder and conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra (which was originally named the Sonoma County Junior Symphony) performed the first free educational concert in 1947.
 
The SRS Institute for Music Education continues to expand its educational services for young people and adults, and recently made major strides. Last year saw a 35% increase in the Institute’s reach, now serving 30,000 annually with a broad array of free and low-cost programming for classroom, afterschool, weekend and summer music education.
 
"The Symphony relies heavily on community support, including generous corporate donations like this, to keep the Symphony's music education programs available to Sonoma County elementary students. We are very grateful to Clover Sonoma for its support of the Free Concerts for Youth and all it means to the community," said Santa Rosa Symphony President and CEO Alan Silow.
 
About Clover Sonoma
Clover Sonoma, formerly Clover Stornetta Farms (and also Clover Organic Farms or simply, Clover) is a dairy company located in Sonoma County, California, along the Pacific coast in Northern California. It is a brand that has existed since the early 1900s, when the Petaluma Cooperative Creamery served the city of Petaluma. In 1977, Clover Stornetta Farms, Inc. was formed from the joining of two separate companies: Stornetta's Dairy and the Petaluma Cooperative Creamery (which distributed "Clover" brand dairy products).
 
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

January 25, 2019: Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane returns for "American Dreams" Violinist Elena Urioste plays Barber

Santa Rosa Symphony, January 25, 2019

Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) welcomes the return of its Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane for a program of American composers on March 16-18 at the Green Music Center. "American Dreams" features George Gershwin's American in Paris, Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3 and violin virtuoso Elena Urioste for Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto.
 
"American Dreams" will be performed on Saturday, March 16, at 7:30 PM; Sunday, March 17, at 3 PM and Monday, March 18, at 7:30 PM at Weill Hall in Sonoma State University's Green Music Center. The concert experience is further enhanced with pre-concert talks, given by SRS Cultural Historian and Musicologist Kayleen Asbo PhD, one hour prior to performances (except the Discovery Rehearsal). These informative 30-minute talks conclude with a Q & A period. Additionally, the Discovery Rehearsal, which is general seating, happens at 2 PM on Saturday, March 16 (no pre-concert talk for this working rehearsal).
 
George Gershwin wrote An American in Paris in response to his own experiences in Paris. Its contagious tunes, where one might hear the influence of Debussy, include a spirited jaunt through the streets of Paris, a nostalgic blues theme, and an energetic and rhythmic passage.
 
With his Symphony No. 3, his largest purely instrumental work, Copland sought to express the hope and promise of Post-War United States and reimagine the traditional European forms, all while pleasing its commissioner George Koussevitzky, who declared it the greatest American symphony ever written. Leonard Bernstein agreed, calling it an American monument, "like the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial."
 
Violinist Elena Urioste "thoughtful and …virtuosic" (The Guardian) mastery on her Alessandro Gagliano violin (on extended loan from the private collection of Dr. Charles E. King through the Stradivari Society of Chicago) will confirm for the listener Barber's talent as a lyricist.
 
When Urioste played Barber's Violin Concerto with the Knoxville Symphony, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported that she "played it as though it were coming from her own soul. Her playing of the 'Andante' second movement of the concerto was beyond masterful and exquisitely beautiful."

Urioste, hailed by The Washington Post as “a drop-dead beauty who plays with equal parts passion, sensuality, brains and humor,” was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2012 to 2014 and a first-place laureate in both the Junior and Senior divisions of the Sphinx Competition. She has given acclaimed performances with major orchestras throughout the U.S., including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and Boston Pops; the New York and Buffalo philharmonics; and the Chicago, San Francisco, National, Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Austin, Charleston, Richmond, and San Antonio symphony orchestras. Abroad, Urioste has appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Edmonton Symphony, Würzburg Philharmonic, and Hungary’s Orchestra Dohnányi Budafok and MAV orchestras. Other accomplishments include first prize at the Sion International Violin Competition and the inaugural Sphinx Medal of Excellence, presented by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Read full bio here.  
 
Jeffrey Kahane has established an international reputation as a versatile concert pianist and conductor. Since making his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983, he has given recitals in many of the nation’s major music centers. Kahane made his conducting debut at the Oregon Bach Festival in 1988. Since then, he has guest conducted many of the major United States orchestras, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Indianapolis and New World symphonies among others. In May 2017, Kahane completed his 20th and final season as Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He also served as the Music Director of the Colorado Symphony from the 2005-2006 through the 2009-2010 seasons and for ten seasons as Music Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony (1995-1996 through 2005-2006). He has received much recognition for his innovative programming and commitment to education and community involvement with all three orchestras and received ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming for his work in both Los Angeles and Denver. See full bio here.
 
Program notes, a Spotify playlist of the works and an overview video with SRS Cultural Historian Kayleen Asbo PhD are available on the concert event page. Tickets range from $24 to $87 and may be purchased online, in person or by phone (see below). In addition, for each adult ticket purchased, the ticket holder may request a free ticket for a youth, ages 7 to 17, to accompany them.
 
Tickets are available by phone, online and in person as follows:  (707) 546-8742; srsymphony.org; or Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
Free tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request ONE FREE ticket for a youth 7-17 with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert. This offer is not available online, but may be requested by phone or in person.
 
Sponsors
Jeffrey Kahane underwritten by Norma Person, In memory of Evert Person
Elena Urioste underwritten by Faye Smith
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of
Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Additional support provided by the County of Sonoma – Board of Supervisors and The Press Democrat
 
-High-res guest artist, conductor and orchestra photos available upon request-
 
CALENDAR LISTING:
 
What:    Santa Rosa Symphony concert "American Dreams"
 
WhoSanta Rosa Symphony
Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane, conductor
Elena Urioste, violin
 
When:
Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 7:30 PM
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, March 16, at 2:00 PM)
Sunday, March 17, 2019 at 3:00 PM
Monday, March 18, 2019 at 7:30 PM
 
Pre-concert talk with SRS Musicologist and Cultural Historian Kayleen Asbo begins one hour before each performance and will include Q&A. (no pre-concert interview prior to Discovery Rehearsal)
 
Where:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  $24-$87
 
Tickets: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

January 15, 2019: Willow Creek Wealth Management supports Santa Rosa Symphony's crucial "It's Elementary" program AND supplies free tickets to families at participating schools

Santa Rosa Symphony, January 15, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony has received generous support from Willow Creek Wealth Management for the Symphony's "It's Elementary" program, which provides vital access to free music education to Sonoma County elementary schools, some of which have been federally-designated as underserved. In addition, the Sebastopol-based financial planning and investment firm and long-time supporter of the Symphony, has funded free tickets for It's Elementary school students and their families to attend the Santa Rosa Symphony Family Concerts "Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery" on January 27 and "The Composer is Dead" on April 7 at Weill Hall, Green Music Center.
 
"We believe strongly that the combination of education and music provides immense value to young students through enhanced focus, engagement, creativity, and discipline that will permeate through their entire lives," said Timothy Admire, a partner at Willow Creek Wealth Management in Sebastopol. "Based on this belief, we are extremely excited to expand the benefit of music education within our community by supporting the Santa Rosa Symphony’s It’s Elementary program, offering more students and families complimentary access to high-caliber performances at Weill Hall."
 
The Symphony's It's Elementary program, which serves six Sonoma County elementary schools at a time for a two-year term, includes the following features:

Elementary School Listening Program which provides classical music CDs of five-minute selections for playing over the school's PA and for in-classroom listening

Four in-school Santa Rosa Symphony ensemble performances, introducing students to orchestral instruments by section (string, woodwind, brass and percussion) 

One in-school performance by a SRS Youth Orchestra

Youth Discovery Cards – each student at participating schools receives a season pass for SRS Dress Rehearsals at Weill Hall, Green Music Center

One Free SRS concert at Weill Hall as a field trip during school hours

Free recorders and curriculum for students to play with the orchestra from their seats at the Green Music Center

Curriculum support and professional development for teachers and participating schools, which include lesson plans and after-school workshops 


"The Symphony relies heavily on community support, including generous corporate donations like this, to keep the Symphony's music education programs available to Sonoma County elementary students. We are very grateful to Willow Creek Wealth Management for its support, not just of 'It's Elementary,' but also of the Family Series, making these Family concerts available to more families," said Santa Rosa Symphony President and CEO Alan Silow.
 
###
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
 
About Willow Creek Wealth Management
Willow Creek Wealth Management, located in Sebastopol, is a fee-only, independent advisory firm serving over 600 families. With offices in Sebastopol and Marin County, the firm provides a range of wealth management services including investment management, retirement planning, tax and financial planning as well as strategic philanthropic consulting.
 
About the Santa Rosa Symphony Family Series concerts
The Santa Rosa Symphony 7th Family Concert Season, comprising three Sunday afternoon, interactive orchestral concerts geared to small children and families filled with fun, mystery and magic continues at Weill Hall, Green Music Center on January 27 and April 7, 2019.
 
For "Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery," on January 27, at 3 PM, Classical Kids LIVE! provides engaging antics for children as they learn about 18th-century Venice, while they follow a young orphan violinist as she searches for her true identity and a missing Stradivarius violin. Along the way, audience members will gain an understanding and appreciation for Antonio Vivaldi, his music and the orchestra's instruments. The program, conducted by Bobby Rogers and ideal for sharing with young children, includes excerpts from Vivaldi's famous works, including his Four Seasons, the Violin Concerto in A minor and the Guitar Concerto.
 
On Sunday, April 7, "The Composer is Dead" will be conducted by new SRS Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong. All the suspects are musical instruments, and they all seem to have a motive – and an alibi. So who killed the composer? This murder mystery was commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and composed by one of its Youth Orchestra alumns, Nathaniel Stookey. The narration for the piece (and the corresponding children's book) was written by the popular children's author Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events). For more information about the program and their collaboration, see this YouTube video.
 
The Symphony provides a complimentary Instrument Petting Zoo in the lobby beginning one hour prior to the performances. Tickets are $18/adult; $12/youth (12 and younger) and may be purchased at srsymphony.org or by calling (707) 54-MUSIC. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

January 4, 2019: Santa Rosa Symphony celebrates female composers, conductors and artists with "Love Letters"

Santa Rosa Symphony, January 4, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — On February 9, 10 and 11, 2019, the Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) presents "Love Letters," celebrating women and love. Guest conductor Sarah Ioannides will lead the orchestra for this concert, which begins with Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel's Overture in C major and ends with her brother Felix Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3, Scottish. After Fanny's overture, Sara Davis Buechner plays Clara Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor. Clara's husband Robert's Overture to Manfred completes this Valentine's weekend concert.
 
"Love Letters" will be performed on Saturday, February 9, at 7:30 PM; Sunday, February 10 at 3 PM and Monday, February 11 at 7:30 PM at Weill Hall in Sonoma State University's Green Music Center. Additionally, the Discovery Rehearsal, which is general seating, happens at 2 PM on Saturday, February 10. The concert experience is further enhanced with pre-concert talks, given by SRS Cultural Historian and Musicologist Kayleen Asbo PhD, one hour prior to performances (except the Discovery Rehearsal). These informative 30-minute talks conclude with a Q & A period.
 
Program notes, a Spotify playlist of the works and an overview video with Dr. Asbo are available on the concert event page. Tickets range from $24 to $87 and may be purchased online, in person or by phone (see below). In addition, for each adult ticket purchased, the ticket holder may request a free ticket for a youth, ages 7 to 17, to accompany them.

Sara Davis Buechner has been praised worldwide as a musician of “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess” (New York Times); lauded for her “fascinating and astounding virtuosity” (Philippine Star), and her “thoughtful artistry in the full service of music” (Washington Post); and celebrated for her performances which are “never less than 100% committed and breathtaking” (Pianoforte Magazine, London). Japan’s InTune magazine says: “When it comes to clarity, flawless tempo selection, phrasing and precise control of timbre, Buechner has no superior.”
 
In her twenties, Davis Buechner won awards from the world’s première piano competitions – Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, Leeds, Salzburg, Sydney and Vienna. She won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and was a Bronze Medalist of the 1986 Tschaikowsky International Piano Competition in Moscow.

A dedicated Yamaha Artist for more than 30 years with a repertoire of more than 100 concertos, Davis Buechner has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s prominent orchestras. In 2016, she joined the piano faculty of the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia. She has presented lectures and masterclasses worldwide, notably at the Royal Academy in London, the Juilliard School in New York City, Indiana University, the Eastman School of Music, Shanghai Conservatory and the Kobe-Yamate Gakuen in Osaka, Japan. Read her full bio here.

Described by the New York Times as a conductor with “unquestionable strength and authority” and “magic,” Sarah Ioannides’ dynamic presence on the podium has won praise from audience and critics internationally. Ioannides, now in her fourth season as Music Director of Symphony Tacoma, has gained recognition as one of the most engaging and respected conductors of her generation. She previously served as music director for the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (2005-2012) and the El Paso Symphony (2005-2011).
 
Ioannides, whose guest engagements span six continents, was listed as one of the top twenty female conductors worldwide by Lebrecht’s “Woman Conductors: The Power List” in 2016. The Los Angeles Times declared that she is “one of six female conductors breaking the glass podium” and she was praised in the New York Times as part of a new wave of female conductors in their late 20’s through early 40’s.” In addition, she was awarded the JoAnn Falletta award for the most promising female conductor. Read her full bio here.
 
Concert Times and Location
Saturday, February 9, and Monday, February 11, at 7:30 PM, Sunday, February 10, at 3:00 PM
Discovery Open Rehearsal is Saturday, February 9 at 2:00 PM
All performances are at Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University.
 
Tickets are available by phone, online and in person as follows:  (707) 546-8742; srsymphony.org; or Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
Free tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request ONE FREE ticket for a youth 7-17 with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert. This offer is not available online, but may be requested by phone or in person.
 
Sponsors
Supporting sponsor: The E. Nakamichi Foundation
Sarah Ioannides underwritten by Ava & Sam Guerrera
Sara Davis Buechner underwritten by Linda Castiglioni
Media sponsor: The Press Democrat
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of
Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Additional support provided by the County of Sonoma – Board of Supervisors

-High-res guest artist, conductor and orchestra photos available upon request-
 
CALENDAR LISTING:
 
What:    Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Love Letters"
 
WhoSanta Rosa Symphony
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Sara Davis Buechner, soprano
 
When:
Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 7:30 PM
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, February 9, at 2:00 PM)
Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 3:00 PM
Monday, February 11, 2019 at 7:30 PM
 
Pre-concert talk with SRS Musicologist and Cultural Historian Kayleen Asbo begins one hour before each performance and will include Q&A. (no pre-concert interview prior to Discovery Rehearsal)
 
Where:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  $24-$87
 
Tickets: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at
Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

December 4, 2018: Classical Kids LIVE! joins Santa Rosa Symphony for an affordable family concert "Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery" January 27, 2019 3 PM

Santa Rosa Symphony, December 4, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) presents an affordable family concert on January 27, 2019 at 3 PM at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. Classical Kids LIVE! provides engaging antics for children as they learn about 17th-century Venice, including Carnivale and the Island of the Dead, while they follow a young orphan violinist as she searches for her true identity and a missing Stradivarius violin. Along the way, audience members will gain an understanding and appreciation for Antonio Vivaldi, his music and the orchestra's instruments. The program, ideal for sharing with young children, includes excerpts from Vivaldi's famous works, including his Four Seasons, the Violin Concerto in A minor and the Guitar Concerto.
 
SRS Youth Orchestra Conductor Bobby Rogers will lead the orchestra for Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery. Rogers is also currently Music Director at Pioneer High School in Woodland, Director of Jazz Program at Solano Community College, adjunct Professor of Band at Woodland Community College and Artistic Director of the Yolo Community Band. Rogers, a graduate of Sonoma State University (BA in Music Education and Jazz Performance) and Sacramento State University (MA in Wind Conducting), studied conducting with Craig Kirchhoff of the University of Minnesota, John Whitwell of Michigan State University, H. Robert Reynolds of University of Michigan and USC Thornton School of Music, Mallory Thompson of Northwestern University, Jack Stamp of Indiana State, Kevin Sedatole of Michigan State and Dr. Robert Halseth of Sacramento State University. Read his full bio here.
 
Classical Kids LIVE! is produced by Classical Kids Music Education, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering classical music education, which has received more awards and honors than any other similar performing arts organization. Read more about Classical Kids Live! here.
 
The concert begins at 3 PM and all ticket holders are invited to arrive early for a free Instrument Petting Zoo in the Weill Hall lobby, staffed by SRS youth ensemble musicians, parents and volunteers. The Petting Zoo is available beginning at 2 PM.
 
Tickets are $18/adult; $12/youth (12 and under) and may be purchased at srsymphony.org, 546-8742, or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays).
 
Sponsors
The SRS Family Series is sponsored in part by the generous support of the
Alan and Susan Seidenfeld
with additional support provided by County of Sonoma—Board of Supervisors and The Press Democrat
 
High resolution photos available upon request
 
CALENDAR LISTING:
 
What:    Santa Rosa Symphony Family concert "Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery"
 
WhoSanta Rosa Symphony
Bobby Rogers, conductor
Classical Kids Live!, narrator  
 
When: Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 3 PM
Pre-concert fun begins at 2 PM with an Instrument Petting Zoo, free to all ticket holders
 
Where:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  $18/adult; $12/youth (12 and under)
 
Tickets: 546-8742; srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)

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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

November 30, 2018: Santa Rosa Symphony announces highlights of record-breaking season

Santa Rosa Symphony, November 30, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony, resident orchestra of Weill Hall at the Green Music Center, continues to set records and increase its outreach to the community. In the 2017-2018 season, the Symphony's 90th, the Symphony selected a new Music Director, responded in concrete and generous ways to those affected by the fires, sent the Youth Orchestra on a central European concert tour and proved, once again, the vital role it plays in the community, operating from a sound, fiscally responsible foundation.
 
"It is a testament to the dedication of the Board, staff, and musicians and our quality concert and music education programs, that the Symphony is able to, year after year, break records, reach more people and develop new ways of staying relevant in the community," said President and CEO Alan Silow.
 
Top 2017-2018 organizational achievements and highlights included:

Five Music Director candidates each conducted one concert weekend; Francesco Lecce-Chong named fifth Music Director in April

Donations reached historic high of more than $2 million, accentuated by record individual and Board giving

Endowment Fund value exceeded $13 million for the first time

Education programs and opportunities for youth and adults were drawn under one new umbrella: The SRS Institute for Music Education

Benefit concert raised $115,000 for fire relief with all artists, conductors (then current and two former SRS Music Directors) and staff donating their time

Free Classical Series tickets offered to fire survivors and first responders for the rest of the season; instruments damaged or destroyed in fires replaced

Fifteenth consecutive fiscal year ending in the black

Commemorative, full-color booklet outlining SRS' 90-year history produced

SRS Youth Orchestra toured Salzburg, Vienna and Budapest

Fourth free community concert reached diverse audience of 4,000 with a mariachi ensemble

Most successful annual fundraiser in14-years of such galas, honored Donald and Maureen Green

April 25, 2018 proclaimed Santa Rosa Symphony Day by Santa Rosa City proclamation, recognizing 90th anniversary

High resolution 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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

November 27, 2018: Masterworks by Mahler and Mozart conducted by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong features soprano Marie Plette

Santa Rosa Symphony, November 27, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — On January 12, 13 and 14, 2019, the Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) presents "Tiers of Heaven," a concert that explores heavenly realms and mortality with vibrant music which evokes emotions from anguish, to peace, to exaltation. The program, conducted by new Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, opens with Signals from Heaven, an antiphonal work by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. Mozart's explosive Symphony No. 40 in G minor contrasts Mahler's sublime Symphony No. 4 in G major. Operatic and Orchestral soprano Marie Plette sings the poem in the final movement of Mahler's symphony, which describes a child's view of paradise.
 
The Santa Rosa Symphony performs "Tiers of Heaven" Saturday, January 12, at 7:30 PM; Sunday, January 13 at 3 PM and Monday, January 14 at 7:30 PM at Weill Hall in Sonoma State University's Green Music Center. Additionally, the Discovery Rehearsal, a general seating event, happens at 2 PM on Saturday, January 12. The concert experience is further enhanced with pre-concert talks, given by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong one hour prior to performances (except the Discovery Rehearsal). These informative 30-minute talks conclude with a Q & A period. Attendees may also "Ask Francesco" by writing a question on a cards provided in the lobby.
 
Program notes, a Spotify list of the works and an overview video with SRS Cultural Historian and Musicologist are available on the concert event page. Tickets range from $24 to $87 and may be purchased online, in person or by phone (see below). In addition, for each adult ticket purchased, the ticket holder may request a free ticket for a youth, ages 7 to 17, to accompany them.

Written months after losing his infant son in a feverish composing spree in which he wrote three symphonies in the space of six weeks, Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor exudes darkness and anguish. In the first movement, Mozart included a daring harmonic progression, going ever deeper in minor keys and returning to the minor key of G in the fourth movement, at a time when minor keys were avoided in final movements. That final movement, according to musicologist Michael Steinberg may be the most explosive music ever written. This symphony even provided Mozart with inspiration for his Fifth Symphony.
 
Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in G major, written around the turn of the 19th century is the most performed of his symphonies and is the most accessible to Mahler initiates. Contrasting to Mozart's Symphony No. 40, this symphony provides peace and solace. It concludes with a poem, a child's image of paradise, sung by soprano Marie Plette.
 
Acclaimed operatic soprano singer Marie Plette has performed a wide range of leading roles in major opera houses in North America and Europe, including Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Love Simpson in Cold Sassy Tree and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Plette has performed at the San Francisco Opera House (most recently as Madama Butterfly) and many regional companies in the area in addition to her international engagements.
 
Plette's orchestral credits include Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the New Japan Philharmonic, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Memphis Symphony, Liu in Turandot with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and an evening of Viennese music with the San Francisco Symphony. Her several appearances at Carnegie Hall include singing Vaughan Williams's A Sea Symphony, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, Fauré's Requiem, and Bruckner's Te Deum with the New York Choral Society; and Rossini's Stabat Mater with the Collegiate Chorale. She has also been heard in recital at the Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York and in concert with Arizona Opera, New Jersey Symphony and Opera Omaha.

Marie Plette is a recipient of awards from the George London Competition, two grants from the Richard Tucker Foundation, a Sullivan grant and the San Francisco Opera's Il Cenacolo Award. Read Plette's full bio here.

"Tiers of Heaven" begins with Toru Takemitsu's Signals from Heaven. Its two antiphonal fanfares, "Day Signal" and "Night Signal," were written separately as commissions for festivals in Tokyo and Glasgow. The brass instruments "speak" to each other, creating a dialogue effect similar to that of the works by Venetian composers like Giovanni Gabrieli at the turn of the seventeenth century. Takemitsu turned to composing while recuperating from pneumonia after a mountain climbing trip when he was sixteen. He listened to the radio while he was bedridden and decided, in spite of having no musical training at that time, to become a composer. Primarily self-taught, he rose to the stature of Japan's best-known composers before his death in 1996. In this work, Takemitsu, who often wrote elegies for lost friends, presents the modern world and dreamlike landscapes of the realm beyond.

Concert Times and Location
Saturday, January 12, and Monday, January 14, at 7:30 PM, Sunday, January 13, at 3:00 PM
Discovery Open Rehearsal is Saturday, January 12 at 2:00 PM
All performances are at Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University.
 
Tickets are available by phone, online and in person as follows:  (707) 546-8742; srsymphony.org; or Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
Free tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request ONE FREE ticket for a youth 7-17 with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert. This offer is not available online, but may be requested by phone or in person.
 
Sponsors
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David & Corinne Byrd
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of
Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Additional support provided by the County of Sonoma – Board of Supervisors

-High-res orchestra and guest artist photos available upon request-
 
CALENDAR LISTING:
 
What:    Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Tiers of Heaven"
 
WhoSanta Rosa Symphony
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Marie Plette, soprano
 
When:
Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 7:30 PM
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, January 12, at 2:00 PM)
Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 3:00 PM
Monday, January 14, 2019 at 7:30 PM
 
Pre-concert talk with Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong begins one hour before each performance and will include Q&A. (no pre-concert interview prior to Discovery Rehearsal)
 
Where:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  $24-$87
 
Tickets: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at
Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

October 17, 2018: Santa Rosa Symphony Art Exhibit Two Local Artists Show Their Paintings Artist reception at SRS administrative offices in downtown Santa Rosa Nov. 13

Santa Rosa Symphony, October 17, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony administrative offices have become host to the works of two local artists: Lilly Collis and Donna S Schaffer. The public is invited to an artist reception with light refreshments on Tuesday, November 13 at 4 PM. The paintings may be purchased directly from the artists, who will be on hand to talk about their paintings. Twenty percent of the proceeds go to Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education initiatives for young musicians.
 
SRS President and CEO Alan Silow said, "The Symphony has always valued the natural synergy between the visual and musical arts. These beautiful works exemplify the spirit of Sonoma County, both in subject and in heart. We are fortunate to be surrounded by the paintings of these two talented artists."
 
Lilly Collis works in a variety of media, including watercolor, acrylics, oils and digital painting. The paintings on display at the SRS office, painted on giclee canvans gallery wrap, metal and metal paper, are inspired by her love of nature. Subjects include pastoral scenes, birds, butterflies and flowers. As Shades of Lilly, Collis has been painting portraits, painting on commission, creating art for advertisements and doing restorations since 1997.
 
Donna S Schaffer has been a full-time fine art oil painter for more than 20 years. Some of her landscapes have been painted on-site (“Plein aire”). Others are based on her sketches, color notes and photos. Her style ranges from impressionistic to realism. Schaffer, a Dry Creek Valley resident, enjoys painting her “neighborhood” landscapes, many of which are vineyards and wineries. She says they have “glorious seasons and personalities.” In addition to other installations like this one, Schaffer’s work may be seen in her home studio during Sonoma County Art Trails and year-round at Upstairs Art Gallery in Healdsburg.
 
The Symphony’s administrative offices are located on the fourth floor of the Bank of Marin building (50 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa), Suite 410. The reception is from 4 PM to 5 PM.
 
 
Please inquire for high resolution photos
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

October 11, 2018: SRS brings warmth and joy this winter with "Viva Italia" featuring violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama performing Berlioz' Harold in Italy and SSU Symphonic Chorus for Vivaldi's Gloria in D major

Santa Rosa Symphony, October 11, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — On December 1, 2 and 3, 2018, the Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) presents a joyful program for the holidays featuring Rossini's Overture to Guillaume Tell (William Tell), Vivaldi's Gloria in D major with the Sonoma State University (SSU) Symphonic Chorus, directed by SRS Choral Director Jenny Bent, and Berlioz' Harold in Italy, with award-winning violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama. These Santa Rosa Symphony performances at Green Music Center will be conducted by Jayce Ogren.

The William Tell Overture is most known for the portion that was used for cartoons and the Lone Ranger, which can result in a form of "type-casting" this rich and varied piece based on the small co-opted portions. Gioachino Rossini's sonorous opening with four solo cellos is followed by the second "storm" movement, which employs the full orchestra, another pastoral movement and finally, the gallop that so many recognize, also known as the March of the Swiss Soldiers.
 
Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria in D major captures the joy of the holiday season and is, after his Four Seasons (four violin concertos), his most famous work. The piece features Vivaldi's signature leaping octaves and all of the solos were written for female voices. The Sonoma State Symphonic Chorus, under the direction of SRS Choral Director Jenny Bent, will provide rich voices to the orchestra for this magnificent work.
 
Hector Berlioz' Harold in Italy, written originally on a commission from violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini, was rejected by the violinist, who complained, after seeing the first movement, of the lack of sufficient opportunities for his virtuosity. Berlioz finished the work his own way, treating the solo viola part as a dramatic persona that weaves in and out of the story, always maintaining the same character. Eventually, Paganini heard a performance of the piece and publicly thanked the composer at the end of the concert, literally on bended knee, kissing Berlioz' hand. With his son's voice, as his throat cancer was by then much advanced, Paganini praised the composer and followed it up with a bank draft of 20,000 francs and a note which began with, "Beethoven having left us, only Berlioz can make him come alive again."  
 
Giving life to the viola "character" in Harold in Italy, will be Nokuthula Ngwenyama, who won the Primrose International Viola Competition at 16. An Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, she performs with orchestras and collaborates musically around the world.
 
Her 2018-2019 season includes two world premieres and a directorial debut: Rising for Solo Multitrack Violin and Pedals with video featuring choreography by Zimbabwean modern dancer Alexander Mhlanga and Primal Message for Viola Quintet - performed with the Dover Quartet and jointly commissioned by the Phoenix Chamber Music Society and Chamber Music Northwest. Read her full bio here.
 
American conductor Jayce Ogren is a rising star in the United States as a symphony and opera conductor. Summer 2018 included appearances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Brevard Music Center (NC) and the San Francisco Symphony conducting Dvořák, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Adam Golka and Sibelius’ Second Symphony. Jayce Ogren and pianist Adam Golka made their San Francisco Symphony debuts at the 81st annual Stern Grove Festival with the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto.
 
His numerous appearances with Philadelphia's Orchestra 2001 featured staged performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King at the Philly Fringe Festival, Steve Mackey’s Slide, in Princeton at the Sound Kitchen, and National Sawdust in Brooklyn. Ogren and Orchestra 2001 also presented the Philadelphia premiere of the complete Yellow Shark by Frank Zappa. Also in Philadelphia, he lead the Symphony for a Broken Orchestra (December 2017), a work written by Pulitzer prize-winning composer David Lang for sounds that only broken instruments can make (approximately 400 of them found in the Philadelphia school system) and played by Orchestra professionals, Curtis Institute and Temple faculty and students, and public school children. Read his full bio here.

Program Notes and videos are available on the Symphony's "Viva Italia" event page to further enhance the patron’s experience. A video of SRS Musicologist and Music Historian Kayleen Asbo's descriptive and engaging overview and a Spotify playlist of the program can also be found there. 
 
Concert Times and Location
Saturday, December 1, and Monday, December 3, at 7:30 PM , Sunday, December 2, at 3:00 PM
Discovery Open Rehearsal is Saturday, December 1 at 2:00 PM
All performances are at Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University.
 
Tickets are available by phone, online and in person as follows:  (707) 546-8742; srsymphony.org; or Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
Free tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request ONE FREE ticket for a youth 7-17 with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert. This offer is not available online, but may be requested by phone or in person.
 
Sponsors
Concerts sponsored by Donald and Maureen Green
Jayce Ogren underwritten by Dr. Larry Schoenrock Endowment Fund
Nokuthula Ngwenyama underwritten by Jim Lamb
SRS Choral Director Jenny Bent underwritten by Linda & David Hanes
SSU Symphonic Chorus underwritten by AmaWaterways
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of
Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Additional support provided by the County of Sonoma – Board of Supervisors

-High-res orchestra and guest artist photos available upon request-
 
CALENDAR LISTING:
 
What:    Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Viva Italia"
 
WhoSanta Rosa Symphony
Jayce Ogren, conductor
Nokuthula Ngwenyama, viola
SSU Symphonic Chorus, SRS Choral Director Jenny Bent, conductor
 
When:
Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 7:30 PM
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, December 1, at 2:00 PM)
Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 3:00 PM
Monday, December 3, 2018 at 7:30 PM
 
Pre-concert talk with SRS Musicologist Kayleen Asbo begins one hour before each performance and will include Q&A. (no pre-concert interview prior to Discovery Rehearsal)
 
Where:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  $24-$87
 
Tickets: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at
Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

October 10, 2018: Santa Rosa Symphony and Luther Burbank Center for the Arts announce partnership with Carlton Senior Living as naming sponsor for Carlton Senior Living Symphony Pops Series

Santa Rosa Symphony and Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, October 10, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony  and Luther Burbank Center for the Arts (LBC) announces its partnership with Carlton Senior Living, to be the naming sponsor of their Symphony Pops Series, which kicks off its 14th season with a four-concert season on Sunday, October 14. The series will now be known as The Carlton Senior Living Symphony Pops Series.
 
Carlton Senior Living LLC is an established California-based owner and operator of 11 existing Northern California senior living communities. This new partnership is particularly timely as in the near future, Carlton will break ground on its newest community just a short walk from the Luther Burbank Center in the Larkfield area. The Santa Rosa Carlton community is scheduled to open in the spring of 2020 and will include 134 rental apartments– offering independent living, assisted living and memory care options.
 
“In all of our communities, our residents are very engaged with their local neighborhoods,” says Dave Coluzzi, President of Carlton Senior Living. “Partnering with the Symphony Pops Series is a natural fit for us. This music genre has a wide audience that includes our future residents, and it is something they can share with friends and family. In addition, supporting the arts and helping to keep LBC a local meeting place is important to us and our future residents. We are excited to be neighbors with this Santa Rosa icon and look forward to getting involved in this community.”
 
“We are delighted to welcome Carlton Senior Living to our community,” says Alan Silow, President and CEO of the Santa Rosa Symphony. “We deeply appreciate their commitment as our naming sponsor for our Symphony Pops Series.”
 
”We are thrilled to welcome Carlton Senior Living as our new neighbor in Santa Rosa,” says Rick Nowlin, President and CEO of Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. “We look forward to welcoming residents to our shows and are honored by Carlton Senior Living’s support of the Symphony Pops Series.”
 
Presented in the Ruth Finley Person Theater at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts (50 Mark West Springs Road in Santa Rosa), the Sunday afternoon concert series introduces audiences to the great depth and range of sounds of the Santa Rosa Symphony and acclaimed soloists, through the music of legendary Motown artists, dynamic divas, and tributes to pop sensations. Led by the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Principal Pops Conductor Michael Berkowitz, the 2018–19 season kicks-off with Ray Charles, Motown & Beyond featuring Ray Charles’ protégé Ellis Hall, also known as the “Ambassador of Soul,” on Sunday, October 14, 2018. The series will ring in the holiday season on Sunday, December 16, 2018 with Holiday Soundtracks, highlighting unforgettable songs from favorite holiday movies. On Sunday, February 24, 2019, the Symphony Pops will present Tribute to Judy & Liza at the Palladium. Featuring vocalists Joan Ellison and Carolann Sanita, the evening will celebrate Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli’s historic 1964 concert at London’s famed Palladium. The series comes to a close on Sunday, April 28, 2019 with Music of the Knights, showcasing the music of three of Britain’s most legendary songwriters: Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney. Prior to each performance, LBC will host a discussion with Maestro Berkowitz, who provides insight into the afternoon’s program and shares personal anecdotes and memories from his storied career working on Broadway with various icons, including Liza Minnelli, Henry Mancini and Marvin Hamlisch.
 
Tickets and information for The Carlton Senior Living Symphony Pops series are available online at lutherburbankcenter.org, by calling 707-546-3600 or at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts ticket office (50 Mark West Springs Road in Santa Rosa).
 
###
 
About Carlton Senior Living
For more than three decades, Carlton Senior Living communities have provided Northern California seniors with an array of individually tailored care options – ranging from independent and assisted living to award-winning health and memory care programs. Our residents enjoy delicious, healthy, prepared from scratch food and a wide range of activities and entertainment in a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere where they can make friends, enjoy life and continue to thrive. As a company, we stand by our commitment to Love, Honor and Provide to all residents, family, and associates. It is this kindness and compassion, and our unique “culture of caring” that makes all the difference. For more information, visit us at: carltonseniorliving.com.
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
 
About Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is home to world-class performances, nationally recognized education programs, contemporary visual art, and many popular events. The Arts Center is located in the heart of the Sonoma wine country and ranked among California’s top performing arts presenters. Together with its resident companies, the Center presents more than 230 performances in music, dance, theater, renowned speakers, and comedy; provides education programs serving 40,000 children and adults; and hosts more than 1,000 community events a year. Owned and operated by the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation, the Center relies on charitable community donations to achieve its mission – to enrich, educate, and entertain.

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

October 9, 2018: Santa Rosa Symphony Family Concert "The Conductor's Spellbook" brings music, mystery and magic to Weill Hall Oct. 28

Santa Rosa Symphony, October 9, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony presents its first family concert of the season, "The Conductor's Spellbook," written and narrated by Paul Dooley, at 3 PM on Sunday, October 28, 2018, at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. Dooley also wrote the SRS-commissioned Sonoma Strong, which received its second (and second SRS) performance at the opening 2018-2019 Classical Series concert "Passion and Power," earlier this month, which was very well received.  
 
In "The Conductor's Spellbook," young Tony Stradivarius, while on a field trip to the Santa Rosa Symphony, finds a powerful book of spells and uses it to control the orchestra. Audience members will be invited to participate in call and response, hand percussion and more. Dooley describes the work as "like Peter and the Wolf meets Young Person's Guide and Harry Potter."
 
Bobby Rogers, who is the new conductor for the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra, will lead the orchestra. Rogers is also the music director at Pioneer High School in Woodland, Calif. and Adjunct Professor of Band at Woodland Community College and Artistic Director of the Yolo Community Band. 
 
For this concert only, there will be a free photo booth available before and after the concert and children are encouraged to dress up – even in their Halloween costumes. Also, available before the concert and at intermission is a Free Instrument Petting Zoo, in which children (and adults) may handle and play instruments under the supervision of SRS Institute for Music Education staff, students and parent volunteers. The photo booth and Petting Zoo are free to all ticket holders.
 
The series continues with: "Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery" with Classical Kids Live! on Sunday, January 27, at 3 PM and "The Composer is Dead," a Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events) mystery, with music by Nathaniel Stookey and conducted by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, on Sunday, April 7, at 3 PM.
 
Family Series subscriptions and single tickets are available for purchase at srsymphony.org, by phone at 54-MUSIC (707) 546-8742, or in person Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM at the Symphony Patron Services Office, 50 Santa Rosa Avenue.
 
Three-concert subscription packages are $48 for adults and $33 for children (12 and under). Family packages start at $138 and must include two child subscriptions. Single tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for children age 12 and under.
 
 
Sponsors
The SRS Family Series is sponsored in part by the generous support of the
Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust
"The Conductor's Spellbook" is sponsored in part by John and Jennifer Webley, with
additional support provided by County of Sonoma—Board of Supervisors
 
High resolution photos available upon request
 
CALENDAR LISTING:
 
What:    Santa Rosa Symphony Family concert "The Conductor's Spellbook"
 
WhoSanta Rosa Symphony
Bobby Rogers, conductor
Paul Dooley, narrator  
 
When: Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 3 PM
Pre-concert fun begins at 2 PM with a free photo booth and Instrument Petting Zoo, free to all ticket holders
 
Where:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  $18/adult; $12/youth (12 and under)
 
Tickets: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

September 25, 2018: Santa Rosa Symphony announces appointment of Mary Chapot to Board of Directors

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 25, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony announced on September 25, 2018, the addition of Mary A Chapot to its Board of Directors. Chapot brings an intense love of music, and a musical and fiduciary background to the Santa Rosa Symphony Board.

Mary A Chapot
Music has always been central to Mary’s life. In 1984, after finishing her studies in vocal performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Chapot completed a Master’s Degree in Music History at San Francisco State University. She spent many years in the Bay Area, performing with a variety of groups, including the San Francisco Choral Artists, the Pacific Mozart Ensemble and the Baroque Arts Ensemble. Currently, she is very active in her church The Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Rosa (UUCSR) as a vocal soloist and as a music coordinator responsible for programming service music. In addition to her classical studies, Chapot also enjoys singing jazz, both as soloist and with small ensembles.
 
Since 2012, Chapot has operated her own business as a private, professional fiduciary. Her job titles have included conservator, trustee and executor, financial power of attorney and health care agent. Chapot recently joined the Trust and Investment Management team at Exchange Bank as a Personal Trust Officer, Assistant Vice President. In her new position, she will continue managing trusts and estates.
 
Chapot has one son, grown and living in New Orleans. James is just starting to secure his reputation as a professional musician specializing in early jazz. He sings, plays stringed instruments and saxophone.
 
Please inquire for high resolution photo of Mary A Chapot
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

September 19, 2018: Multi-Grammy-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin joins SRS and Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong for Villa-Lobos' Guitar Concerto November 3, 4 & 5

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 19, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) welcomes the return of multiple-Grammy-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin to the Weill Hall stage to play Villa-Lobos' Guitar Concerto at the Green Music Center on November 3, 4 and 5 for "Dancing Across Time," conducted by new SRS Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong. This is one of only three concerts in the Symphony's 2018-2019 Classical Series that will be conducted by the new maestro.
 
"Dancing Across Time" opens with Kodály's Dances of Galánta, an energetic piece which evokes old, traditional Hungarian gypsy music. Lizst's Mephisto Waltz No. 1 and Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story complete the program.
 
Acclaimed for her lyricism, technique and versatility, Isbin, has appeared as soloist with nearly 200 orchestras and performed at the White House for the Obamas in 2009. Named Best Classical Guitarist by Guitar Player and a frequent guest on NPR's "All Things Considered," Isbin was immortalized in "Sharon Isbin: Troubadour," a one-hour documentary seen by millions on more than 200 PBS stations across the United States and abroad. Critic Michael Anthony (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) praises Isbin along with the documentary: “A loving, thoughtful and richly photographed documentary portrait of the world’s most eminent classical guitarist. Isbin’s story is an inspiration—from her ascent to the peak of the male-dominated field of classical guitar to her tireless championing of new works for guitar and quest for new musical worlds to conquer."
  
Isbin was the featured soloist on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack of Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-winning film "The Departed." Additionally, Isbin has commissioned and premiered more concerti than any other guitarist. Read Sharon Isbin's full bio.
 
Kodály had a special affinity for Hungarian folk songs, which is evidenced in Dances of Galánta. As a child, he lived in the town of Galánta (between Vienna and Budapest) for seven years. He later studied books of Hungarian dances published around 1800, one of which included music "after several gypsies from Galantha." Kodály, a prolific composer and trailblazing educator, wished to further preserve the old gypsy music. He gathered songs from that tradition in a rondo-like pattern for Dances of Galánta.
 
Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 1, also known as "The Dance in the Village Inn," the second of Two Episodes from Lenau's Faust. The Mephisto Waltz No. 1 is so well-known that it is often referred to as the Mephisto Waltz, in spite of the fact that it is not the only work with that title. In poet Nicolas Lenau's poem, Mephistopheles and Faust stop at a country inn, where music is playing. In response to Mephistopheles' loud criticism of the musicians, the leader, a violinist, hands over his violin in challenge. Mephitopheles' playing seduces all present, causing them to pair off into the night.
 
Bernstein's talent and experience was such that his score for the 1958 musical, West Side Story, did not merely compliment and frame the scene, but contributed in a palpable way to the story. In the Symphonic Dances, the audience hears the gangs in rivalry, visionary cooperation, competition and finally lethal battle, in the middle of which is the hopeful, but ultimately tragic meeting of Tony and Maria.
 
Program Notes and videos are available on the Symphony's "Dancing across Time" event page to further enhance the patron’s experience. A video of SRS Musicologist and Music Historian Kayleen Asbo's descriptive and engaging overview and a Spotify playlist of the program can also be found there. 
 
Concert Times and Location
Saturday, November 3, and Monday, November 5, at 7:30 PM , Sunday, November 4, at 3:00 PM
Discovery Open Rehearsal is Saturday, November 3 at 2:00 PM
All performances are at Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University.
 
Tickets are available by phone, online and in person as follows:  (707) 546-8742; srsymphony.org; or Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
Free tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request ONE FREE ticket for a youth 7-17 with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert. This offer is not available online, but may be requested by phone or in person.
 
Sponsors
Concerts sponsored by Judith and Joseph Gappa
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David & Corinne Byrd
Sharon Isbin underwritten by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of
Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Additional support provided by the County of Sonoma – Board of Supervisors

-High-res photos of Sharon Isbin here. Orchestra and Francesco Lecce-Chong photos available upon request-
 
CALENDAR LISTING:
 
What:    Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Dancing Across Time"
 
WhoSanta Rosa Symphony
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Sharon Isbin, guitar
 
When:
Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 7:30 PM
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, November 3, at 2:00 PM)
Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 3:00 PM
Monday, November 5, 2018 at 7:30 PM
 
Pre-concert talk with Francesco Lecce-Chong and Arnaud Sussmann begins one hour before each performance and will include Q&A. (no pre-concert interview prior to Discovery Rehearsal)
 
Where:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  $24-$87
 
Tickets: (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at
Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

August 31, 2018: Santa Rosa Symphony Family Series, in its 7th year, features music, mystery and magic

Santa Rosa Symphony, August 31, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony presents its 7th Family Concert Season, comprising three Sunday afternoon, interactive orchestral concerts geared to small children and families filled with fun, mystery and magic. Also returning are the free photo booth for the fall concert and the free Instrument Petting Zoo for all three concerts. New SRS Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong conducts the spring concert. Subscriptions for this affordable, family-friendly concert series may be purchased beginning September 4.
 
The first family concert of the season, "The Conductor's Spellbook," written and narrated by Paul Dooley, is on Sunday, October 28, 2018 at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. Dooley also wrote the SRS-commissioned Sonoma Strong, which receives its second (and second SRS) performance at the opening 2018-2019 Classical Series concert earlier in October. Young Tony Stradivarius finds a powerful book of spells and uses it to control the orchestra. For this concert only, there will be a free photo booth available before and after the concert and children are encouraged to dress up – even in their Halloween costumes.
 
Classical Kids Live! joins the orchestra again on Sunday, January 27, for "Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery." Katarina, a young violinist who is sent to study violin in an orphanage with Antonio Vivaldi in 17-century Venice, searches for clues to her identity and to a vanishing Stradivarius violin. Her search takes her through Carnivale and the Island of the Dead. This highly-acclaimed theatrical symphony concert is an imaginative way to introduce young audiences and their families to the life and music of Antonio Lucio Vivaldi in a live performance venue. Audiences will enjoy recognizable excerpts from Vivaldi's major works, including his Four Seasons, Violin Concerto in A minor and Guitar Concerto.
 
For "The Conductor's Spellbook" and "Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery," the orchestra will be led by Bobby Rogers, who is the new conductor for the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra, following seven years conducting SRS' Repertory (now SRS Aspirante Youth Orchestra). Rogers is also the music director at Pioneer High School in Woodland, Calif. and Adjunct Professor of Band at Woodland Community College and Artistic Director of the Yolo Community Band.  
 
On Sunday, April 7, "The Composer is Dead" will be conducted by new SRS Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong. All the suspects are musical instruments, and they all seem to have a motive – and an alibi. So who killed the composer? This murder mystery was commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and composed by one of its Youth Orchestra alumns, Nathaniel Stookey. The narration for the piece (and the corresponding children's book) was written by the popular children's author Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events). For more information about the program and their collaboration, see this YouTube video.
 
Family Series subscriptions are available for purchase beginning September 4 and single tickets may be purchased beginning September 25. Subscription and single tickets may be purchased at srsymphony.org, by phone at 54-MUSIC (707) 546-8742, or in person Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM at the Symphony Patron Services Office, 50 Santa Rosa Avenue (north entrance, first floor). 
 
Three-concert subscription packages are $48 for adults and $33 for children (12 and under). Family packages start at $138 and must include two child subscriptions. Single tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for children age 12 and under.
 
 
High resolution 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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

August 13, 2018: Francesco Lecce-Chong opens season with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony AND Symphony continues its free youth ticket offer

Santa Rosa Symphony, August 13, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The first Santa Rosa Symphony concert of the 2018-2019 season -- Francesco Lecce-Chong's first as SRS Music Director -- opens on October 6, 2018, with Beethoven's monumental Symphony No. 5. In addition, Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient Arnaud Sussmann joins the orchestra to play Brahms' Violin Concerto in D major. "Passion and Power" begins with Pulitzer-prize-winner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s exuberant Celebration and also includes Sonoma Strong by local composer Paul Dooley, a work commissioned by the Symphony that captures the ordeal of last October's tragic wildfires and the resilience and strength that arose from it.  All performances are at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. Evening Classical Series performances, Saturday and Monday, have an earlier start time: 7:30 PM. Sunday performances are at 3:00 PM. Francesco Lecce-Chong will be joined by Arnaud Sussmann for the pre-concert talks one hour before performances.
 
The Santa Rosa Symphony continues its one-for-one ticket offer again for its 91st season. Patrons may request a free youth ticket (for ages 7-17) per each paid adult ticket for any 2018-2019 Classical Series concert. This offer is only available by phone at Patron Services at (707) 546-8742.
 
New Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong brings fresh ideas, energy and dedication to the Santa Rosa Symphony. He is simultaneously Music Director for the Eugene Symphony Orchestra in Eugene, Ore. He recently concluded his tenure as Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. His previous posts include Principal Conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony under Edo de Waart.
 
Active as a guest conductor, he has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic and collaborated with renowned soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman. In the coming year, Lecce-Chong makes his subscription debuts with the Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and Xi’An Symphony Orchestra, as well as returns to the Civic Orchestra in Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony. Read full bio here.
 
Lecce-Chong said, "I am thrilled to open the Santa Rosa Symphony's  2018-19 season, and my first as Music Director, with one of the most iconic works of art ever created, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Even with its enduring popularity, the music continues to surprise its listeners with its sheer force of will and its virtuosity presents musicians with unique challenges at every performance. I look forward to this as the beginning of many exhilarating musical experiences with the Santa Rosa community in the years ahead."
 
Violinist Arnaud Sussmann, an Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2006, distinguished himself early on with his unique sound, bravura and profound musicianship. Born in Strasbourg, France, and based now in New York City, Arnaud Sussmann trained at the Conservatoire de Paris and the Juilliard School with Boris Garlitsky and Itzhak Perlman. Winner of several international competitions, including the Andrea Postacchini of Italy and Vatelot/Rampal of France, he was named a Starling Fellow in 2006, an honor which allowed him to be Perlman’s teaching assistant for two years. In September 2015, Sussmann returned to his native France to work closely with violinist Kolja Blacher and the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris for intensive training on the play-direct technique, where he then won First prize of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris’s Paris Play/Direct Academy. Read full bio here.
 
Brahms wrote his Violin Concerto in D major in the middle of the nineteenth century, aided by feedback from his close friend, violinist, conductor and composer Joseph Joachim. The original manuscript, in fact has changes marked on the solo part by Hungarian composer Joachim's own hand.
 
The anchor of this rich program, of course, is Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. After an early performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, E.T.A. Hoffmann, a reviewer at the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, an internationally-respected, German-language music journal of the that time, declared it a landmark in the history of music, which heralded the composer's increased popularity.

Program annotator Steven Ledbetter says of the piece, "The overwhelming energy and expressive richness of the C-minor Symphony left early audiences stupefied or exhilarated. Even among people who have never attended an orchestral concert, the opening phrase can conjure up the very idea of “symphony,” much as the question “To be or not to be?” conjures up all of Shakespeare.
 
"The notion of Fate, and the self‑evident struggle that takes place in the four movements of this powerful score have resulted in a century’s overlay of other notions, too—most widespread during World War II, when the coincidence of the opening four notes of the symphony corresponding rhythmically to the Morse code for 'V' and the ubiquitous 'V for Victory' gesture of Winston Churchill turned Beethoven’s Fifth almost overnight into the 'Victory Symphony.'"
 
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, composer of Celebration for Orchestra, is among the most frequently performed American composers. She is also the first woman in the history of The Julliard School of Music to earn a Doctor of Music degree in composition. She won a Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1983. Other awards include: Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, four Grammy nominations, and the NPR and WNYC Gotham Award for her contributions to the musical life of New York City. Zwilich and her works have been featured in the Charles Schulz' Peanuts® Series and her Peanuts® Gallery, written for a Carnegie Hall children's concert, became the basis for a PBS special. Read her full bio here.  
 
Program Notes are available on the Symphony's "Passion and Power" event page to further enhance the patron’s experience. A video of SRS Musicologist and Music Historian Kayleen Asbo's descriptive and engaging overview and a Spotify playlist of the program can also be found there beginning September 7.  
 
Concert Times and Location
Saturday, October 6 and Monday, October 8 at 7:30 PM (30 minutes earlier this season), and Sunday, October 7 at 3:00 PM.
Discovery Open Rehearsal Saturday, February 10 at 2:00 PM.
Performances are at Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Tickets
Single tickets start at $25 and may be purchased by calling SRS Patrons Services at (707) 546-8742, or online at www.srsymphony.org, or in person at the Symphony Patron Services Office at 50 Santa Rosa Avenue from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Monday-Friday, except Wednesdays 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM, and on Saturdays of performance weekends from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Tickets may also be purchased at the door 90 minutes before each performance.
Student Rush tickets (student I.D. required) may be purchased for $10 30 minutes before performances. Discovery Open Rehearsal tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for youth (under 18).
 
Free tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request ONE FREE ticket for a youth 7-17 with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert. This offer is not available online; please contact Patron Services by phone or in person.
 
 
Sponsors
"Passion and Power" concerts sponsored by The Peggy Anne Covington Fund
Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David and Corinne Byrd
Arnaud Sussmann underwritten by Sigmund Anderman, In memory of Susan Anderman
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Additional support provided by the County of Sonoma – Board of Supervisors      
 
-Photos of the orchestra, Francesco Lecce-Chong and Arnaud Sussmann provided upon request-
 
CALENDAR LISTING:
 
What:   Santa Rosa Symphony Classical Series Concert, "Passion and Power"
 
Who
Santa Rosa Symphony
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Arnuad Sussmann, violin
 
Program:
ZWILICH : Celebration for Orchestra
BRAHMS : Violin Concerto in D major
PAUL DOOLEY: Sonoma Strong
BEETHOVEN : Symphony No 5
 
When: 
Saturday, October 6, 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 7, 3 PM
Monday, October 8, 7:30 PM
 
Where:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  $25-$87
 
Tickets: 546-8742, www.srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

July 31, 2018: Single Tickets on Sale August 13 - Pre-season 15% discount on Saturday, Sunday & Monday Classical Series concerts - Offer valid August 13 - 31

Santa Rosa Symphony, July 31, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Individual tickets for the 2018-2019 Santa Rosa Symphony Classical Series concerts go on sale Monday, August 13, 2018 at 10 AM. In addition, August 13 – August 31, tickets for the Classical Series concerts may be purchased at a 15% discount, for a pre-season sale price of $20-$74, depending on seat location. This pre-season discount is only available for Classical Series performances. The Symphony's 91st season begins October 6, and continues through in May 6, with performances Saturday and Monday evenings (7:30 PM) and Sunday afternoons (3:00 PM).
 
Tickets for new Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong's inaugural season concerts may be purchased at srsymphony.org, by phone at 54-MUSIC (707) 546-8742, or in person Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM at the Symphony Patron Services Office, 50 Santa Rosa Avenue (north entrance, first floor). 
 
The season opens with Francesco Lecce-Chong conducting Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, features talented guest artists making their Weill Hall debut and popular, returning artists, guitarist Sharon Isbin and Steinway artist Olga Kern. Francesco Lecce-Chong also conducts in November and January. Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis and Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane return in the spring.
 
Season Highlights
- Beethoven’s Fifth symphony, cherished masterworks by Mozart, Mahler and Tchaikovsky, a  major Vivaldi choral work, a tribute to American composers Bernstein, Gershwin, Barber and Copland
- Outstanding guest artists: Violinist Arnaud Sussmann and Elena Urioste, pianists Olga Kern and Sara Davis Buechner, violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama, soprano Marie Plette and guitarist Sharon Isbin
- Special guest conductors: Conductor Laureate Bruno Ferrandis, Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane, Jayce Ogren and Sarah Ioannides
- Earlier start times (7:30 pm) for Saturday and Monday performances
- Inaugural season for the Symphony's fifth Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong
- Seventh season as the Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center
- Reduced ticket prices for Saturday and Monday performances 

The Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services staff is available to provide complete information for the Classical Series, Family Series, all special concerts and events, and answer any other questions regarding seating. Patrons are invited to call (707) 546-8742 between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday (after 10:30 on Wednesdays). More information and ticket purchases may also be found at srsymphony.org.
 
High resolution 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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact:
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

July 13, 2018: SRS Board member Alan Mason elected to the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras

Santa Rosa Symphony, July 13, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony Board member Alan Mason, who is also in his second year  as President of the Board of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, was elected to the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras at that organization's annual national conference on June 15.

Mason, a Healdsburg resident, said of this appointment, "My goal in joining the League Board is to build stronger bridges between California and the League while recognizing the distinctiveness and need for both statewide and national membership organizations. I seek to advocate for diversity and inclusion across all facets of orchestra life (staff, stage, board room, audiences), expansion of programs to develop future leaders and additional human capital resources for the many symphony organizations that do not have sufficient budget for full-time human resources professionals."

New York-based League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners.

ALAN MASON 
Alan Mason is a Managing Director at BlackRock. Mason's investment team is responsible for $2.5 Trillion of Index Equity, iShares Equity, Alternative Beta and Asset Allocation portfolios. Mason is a member of the Index Investments Markets and Investments management committee and the Global Human Capital Committee. He is the global sponsor for OUT, the firm's LGBT employee network.
Mason earned a BA degree in music from Baylor University in 1983, summa cum laude, an MA degree in musicology from the University of Louisville in 1989, with honors, and an MA degree in ethnomusicology from University of California Berkeley in 1991. Before choosing to become a full-time investment professional, Mason was advanced to Ph.D. candidacy in ethnomusicology at UC Berkeley.
 
Mason played oboe and English Horn with the Waco and Louisville Symphony orchestras.  He also taught undergraduate music courses at the University of Louisville and at the University of California at Berkeley.  
 
Mason has previously served on the board of Philharmonia Baroque and currently serves as a member of the Santa Rosa Symphony Board, the President of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras Board, and a member of the League of American Orchestras Board.  
 
He lives in Healdsburg, California with his husband, Timothy Rodrigues.


-High resolution photos provided 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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Media Contact: 
Sara Mitchell
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
707-546-7097  ext. 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

July 10, 2018: Free community concert with acclaimed Mariachi Champaña Nevín and the Symphony July 29

Santa Rosa Symphony, July 10, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) and Sonoma State University (SSU) jointly present a free community concert at SSU’s Weill Hall + Lawn at the Green Music Center on Sunday, July 29, 2018, at 7 PM. Mariachi Champaña Nevín joins the orchestra and SRS Principal Pops conductor Michael Berkowitz for this popular, free summer event. Free tickets may be reserved beginning Tuesday, July 10, at 10 AM, and are required for this concert. The gates open at 5 PM for patrons to enjoy a pre-concert picnic on the lawn (see important information and restrictions below). The lobby opens at 6 PM.
 
Principal Pops Conductor Michael Berkowitz will lead the orchestra for this free concert, meant to reach new audiences and draw the community together in appreciation of the rich musical heritage of mariachi music in this unique combination with a symphony orchestra.
 
Mariachi Champaña Nevín is widely regarded as one of the leading proponents of “classical mariachi music” in the world. With virtuoso mariachi and classical musicians, this unique ensemble fully embraces the ideals of traditional Mexican music and European Classical music. Led by composer and trumpeter Jeff Nevin, they have delighted diverse audiences across the United States, Mexico, and as far away as Russia and South Korea, for more than two decades.
 
Important information for concert-goers
Although admission for the concert is free, all patrons must have a ticket to enter the venue. Tickets may be reserved in advance through the Symphony Patron Services Office at (707) 546-8742, online at www.srsymphony.org, the Green Music Center Box Office at (866) 955-6040, online at www.gmc.sonoma.edu or through a voice mailbox with service in Spanish: (707) 546-7007. Seating choices are: inside Weill Hall; outside at terrace tables or open seating on the lawn.
Concert-goers may bring in food (but no beverages) to enjoy a picnic on the lawn or at terrace tables outside Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. Food and beverages may also be purchased on site. Water bottle filling stations will also be available. New for Summer 2018–drink tumblers are available at concessions and may be brought into Weill Hall. Only low lawn chairs or blankets are permitted on the lawn.

For the safety of all guests, all items brought into the Green Music Center including coolers, picnic baskets, bags, backpacks and purses are subject to search upon entry. Patrons who choose not to subject their personal belongs to a security search will not be permitted to enter the grounds. For more information regarding these SSU policies, visit gmc.sonoma.edu/go.

Concert Times and Location
Sunday, July 29, at 7 PM
Performances are at Weill Hall + Lawn, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
Seating in the Hall, outdoor tables and lawn seating
 
Tickets (beginning Tuesday, July 10, at 10 AM): (707) 546-8742; toll-free Spanish line (707) 546-7007; www.srsymphony.org; www.gmc.sonoma.edu; or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
Sponsors
Concerts sponsored by National Endowment for the Arts, Lynmar Estate Winery, Hansel Auto Group, Santa Rosa Symphony and Sonoma State University, with media support from La Prensa.
 
The SRS commissioned work by Paul Dooley, Sonoma Strong, made possible by a grant from County of Sonoma and Creative Sonoma.

BIOS

Mariachi Champaña Nevín
Mariachi Champaña Nevín is widely regarded as one of the leading proponents of “classical mariachi music” in the world. Comprised of virtuoso mariachi and classical musicians, this unique ensemble fully embraces the ideals of traditional Mexican music and European Classical music. Led by composer and trumpeter Jeff Nevin, they have delighted diverse audiences across the US, Mexico, and as far away as Russia and South Korea for more than two decades.

Jeff Nevin has created a large canon of original music scored for mariachi and symphony orchestra, including the world’s first Concerto for Mariachi and Orchestra (“Pasión Mexicana”), an enchanting classical song cycle scored for mariachi and orchestra (“Al aire libre”, based on the poetry of Alberto Blanco), a magical Mexican Christmas celebration (“La fiesta de la nochebuena”), as well as many orchestral adaptations of traditional mariachi songs. Together with Mariachi Champaña Nevin, or as trumpet soloist/conductor, Jeff Nevin has performed his music with dozens of symphony orchestras including the San Diego Symphony, Colorado, Aguascalientes, Grant Park, Jalisco and others. And Mariachi Champaña Nevín has performed with many of Mexico’s finest singers, including Placido Domingo, Aida Cuevas, Jorge Lopez-Yañez, Mónica Ábrego, José Luis Duval, Rafael Jorge Negrete, Florencia Tinoco and José Medina.
 
Michael Berkowitz, conductor
Michael Berkowitz brings his professional experience, personal charisma and "witty banter" to concert stages in what reviewers call "a model of high quality conducting technique."

Johnny Green, the great composer-conductor, called Michael Berkowitz a "Drummer Conductor Extraordinaire." Berkowitz has led numerous orchestras, including the Boston Pops, London Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Pittsburgh Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and the National Symphony, and has conducted for Marvin Hamlisch, Roberta Flack, Maureen McGovern, Michael Feinstein and Sarah Brightman. He is also featured on recordings with Steve Lawrence, Placido Domingo, Linda Eder and countless original cast albums, movies, jingles and television performances. 

As a drummer, he has performed for Henry Mancini, Liza Minnelli, Michael Crawford, Billy Joel, Sting, Elton John and Bette Midler.

Berkowitz began performing as a drummer at the age of 11 in his hometown of Indianapolis. After studying music at Indiana University, he began touring with Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams and Henry Mancini, the latter persuading him to move to Los Angeles, where he became one of the city's busiest studio musicians, working with stars such as Gloria Estefan, Linda Ronstadt, Ringo Starr, Helen Reddy, Seals and Crofts and The Association. 

Berkowitz has performed on many television programs including The Academy Awards, The Tonight Show, The Tony Awards, The Today Show, A Capitol Fourth, Great Performances, Live from Lincoln Center and Concerts at the White House. 

His close work with two of Hollywood's greatest talents, Johnny Green and Nelson Riddle, led Berkowitz to consider conducting. Johnny Green, composer of "Body and Soul" and conductor of the world-famous MGM Studio Orchestra, was a great inspiration, and passed along much of his experience and knowledge to Michael. Nelson Riddle firmly pointed Michael toward conducting. During their close 15-year friendship and working relationship, the two collaborated on television projects, feature films, recordings and live shows. Through Riddle, Berkowitz learned the fine points of the music business. When Riddle was too ill to conduct for Dame Kiri TeKanawa on his last recording project, it was Berkowitz that Riddle asked to step in and conduct. 

After moving to New York in 1980, Berkowitz was immediately in demand on Broadway, working shows such as Evita, Pacific Overtures, The Tap Dance Kid, Do Re Mi and Jerome Robbins' Broadway. On recordings, he has been heard from New York's Carnegie Hall on such projects as "A Sondheim Tribute," "My Favorite Broadway," "Anyone Can Whistle" and "An Evening With Betty Buckley."

He was the drummer for the once-in-a-lifetime performance of Stephen Sondheim's "Follies" with the New York Philharmonic. Jerome Robbins asked Michael to come to the New York City Ballet to play for Robbins' "West Side Story Suite," which has been performed before sold-out houses in New York and all over Japan. 

Well known in Europe, Berkowitz is a recognized artist in the United Kingdom and has been a part of three command performances at London's famed Palladium Theatre. 

As a leader of his own big band, Berkowitz plays all over the country in tributes to Gene Krupa, Harry James, Buddy Rich, Nelson Riddle, Artie Shaw and Billy May. His band played at the world-famous Birdland for three sold-out nights. 

Berkowitz' current projects include a new Jerry Herman Musical, "Miss Spectacular," a "Tribute To Sinatra" with the Cincinnati Pops for Telarc, a benefit performance of West Side Story for Katie Couric's Foundation (starring Robert DeNiro, Kevin Kline, Bette Midler, Chita Rivera, Rita Moreno, Josh Groban, Beyonce Knowles, the cast of "The Sopranos," and Rudy Giuliani) and a special concert version of Jerry Herman's "Mack and Mabel." 

He continues to work with "Broadway on Broadway," a free concert in New York's Times Square, featuring numbers from each season's Broadway musicals, now in its 11th year and continuing to draw more than 50,000 people. During the holiday season, Berkowitz will be at Madison Square Garden for his 10th year in the pit for "A Christmas Carol."
 
In January 2018, Berkowitz was asked to be a part of the Toulon Opera House's production of "Wonderful Town," in honor of the 100th Anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's birthday. In May 2018, Berkowitz conducts Igor Stravinsky's Ebony Concerto in Los Angeles with famous Jazz clarinetist, Ken Peplowski.
 
-Photos of Mariachi Champaña Nevín, the Symphony and Michael Berkowitz provided upon request-
 
CALENDAR LISTING:
 
What:    A Free Concert for the Community
 
Who:  Santa Rosa Symphony and Mariachi Campaña Nevín
Michael Berkowitz, SRS principal Pops conductor
 
 
When:  Sunday, July 29, 2018, at 7 PM; Gates open 5 PM for picnics; Hall lobby open 6 PM
 
Where:  Weill Hall + Lawn, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
Cost:  Free, but tickets required. Choice of hall, lawn seating, outdoor table seating
 
Tickets: Tickets available beginning July 10, at 10 AM. (707) 546-8742; toll-free Spanish line (707) 546-7007; www.srsymphony.org, www.gmc.sonoma.edu or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
Special Instructions:  Patrons may bring in food, but no outside beverages are permitted. Water bottle filling stations will be available and food and beverages may be purchased on site. New for Summer 2018–drink tumblers are available at concessions and may be brought into Weill Hall. For the safety of all guests, all items brought into the Green Music Center–including coolers, picnic baskets, bags, backpacks and purses–will be subject to search upon entry. For more information, visit gmc.sonoma.edu/go. 
 
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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.
 
Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

July 3, 2018: Santa Rosa Symphony welcomes new Board Members July 1, 2018

Santa Rosa Symphony, July 3, 2018

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony has announced four new appointments to its board of directors. They are Marty Behr, Betty Ferris and Jackie Reinhardt of Santa Rosa and Andrew Lewis of San Francisco. Board officers are as follows: Jamei Haswell, Board Chair; Alan Seidenfeld, Vice Chair; Jon Stark, Treasurer; and Linda Castiglioni, Secretary.

SRS Board Chair Jamei Haswell said, "I look forward to working with these talented and gifted new board members in the coming season as we pull together to help heal our community."

Marty Behr, a classical music enthusiast with a head for business, was part of the Stanford Business School MBA Alumni pro bono consulting team that recently worked with the Symphony on an audience development project, is enthusiastic about helping with youth programs and audience development, leveraging his tourism experience for the latter to develop group sales packages.   

Betty Ferris, a long-time music teacher who enjoys the Symphony, opera, ballet, museums and travel, has volunteered for The Family Justice Center of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office, communication with donors at the Santa Rosa Community Health Center and work on various political campaigns. She currently sits on the Board of the Sonoma County Forum and the Board of the Sister Antonia Spiritual Enrichment Center.

Andrew Lewis, who has been a musician since college and music teacher most of his life, is currently the Principal Timpanist for the Santa Rosa Symphony and many other area symphonies. He has performed in many symphonies here and abroad and holds a patent for - and has produced - a metronome. Though he has played and taught many instruments and conducted, he is a drummer at heart.

Jackie Reinhardt, who has been a Santa Rosa Symphony League member and served as the League's VP Public Relations for many years, is the new League President and will represent the League on the SRS Board of Directors. Reinhardt has an extensive background in journalism and public relations and retired from Easter Seals Northern California as CEO of that organization.

BIOS of incoming Board Members

Marty Behr
Marty Behr fell in love with classical music at age 16, when his parents enrolled him in the CBS Classical Record of the Month Club. His love affair with classical music continued while attending the Friday afternoon dress rehearsals of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during college. As an adult, he has been a regular attendee of the San Francisco, Seattle and Santa Rosa Symphonies, plus La Scala, while living for two years in Milan. 

Marty’s career has been as a serial entrepreneur in the upscale travel industry, focused on Alaska, the United States National Parks and California (including wine country).  He has founded, built and sold four active upscale travel companies, each of which continues successfully under new ownership. He serves as the Founder & Chief Development Officer of Revealed America, his latest creation.

Behr's wife Ginny is the retired founder and CEO of Asli Arts, a designer and manufacturer of home and garden décor items manufactured in Bali and Vietnam.  Marty’s and Ginny’s interests include politics, travel, books and films.  They live in Santa  Rosa and have four grown daughters and five grandchildren, one of whom is studying classical voice and a ‘Capella composition.  Behr is an active Santa Rosa Rotarian and avid hiker. 

Marty was a member of the Stanford Business School MBA Alumni pro bono consulting team that assisted the Santa Rosa Symphony with Classical Series audience development. He is enthusiastic about joining the SRS board and is interested in youth programs and audience development, the latter focused on group sales, utilizing his tourism experience. 

Betty Ferris
Betty Ferris was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. and educated in Catholic schools. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Music. In Graduate School, she earned a lifetime teaching credential (K through 8th grade) and a special education credential. Ferris also studied piano for twelve years.
Ferris married George Ferris, a Workers' Compensation Judge, in 1969. They moved to Santa Rosa in 1977, where she taught at various venues including St. Eugene’s School for 25 years as the 6th grade teacher and in her home. Ferris conducted in-service programs for teachers and worked on several curriculum writing committees for the Santa Rosa Diocese.

Ferris' volunteer work has included The Family Justice Center of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office, communication with donors at the Santa Rosa Community Health Center and work on various political campaigns. She currently sits on the Board of the Sonoma County Forum and the Board of the Sister Antonia Spiritual Enrichment Center.

With George, Ferris enjoys the Santa Rosa Symphony, Symphony Pops, opera, ballet, sporting events, theatre, museums and travel. Ferris also belongs to three book clubs, and likes to write poetry.

Andrew Lewis
Since fifth grade, Bay Area native Andrew Lewis loved and lived music, beginning on the trombone. He didn't realize he was a drummer or musician until the drummer in his college UCSC Jazz class didn't show. Lewis jumped in and played drums for the first time. A year later, he entered the San Francisco Conservatory, then Juilliard four years after that. He has performed with orchestras all over the world, from Colombia to New Zealand, including 20 years with the San Francisco Symphony, and is now Principal Timpanist with Santa Rosa Symphony. He is also an accomplished jazz, rock and world music drummer and percussionist.

In Sun Valley, Idaho, he began playing violin, taught public school orchestra and founded the Wood River Orchestra as Music Director. Four years later, he relocated to Colombia, South America, to conduct, study and be a dad. Returning to the Bay Area, he completed a Masters in Conducting at San Francisco State University. Since then, realizing that "playing with two sticks is more fun than waving just one," he has concentrated on his true passion, drums.

Lewis has taught privately and publically his entire career, at the San Francisco Conservatory, Brooklyn Conservatory and for the SRS Training Young Musicians program. Now, he also teaches guitar, flute, trumpet, clarinet and violin, in addition to percussion,  for the San Francisco Unified School District and is based at its Lincoln High School with the Latino Marching Band.
Other credits include patenting and producing a new metronome, writing the book Rhythm – What It Is and How to Improve Your Sense of It, and setting up a corporate LLC "RhythmSource," to sell both.

Jackie Reinhardt
Jackie Reinhardt has had a long career in journalism, public relations and non-profit management. After earning a journalism degree from the University of Kansas, she worked as a reporter for the Albuquerque Journal and moved to Washington D.C., where she served as press secretary to her senator from New Mexico. There she met her husband, Michael, who persuaded her to relocate to Southern California.

Over the years, Jackie has held a variety of senior communications positions, including vice president at Welton Becket Associates, an international architectural firm and at Hill and Knowlton PR agency. She moved to Northern California to become the executive in charge of communications and public education for the State Bar of California. She earned an MBA mid-career and retired after six years as CEO of Easter Seals Northern California.

One of the first things she did upon moving from Marin County to Santa Rosa in 2012, was to join the Santa Rosa Symphony League. She has served the League as VP of Public Relations for many years.  She writes for the Oakmont News and did a profile of SRS President and CEO Alan Silow in the paper shortly after he moved to Oakmont. 

She and her husband, a retired stockbroker, are avid travelers. They have done numerous home exchanges in Europe and Canada and travel locally with the Oakmont Rovers Club in their RV, which she drives. Both are duplicate bridge players.

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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 91 years, begins his tenure this season. The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. This year the SRS infused the local economy with more than $4 million.

Currently in its 91st season, the Symphony’s performance schedule includes 21 Classical Series concerts (7 sets), 7 Discovery Dress Rehearsal concerts, a 3-concert Family Series and a 4-concert Pops Series, as well as special concerts. The Symphony is also 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 SRS national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

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