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2019-2020 Season

September 17, 2019: Banjo master Béla Fleck plays his Juno Concerto with the Symphony Nov 2-4

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 17, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Sixteen-time Grammy® winner Béla Fleck has earned nominations in more categories than anyone in Grammy® history – all on a banjo! Fleck will join the Santa Rosa Symphony on November 2-4 at Weill Hall in the Green Music Center for another dynamic program created and conducted by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong. Fleck will play his own Juno Concerto, inspired by his son, Juno. The program also includes Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, arranged by Maurice Ravel, and opens with Aaron Copland's Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo.  
 
"I look forward to welcoming one of the great musicians of our time, Béla Fleck, to our orchestra to showcase not only his incredible virtuosity on the banjo, but his creative vision in his own concerto. The whole program will be a colorful and lively journey from the Wild West of Copland's Rodeo to the mystical landscapes of Russia in Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition."
 
World premier banjo player Béla Fleck has virtually reinvented the image and 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.
 
His groundbreaking quartet Béla Fleck & The Flecktones celebrated 30 years with a North American tour in the summer of 2018.  Fleck and his wife Abigail Washburn took home the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album, and released the acclaimed follow-up LP Echo in the Valley in 2017.  Read Fleck's full bio.
 
Lecce-Chong has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic while collaborating with renowned soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman. He also serves as Music Director for the Eugene Symphony. He is dedicated to innovative programming, commissioning new music and engaging in community outreach. Read full bio.

Interesting facts about "Master of the Modern Banjo":
In addition to his 16 Grammy® awards, Fleck has earned 30 nominations, and has been nominated in more categories than any instrumentalist in Grammy® history.

Fleck was originally drawn to the banjo by Earl Scruggs' playing of "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," while watching the Beverly Hillbillies as a boy. 

Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, originally a suite of ten pieces for piano, is his most famous work for piano. Ravel's orchestral arrangement, published in 1922, takes some artistic license with dynamics and notation, but adds rich color. Ravel's arrangement has become a favorite in concert halls worldwide.  

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 by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, which will include Ohlsson and Browne, begin one hour prior to each performance and will conclude with Q&A.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Fleck, Lecce-Chong
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Master of the Modern Banjo"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Béla Fleck, banjo
 
WHEN:
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, November 2, at 2:00 PM – Doors at 1:00 PM, no talk)
Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 3:00 PM (Doors at 1:30 PM, Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM)
Monday, November 4, 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)
 
Sponsors
Concert sponsored by Joseph A. and Judith M. Gappa
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by David and Corinne Byrd
Béla Fleck 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 The Press Democrat and Northern California Public Media.    
 
-High-res photos of Fleck, Lecce-Chong and orchestra 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 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
Currently in its 92nd 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 the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming in the 2012-2013 season from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

September 3, 2019: SRS Family Concert Series in its 8th year with affordable, entertaining, educational Sunday afternoon concerts

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 3, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony's Family Series is back for its eighth year, with three performances at Weill Hall, Green Music Center throughout the 2019-2020 season. These affordable, entertaining and educational concerts are a great way to spend an afternoon with the family, introducing youngsters to classical orchestral music and creating memories to last a lifetime. The Instrument Petting Zoo, provided at no extra cost before each of the performances allows children (and curious adults) to handle and play various orchestral instruments. Subscriptions for the series are available now.
 
"Our Family Series," said Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, "is one of my passion projects with the Symphony and I cannot wait to welcome our audiences of all ages this season. Each program is designed to be interactive and fun while also giving insights into the orchestra and its instruments. And, most importantly, everyone will have a chance to experience some of the greatest music ever written for orchestra by Mozart, Beethoven, Prokofiev, and so many others!"
 
Lecce-Chong conducts the first concert, which features music from Harry Potter. "Halloween with Harry Potter," performed by the Symphony's award-winning orchestra on Sunday, October 27, also features the Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy. Pre-concert fun includes a photo booth (costumes encouraged) and Instrument Petting Zoo, free to ticket holders.
 
On January 26, the Symphony presents "Peter and the Wolf." In addition to Sergei Prokofiev's timeless classic, this concert, conducted by SRS Youth Orchestra conductor Bobby Rogers, will include Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals. The antics of Roustabout Theater will help bring the delightful animals to life.
 
For the final 2019-2020 concert, on April 19, 2020, the Symphony is joined by Classical Kids Live! for "Beethoven Lives Upstairs." With the help of this theatrical troupe, the all-age audience will learn of Beethoven's genius, the torment of his deafness and the beauty of his music in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. Rogers will conduct this concert.
 
Subscriptions and Tickets
$54 per adult and $27 per child (age 12 and younger). Family packages are also available and start at $144. The family packages must include two child subscriptions. By comparison, single tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children. Seating is reserved for this concert and every patron, regardless of age, must have a ticket.
 
Subscriptions and tickets are available at (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:
Oct. 27: Free Instrument Petting Zoo and photo booth (costumes encouraged)
Jan. 26: Free Instrument Petting Zoo
Apr. 19: Free Instrument Petting Zoo
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Alan Silow
 
Sponsors
Family Concert Series sponsored by:
 The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust and Victor and Karen Trione
Supporting sponsor for "Halloween with Harry Potter": Donald and Maureen Green
Additional support provided by the The Press Democrat
 
-High-res photos of Lecce-Chong, the orchestra and guest artists 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 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
Currently in its 92nd 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 the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming 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 26, 2019: Francesco Lecce-Chong's first full season begins with Garrick Ohlssohn plays Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 and nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey

Santa Rosa Symphony, August 26, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Award-winning pianist Garrick Ohlsson will play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in the first concert of the Santa Rosa Symphony's 92nd season on October 5, 6 & 7 at the Green Music Center, in another dynamic season opener from Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong.
 
Also included in "Unmasking the Stars," First Symphony Project Composer-in-Residence Matt Browne will give audiences a taste of his talents, before unveiling his first symphony in February, with How the Solar System Was Won, an homage to Stanley Kubrick's classic cinematic masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. Lecce-Chong's program ends with Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra, which was made famous in the same movie. Anna Clyne's Masquerade begins the program with a piece that puts listeners in mind of masked merriment in days gone by.
 
Lecce-Chong said, "I look forward to welcoming two incredible guest artists for the opening of the 2019-2020 season. Garrick Ohlsson is one of the greatest pianists of our time and his legendary Chopin recordings made a significant impression on me as a young pianist. Our Composer-in-Residence, Matt Browne, is one of the most imaginative composers I have had the opportunity to work with and I look forward to introducing his work to our orchestra and community."
 
Virtuoso pianist Garrick Ohlsson, recognized worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess, expertly performs more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him. Ohlsson is a frequent guest with orchestras around the world and has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson and Tokyo string quartets and, in the spring of 2019, toured with the Takacs Quartet and the Boston Chamber Players in Istanbul, Berlin, Munich, Warsaw, Luxembourg and Prague. With violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is a founding member of the San Francisco-based FOG Trio.
 
A native of White Plains, N.Y., Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of eight, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music and, at 13, entered The Juilliard School. His awards include the Gold Medal in the 1970 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, first prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, the 1994 Avery Fisher Prize, the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, Mich. and the 2014 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. Ohlsson is a Steinway Artist and lives in San Francisco. Read Ohlsson's full bio.
 
The Symphony's 2019-2020 Classical Series is the first season programmed by Lecce-Chong and the first in which he will conduct the customary six of seven concert weekends. Before earning his post as Music Director in the Spring of 2018, he was signed by IMG Artists and has made his debut as guest conductor for a subscription concert with the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony. San Francisco Chronical reviewer Joshua Kosman declared Lecce-Chong a "resourceful and imaginative programmer and "there was no mistaking the vitality and brilliance of the music-making he drew from members of the San Francisco Symphony. He’s got a firm but flexible rhythmic control that allows him to shepherd an orchestra at top speed without losing a bit of precision, and he can shape big instrumental textures with a robustness and grace that is inspiring to behold."
 
Lecce-Chong has appeared with orchestras around the world and has collaborated with renowned soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman. He also serves as Music Director for the Eugene Symphony. Read full bio.

Interesting facts about "Unmasking the Stars:"
Ohlsson can play a vast repertoire for memory and quipped in a MassLive interview, "You could wake me up at four in the morning and I could play [Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto]."

The public premiere of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, on December 22, 1808, occurred as part of a benefit concert that lasted four hours, with Beethoven at the piano throughout, in a very cold hall in Vienna. It would be his last public performance.

Strauss' symphonic poem, Also sprach Zarathustra was inspired by Nietzsche’s famous essay of the same name. Strauss wanted “to convey in music an idea of the evolution of the human race from its origin, through the various phases of development, religious as well as scientific."

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 with Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong begin one hour prior to each performance and conclude with Q&A.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Garrick Ohlsson, Francesco Lecce-Chong, Matt Browne
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Unmasking the Stars"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
 
WHEN:
Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, October 5, at 2:00 PM – Doors at 1:00 PM, no talk)
Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 3:00 PM (Doors at 1:30 PM, Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM)
Monday, October 7, 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)
 
Sponsors
Concert sponsored by Jim Lamb
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by Norma Person, in memory of Evert Person
Garrick Ohlsson underwritten by Marcia Wagner, in memory of Hap Wagner
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 The Press Democrat
 
-High-res photos of Ohlsson, Lecce-Chong, Browne and orchestra 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 92 years, began his tenure in 2018. The Symphony is committed to core values of artistic excellence, innovative programming, comprehensive music education and community service. The organization infused the local economy with more than $4 million in 2018.
 
Currently in its 92nd 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 the Santa Rosa Symphony national attention and support. Awards include an American Symphony Orchestra League MetLife Award for Community Engagement and a first-place award for adventurous programming 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