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2019-2020 Season

May 4, 2020: Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra Virtual Chamber Music Concert May 20 at 7:00 PM

Santa Rosa Symphony, May 4, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra (SRSYO) will launch its first virtual chamber music concert on May 20, 2020 at 7:00 PM on the SRS Facebook page and YouTube Channel. The Santa Rosa Youth Orchestra is the award-winning, premier youth orchestra of the Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education's Training Young Musicians program.
 
This remotely-recorded concert, with SRSYO chamber groups of duos to a large 26-piece ensemble, will include music from the 17th century to the present. The new piece is a virtual world premiere of Michael Murrin’s Fuel of the Soul, which had been commissioned for the postponed SRSYO 60th Anniversary concert featuring SRSYO alumni. (The piece will still have its physical premiere, opening the SRSYO concert that will be performed sometime after the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.)   
 
SRSYO Conductor Bobby Rogers said, “The young musicians of the SRSYO have worked hard and outside their comfort zone to provide our community with a sense of live music during these times. We can’t thank the students and their parents enough for their enthusiastic buy-in to this virtual music program.”
 
Director of Education Wendy Cilman says, "This project demonstrates music education at its best. It has taken a disappointing situation and turned it into a creative, uplifting experience."
 
Principal violist Robin Gibson said of this experience, “This project was the perfect way to stay connected through music.”
 
The SRS Youth Orchestra, which began as the Sonoma County Junior Symphony in 1959, when the first fully-automatic camera was introduced, now embraces personal recording technology to offer patrons a virtual concert experience during this time of sheltering in place. Collaborating online, in chamber groups, with support from Rogers and SRS Institute for Music Education faculty, the young musicians prepared for and recorded their individual parts, which were then expertly stitched together into a chamber concert recording. Murrin’s Fuel of the Soul is the most ambitious piece in the program with 26 brass and percussion musicians.  
 
Murrin, an alumnus of the SRS Youth Ensembles, is the second composer to participate in the SRS Institute for Music Education’s First Opus Project, which echoes the Santa Rosa Symphony's First Symphony Project. The First Opus Project allows young composers to create new compositions for young musicians and emphasizes the important connection between the composer, conductor and musician in the creation of a new work.
 
The approximately 90-minute program will explore music from the 17th to the 21st centuries. Composers include Italian Baroque composers Francesco Gasparini, Arcangelo Corelli and Antonio Vivaldi; German Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann; Classical composers Leopold Mozart and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn; 19th-century Irish-American Swan Hennessey and German Ernst Kummer; 20th-century Brazilian Heitor Villa Lobos and Murrin.
 
Murrin writes: "With my new composition, Fuel of the Soul, I wanted to write a piece which celebrates the success that the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Ensembles have had for the last 60 years. These orchestras play a vital role in supporting, inspiring and fueling the future of the music world, and in cultivating a community which appreciates art and understands the extent to which art can enrich our lives. I believe the more appreciation our world has for beautiful art and beautiful music, the more we can connect with each other on a human level and identify with what we have in common, rather than our differences. I believe that art plays a vital role in bringing us back to our roots as human beings, and teaches us more about ourselves, as well as helping us to learn more about others. Because of this, I believe that the Youth Ensembles have an immense impact on our community and on our world, and I am honored to write a new composition in celebration of these ensembles, especially for such a monumental occasion as the 60th anniversary."

While creating a virtual performance is a new experience for the SRSYO members, chamber music is not. It has been an ongoing component of the SRSYO experience for the winds, brass and percussion sections. The SRSYO Chamber Players have prepared and given concerts to audiences in churches and assisted living communities for several years. Adding the chamber component to the string section has brought the benefit of chamber music orchestra wide.
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra Virtual Chamber Music Concert
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra, Bobby Rogers, conductor
WHEN: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM
WHERE: On Facebook, YouTube and the SRS' Stay Connected page
Santa Rosa Symphony and Santa Rosa Symphony Young Musicians Facebook pages
Santa Rosa Symphony and SRS Education YouTube channels
 
The concert is free, but online donations are gratefully accepted. Interested Facebook users may click "going" on the SRS Young Musicians Facebook page to received a reminder for the event.
 
SPONSORS
Concert sponsor: Stanroy Music Center
 
SRSYO: George L. Smith Jr. M.D. and Nancy Doyle M.D. Fund
of Community Foundation Sonoma County
 
SRSYO chamber music program underwritten by the Savannah Hill Music Scholarship Fund
of Community Foundation Sonoma County
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Wendy Cilman, Alan Silow, Bobby Rogers
 
High-res photos available upon request
 
Michael Murrin, composer
Michael Murrin is an active performer, composer, arranger, and conductor.  As a professional tubist, trombonist, and euphoniumist, Michael has experience in a variety of performance settings, from performing with the San Francisco Wind Ensemble and the USC Thornton Symphony to performing in dixieland, musical theater, popular music, and film score recording settings.  A recipient of First Prize in the International Tuba Euphonium Conference Chamber Music Competition, Michael has performed under the direction of maestros such as Gerard Schwarz, Carl St. Clair, and John Nelson, among others.  As a composer, Michael has received commissions from the Santa Rosa Junior College Orchestra and the Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa, and his compositions have received performances in venues including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and by ensembles including the New York Philharmonic Principal Brass Quintet.  Michael also enjoys expanding his musical creativity into other areas, most recently by singing in local choirs and playing alto clarinet and contrabass clarinet in services at St. Mark Lutheran Church.  Michael received his Bachelor of Music degree in 2014 from the University of Southern California, under the mentorship of Jim Self and Norm Pearson.  
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education programs
Training Young Musicians program provides music training and performance opportunities to children ages X to 23. In addition to the SRS Youth Orchestra, the program includes the Young People's Chamber Orchestra, Debut Youth Orchestra, Aspirante Youth Orchestra and the String Orchestra Workshop.
 
The Institute also provides a number of initiatives for the community, especially its elementary students, which include:

Music for our Schools provide free concerts, assemblies and listening programs for elementary school children through the It’s Elementary and Primarily Classical programs.

Simply Strings, an El Sistema-inspired afterschool program, provides fully-funded instruction to underserved children at Sheppard Elementary School

Family-oriented programs include a family concert series, discovery dress rehearsals and ensembles at library and other community events

Adult Education is offered through open dress rehearsals, pre-concert talks, String Orchestra Workshop, master classes, select SMA classes and library events

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.
 
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 x 218
smitchell@srsymphony.org

For more information regarding SRSYO, 
contact Jane Shelly, 
SRS Youth Orchestra Manager
707-546-7097 x 225
jshelly@srsymphony.org

March 25, 2020: Santa Rosa Symphony Reschedules All Spring Concerts, Compensates musicians now to ease their financial hardship

Santa Rosa Symphony, March 25, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) —The Santa Rosa Symphony Board of Directors, in response to county and state health agencies' shelter-in-place orders, and for the safety and health of its patrons, musicians and staff in this daily evolving situation, has postponed all of its remaining 2019-2020 concerts. These include two Classical Series sets, one Family Series concert and one Pops concert.
 
The Santa Rosa Symphony Association’s Board of Directors, via a video conference on Tuesday, March 24, confirmed the new dates as follows:
 
Showcasing Contemporary Women: rescheduled from March 21-23 to June 6, 7 & 8, 2020
Beethoven Lives Upstairs: rescheduled from April 19 to June 14, 2020
Visions of Hope: rescheduled from May 2-4 to July 11, 12 & 13, 2020
Remember When Rock Was Young – the Elton John Tribute Symphony Pops: rescheduled from April 26 to August 9, 2020
 
The programming for these concerts is unchanged, with the exception of Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong stepping in to conduct Showcasing Contemporary Women.
 
The Santa Rosa Santa Youth Orchestra concert on May 9, 2020 has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
 
Ticket holder information is covered at the bottom of this release.
 
"We are thrilled to be able to reschedule all of these concerts. It is a way forward through this challenging situation and one that will best provide for our subscribers, patrons, musicians and staff," said Symphony President and CEO Alan Silow.
 
“In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to have beauty in our lives—especially as we are unable to join together in person to experience art,” said Lecce-Chong.
 
Most importantly, the Santa Rosa Symphony recognizes that many of its musicians are experiencing financial hardship due to the widespread concert cancellations throughout the Bay Area. In that light, the Symphony Board of Directors has approved an unprecedented plan which guarantees that any musician, who was hired by Santa Rosa Symphony to perform services in March, April or May 2020, will be paid promptly for those services, even though the work itself will happen at a later date.
 
"I am grateful for the leadership of our Board and the long-standing generosity of our patrons, both of which will allows us to provide immediate financial assistance to lessen the economic challenges that our fine, professional musicians currently face," said Silow.
 
Santa Rosa Symphony’s Board of Directors and staff leadership continue to closely monitor this very fluid and unprecedented situation, and will communicate clearly, promptly and directly with patrons, if there are any new developments or changes. The Symphony staff are working from their homes and retrieving mail, which has included many subscription renewals, a bright spot that further underscores the value of what the Symphony offers—especially during uncertain times.
 
“As many other organizations and musicians are doing, Santa Rosa Symphony is turning to technology to stay connected with our patrons," added Lecce-Chong. "I’ve started hosting regular 'Watch Parties' on my Facebook page, where we can all hang out and experience great performances together. My fiancée Chloe and I are also creating music education videos, which are great for parents and children to do together at home.”
 
The Symphony invites patrons to follow its Facebook page, visit its website and sign up for its email list (via the website) to stay informed about Lecce-Chong's Facebook Watch Parties, detailed concert information, summer offerings, education opportunities, the new season and more. In addition, COVID-19 updates are posted at https://www.srsymphony.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Coronavirus.
 
Ticket holder information
Patrons with tickets for the originally scheduled concert dates should retain them for use on the new dates. If ticket holders are unable to attend on the new date, they may choose from the following options:
 
Request a Donation Receipt. The ticket payment may be converted to a tax-deductible donation to Santa Rosa Symphony. This helps the organization, a nonprofit, navigate this challenging time, so that it can continue to support our musicians suffering severe financial hardship, remain financially viable and continue to bring the joy of classical music to this community. The donation receipt must be requested by the Thursday prior to the new concert date.
 
Request a Ticket Voucher. The ticket voucher will be of equal value to the purchased tickets. Subscribers may use the voucher to bring friends next season. Single-ticket buyers may enjoy any Symphony Classical Series concert of their choosing in the 2020-2021 Season. All vouchers will be mailed in August and may be redeemed beginning August 10, 2020. The voucher must be requested by the Thursday prior to the new concert date.
 
Request a Gift Certificate. The value of the concert ticket(s) may be applied to a gift certificate. Gift Certificates never expire and may be used towards a season renewal or purchase of tickets for any Santa Rosa Symphony concert. Gift certificates must be requested by the Thursday prior to the new concert date.
 
Pops ticket holders will need to contact the Luther Burbank Center's box office at (707) 546-3600 or lutherburbankcenter.org.

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

March 12, 2020: March Symphony concerts cancelled: Symphony follows California Department of Public Health advice to help prevent spread of Coronavirus

Santa Rosa Symphony, March 12, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony, in response to local, state and CDC guidelines, has cancelled all performances through the end of March. The Symphony will keep patrons updated via email, srsymphony.org and social media channels regarding its rescheduling efforts, and it is in direct contact with its subscribers and single ticket buyers.
 
To protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health announced Wednesday, March 11, 2020, that gatherings and events of more than 250 people be canceled, at least through the end of March, which includes the Youth Orchestra Showcase Concert on March 15 and the Symphony's upcoming “Showcasing Cotemporary Women” classical concerts March 21-23, 2020.

"We believe this is vital to minimize the potential health risk to our patrons, musicians, volunteers and staff," said Santa Rosa Symphony President and CEO Alan Silow.


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

February 17, 2020: Santa Rosa Symphony hires Kate Matwychuk as Manager for its El Sistema-inspired Simply Strings program and Summer Music Academy

Santa Rosa Symphony, February 17, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony, in December 2019, appointed Kate Matwychuk Manager for its Simply Strings and Summer Music Academy programs. A resident of Sebastopol, Matwychuk comes to the Symphony with a wealth of teaching experience. Matwychuk, who grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, came to Santa Rosa to work for Quest Forward Academy, a new private school that opened in 2017. Matwychuk earned her Master's in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, an AB from Harvard University and has earned many honors as an English teacher, including grants and travel awards. She taught creative writing, critical thinking and more at schools in Hawaii and Massachusetts.
 
Matwychuk enjoys the variety and unexpected creative opportunities of her new, dual position and the ability to work with younger students, adding that, "The energy and creativity of the people I’m working with is inspiring."
 
Santa Rosa Symphony Director of Education Wendy Cilman said, "Kate is bringing exciting new ideas and energy. Her broad education background and experience align perfectly with our vision for these programs."
 
Matwychuk was an active musician in high school (bassoon) and "benefited enormously from programs such as Simply Strings. I participated in my city’s youth orchestra and traveled with my own school orchestra and band. Being a musician taught me to be courageous, gave me confidence and opened unexpected doors for me."
 
When not teaching, Matwychuk swims with ocean creatures in wild places all over the planet. "I miss the Hawaiian pacific, but am learning to enjoy the (much colder) California coast."
   
-High-res photos available upon request-
 
About Simply Strings
Inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela’s acclaimed, social-action music network, Simply Strings develops musical excellence and promotes social engagement. Through this program, based at Sheppard Accelerated Elementary School in Roseland, children, beginning in second grade, receive daily, intensive ensemble instruction two hours a day, five days a week after school.
 
About Summer Music Academy
Summer Music Academy is three weeks of music immersion where students can learn to play an instrument for the first time, or enrich their music studies, all while making new friends with musicians from throughout Sonoma County. Held at Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa July 13-31, the Academy includes instrumental workshops for beginners and continuing students, and performance workshops for more experienced musicians.
 
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

February 5, 2020: Santa Rosa Symphony showcases women for Women's History Month: conductor Gemma New, violinist Jennifer Frautschi and composer Katherine Balch

Santa Rosa Symphony, February 5, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) —Celebrating Women's history month, the Santa Rosa Symphony's March 21-23 program, "Showcasing Contemporary Women" highlights talented women who could make history. Rising star conductor Gemma New leads the orchestra in a concert that opens with Katherine Balch's like a broken clock and features Jennifer Frautschi performing Camille Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3. New caps her program with Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, Pastorale. Performances are at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. Patrons are also invited to bring the young women in their lives with a free youth ticket (one per paid adult, for youth 7-17).
 
Sought after for her insightful interpretations and dynamic presence, New Zealand-born Gemma New is currently Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. New was awarded the Solti Foundation Career Assistance Awards in 2017 and 2019. Read Gemma New's full bio.  
 
Two-time Grammy nominee and Avery Fisher career grant recipient Jennifer Frautschi has garnered worldwide acclaim as a musically adventurous violinist with a wide-ranging repertoire, in addition to premiering several works composed for her.
 
Frautschi has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, 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 Weill Hall; and as part of the European Concert Hall Organization’s Rising Stars series, debuted at ten of Europe’s most celebrated concert venues. Her discography includes two Grammy-nominated recordings with the Fred Sherry Quartet.
 
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 teaches violin in the graduate program at Stony Brook University. Frautschi performs on a 1722 Antonio Stradivarius. Read Frautschi's full bio.
 
Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3, a three-movement standard in current student, concert and competition repertoire, begins with the soloist, over hushed chords from the orchestra. The piece demands technical prowess and advanced musicality, which Frautschi has proved she can deliver.
 
Balch says of like a broken clock, "The title of this piece is a modified lyric borrowed from a Joanna Newsom song, In California. In the chorus, she sings, ‘like a little clock/ that trembles on the edge of the hour/ only ever calling out Cuckoo Cuckoo.' What attracted me to that text was the imagery of off-kilter, delicate tapping/clicking rhythms. like a broken clock is music that sputters, ticks and clangs, summoning the minutes and seconds that jitter and dance."
 
The final piece on the program, Beethoven's Sixth Symphony, Pastorale, according the composer himself (from a note he had printed in the program of its first performance) is meant as "more an expression of feeling than painting." His movement titles suggest the settings for these feelings:

I. Awakening of happy feelings upon reaching the countryside.
II. Scene at the brook.
III. Cheerful gathering of the country folk.
IV. Thunderstorm.
V. Shepherd's song. Happy, grateful feelings after the storm.

Interesting facts about these Contemporary Women:
Balch's awards include fellowships from Aspen, Norfolk, Fontainebleau, Tanglewood, IRCAM Manifeste and Santa Fe music festivals, multiple awards from ASCAP and BMI, and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

New is a two-time recipient of the coveted Career Assistance Award from Solti Foundation U.S.

Frautschi is an Avery Fisher Grant recipient and two-time Grammy nominee
Northern California Public Media will broadcast this concert on Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm. Listeners may tune in to KRCB at 91.1 FM or 90.9 FM. 
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Gemma New, Jennifer Frautschi
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Showcasing Contemporary Women"
 
WHO: Santa Rosa Symphony
Gemma New, guest conductor
Jennifer Frautschi, violin
 
WHEN:
Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, March 21, at 2:00 PM – no talk)
Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 3:00 PM (Doors at 1:30 PM, Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM)
Monday, March 23, 2020 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
 
Performance ticket prices:
$24-$87 for Saturday and Monday evening and Sunday afternoon performances
FREE tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request (by phone or in person) ONE FREE ticket for a youth (7-17 years of age) with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert.
 
Discovery Open Rehearsal ticket prices:
$20 / adult; $10 / youth (7-17 years of age)
 
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 by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, begin one hour prior to each performance.
 
Sponsors
Concert sponsored by Viking Cruises
Supporting sponsor: County of Sonoma & Creative Sonoma
Gemma New underwritten by Corinne and David Byrd
Jennifer Frautschi 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
Concert overview video underwritten by Chuck and Ellen Wear
Media sponsors: The Press Democrat and Northern California Public Media
 
-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 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.
 
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
 

February 3, 2020: SRS Institute for Music Education presents a sensory-inclusive All-Ensemble Showcase concert

Santa Rosa Symphony, February 3, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education's All-Ensembles Showcase concert, Sunday, March 15, 2020, 3:00 PM, at Weill Hall, Green Music Center, showcases the talents of all of the Institute's Training Young Musicians ensembles. This relaxed, welcoming, sensory-inclusive event includes an all-strings piece, an all-winds/brass/percussion piece and a grand finale featuring the first chair musicians from each ensemble.
 
The Institute's ensembles, which will all be participating, include Simply Strings, String Orchestra Workshop, Debut Orchestra, Aspirante Orchestra, Young People's Chamber Orchestra and the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra.
 
Director of Education Wendy Cilman, who introduced this all-day, biannual event two years ago, said, "It provides an opportunity for us to show the range of our Training Young Musicians program. In addition to the unique opportunity of the shared performance, this unique event enables the newest musicians to interact with the most experienced musicians in activities such as combined coaching sessions."
 
For this very relaxed, sensory-inclusive event, children and adults with physical and developmental challenges, small children and babies are all welcome. Efforts are being made to have a sign language interpreter on stage. Weill Hall doors will remain open during the concert for people to come and go as needed and the audience need not remain silent through the performances. An announcement from the stage will alert sensitive audience members when the music will be especially loud or surprising. In addition, ticketholders are asked to refrain from wearing fragrances.
 
Green Music Center House Manager Andrew Cronomiz said, "Here at the Green Music Center one of the things we focus on is providing access to diverse artistic experiences that educate, connect and inspire our communities. We are very happy to be working with the Santa Rosa Symphony to help put our words into action and present a concert that is accessible and inclusive to all those who wish to attend and make them feel welcome."
 
"We see this as an opportunity for our young musicians to learn how to focus through audience distractions," Cilman added. "It is also a way for them to share their talent with people who are less fortunate than they are, and who will benefit greatly from hearing them."
 
The affordably-priced concert will feature selections from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt and Frank Ticheli's Simple Gifts, alongside popular favorites such as La Bamba. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for youth in advance, and $20 and $10 at the door.
 
Training Young Musicians Ensembles
Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra: internationally-touring, award-winning youth orchestra conducted by Bobby Rogers
Young People's Chamber Orchestra: under the direction of Aaron Westman, performs sans conductor
Aspirante Orchestra: mid-level ensemble conducted by Jennifer Huang, focuses on building repertoire, instrument mastery
Debut Orchestra: entry-level performing orchestra conducted by Luis Zuniga
String Orchestra Workshop: beginning musicians, directed by Karen Zimmerman and Ivy Zenobi, learn to play with others in a small ensemble
Simply Strings: Inspired by El Sistema, an afterschool, social action program instructing youth in second to seventh grades, conducted by Joel Cohen

Other upcoming Youth Orchestra concerts
Sunday, March 8, 2020, 3:00 pm, at Weill Hall, Green Music Center, the SRS Youth Orchestra performs a concert titled "Shall We Dance."
 
Saturday, February 29, 2020, 7:00 pm, at Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, the Young People's Chamber Orchestra performs a concert titled "Through the Looking Glass: 330 years of dancing and imitating life in music."
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: All Youth Ensembles Showcase Concert
 
WHO:  Santa Rosa Symphony Training Young Musician Ensembles
 
WHEN: Sunday, March 15, 2020, 3:00 PM
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
TICKETS:  $15 / Adult, $5 / Youth ($20 and $10 at the door, group tickets available by phone)
 
PURCHASING: (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 Stanroy
  
-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 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.
 
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).

January 13, 2020: Santa Rosa Symphony hires 20-year finance veteran Kathleen Gebhardt as Director of Finance & Administration

Santa Rosa Symphony, January 13, 2020

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony welcomes 20-year finance veteran Kathleen Gebhardt as its new Director of Finance & Administration. Gebhardt comes from a background in the healthcare industry, most recently as Director of Finance for Petaluma Health Center.   
 
A Symphony season subscriber, Gebhardt says, "I was immediately drawn to the Symphony’s Finance Director position because of my love of music, and my great respect for the amazing talent of the conductor, the musicians and everyone behind the scenes. The Symphony gives me the sense of satisfaction of supporting those who provide the beauty of music and educational opportunities to our community."
 
“Gebhardt is a consummate professional—capable, knowledgeable, friendly and flexible. She will be a welcome addition to the team,” said President & CEO Alan Silow.
 
Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Gebhardt's family moved to nearby Cedar Lake when she was in the fifth grade, where she enjoyed fishing, swimming, water skiing and driving fast boats. Exploring her interest in music, she played clarinet in high school band, sang soprano in the choir and taught herself how to play guitar. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Western Governors University in Salt Lake. A job transfer brought her to Santa Rosa, after spending 11 years in Pasadena.
 
Also a budding amateur photographer, Gebhardt photographs wildlife and landscapes with her fairly-new "real" camera and hopes to return to jewelry making soon. Gebhardt lives in Petaluma.
 
-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 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

December 18, 2019: Award-winning pianist Natasha Paremski performs Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 February 8-10

Santa Rosa Symphony, December 18, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) —Natasha Paremski joins the Santa Rosa Symphony to perform Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 on February 8-10 at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. "Riveting Rachmaninoff," conducted by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, also includes the first commission of the First Symphony Project, the world premiere of Matt Browne's Symphony No. 1, The Course of Empire. Lecce-Chong's program begins with Ludwig Van Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3.   
 
Lecce-Chong said, "I am delighted to welcome Natasha Paremski back to Santa Rosa. Already a favorite of our audiences, Natasha and I have been close friends since our college days in New York and we work together regularly around the country. I also look forward to the World Premiere of our Composer-in-Residence Matt Browne's The Course of Empire - a major new symphonic work that continues the SRS commitment to contemporary American music."
 
Award-winning pianist Natasha Paremski wins over audiences the world over with her musical sensibility and powerful, flawless technique. Her 2019-2020 season features returns to San Francisco Performances and, among others, the Columbus, Colorado, North Carolina, and Santa Rosa symphonies, in addition to debuts in South Africa and Colombia. November highlights the complete Rachmaninov Concerto cycle with Larry Loh conducting Symphoria.
 
Paremski is a regular return guest of many major North American orchestras. She has also performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, since 2008, in venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Cadogan Hall. She has toured extensively in Europe with such orchestras as 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 has toured with Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica in Latvia, Benelux, the United Kingdom and Austria, as well as appearances with National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in Taipei. Read her full bio.
 
Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 is one of the most popular piano concertos in the repertoire, thrilling in its complexity, vibrance and rich Russian flare. In fact, musicologist  Joseph Yasser noted its striking similarity to a Russian monastic chant – one that Rachmaninoff could have heard as a boy.   
 
Composer-in-Residence Matt Browne, inspired by a series of five landscape paintings by Thomas Cole of the same name, wrote The Course of Empire to depict the rise and fall of man as seen in the five paintings, which all represent the same location through different eras. Softening and updating the painter's titles for his corresponding five movements, Browne's first movement about Cole's The Savage State (of hunter-gathers) becomes Ascension; The Pastoral or Arcadian State becomes Pastorale; The Consummation of Empire becomes Apotheosis; Destruction becomes Hubris and Desolation, Ephemera. Symphony goers responded most favorably to Browne's How the Solar System Was Won, which was performed by the Symphony for the first time in the SRS' Season opening concert and his first symphony is eagerly anticipated. The First Symphony Project is a four-year endeavor in which the SRS and the Eugene Symphony with nine patron households (including Lecce-Chong, who is also Music Director for Eugene) as co-commissioners of up-and-coming American composers' first symphony. 
 
Interesting facts about Riveting Rachmaninoff:
Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 was famously featured in the movie "Shine"

Paremski is a regular recital and recording partner of Grammy-winning cellist Zuill Bailey

Paremski's prestigious prizes include: Gilmore Young Artists, the Prix Montblanc and the Orpheum Stiftung. 

Francesco 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.
 
In the 2018-2019 season, Lecce-Chong debuted in subscription concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic and Xi’An Symphony in China among others. The 2019-2020 season marks his debut with the New York Philharmonic. Read full bio.
 
Northern California Public Media will broadcast this concert on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 3:30 pm. Listeners may tune in to KRCB at 91.1 FM or 90.9 FM. 
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Simone Porter
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Riveting Rachmaninoff"
 
WHO: Santa Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Natasha Paremski, violin
 
WHEN:
Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, February 8, at 2:00 PM – no talk)
Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 3:00 PM (Doors at 1:30 PM, Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM)
Monday, February 10, 2020 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
 
Performance ticket prices:
$24-$87 for Saturday and Monday evening and Sunday afternoon performances
FREE tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request (by phone or in person) ONE FREE ticket for a youth (7-17 years of age) with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert.
 
Discovery Open Rehearsal ticket prices:
$20 / adult; $10 / youth (7-17 years of age)
 
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 by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, begin one hour prior to each performance.
 
Sponsors
Concert sponsored by Linda Castiglioni
Supporting sponsor: County of Sonoma & Creative Sonoma
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by Corinne and David Byrd
Natasha Paremski underwritten by The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust
The Course of Empire underwritten by First Symphony Project co-commissioners:  
Nancy and David Berto, Chuck and Ellen Wear, Creighton White, Gordon Blumenfeld, Francesco Lecce-Chong and four Eugene Symphony households
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
Concert overview video underwritten by Chuck and Ellen Wear
Media sponsors: The Press Democrat and Northern California Public Media
 
-High-res photos of Lecce-Chong, Orchestra and guest artist 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.
 
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

December 12, 2019: Santa Rosa Symphony performs "Peter and the Wolf" January 26 at Weill Hall

Santa Rosa Symphony, December 12, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony, on January 26 at 3 PM, performs the timeless children's classic, Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, in an engaging, interactive program that also includes Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals. Roustabout Theater joins the orchestra and conductor Bobby Rogers for the second in the Symphony's 2019-2020 Family Series. Pre-concert fun begins at 2:00 PM with a FREE Instrument Petting Zoo. Ideal for introducing small children to classical music, this affordable concert ($20/adult, $10/child) makes for a memorable afternoon outing for families.
 
Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf has been introducing youngsters to orchestral instruments in an imaginative, accessible way since its first performance in 1936 in Moscow. Its United States premiere was in 1938. Walt Disney saw the beauty and value of the piece, producing a full-length animated feature film in 1946.   
 
Interesting facts about Peter and the Wolf:
Dissatisfied with the narrative written for it by a popular children's author, Prokofiev created the text himself.

Narrators have included actors David Tennant, Sir Peter Ustinov, Dudley Moore, Carol Channing, Sophia Loren, Antonio Banderas, Richard Attenborough, Sharon Stone, Lorne Greene, Captain Kangaroo, Jonathon Winters, Alec Guinness, Basil Rathbone, Mia Farrow, Boris Karloff, Ben Kingsley, Sean Connery, Rob Reiner, Sir Ralph Richardson and Patrick Stewart; music icons Leonard Bernstein, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Itzhak Perlman and Sting; and world leaders Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Peter and the Wolf has had numerous, unique adaptations, including on National Public Radio's All Things Considered in 2001, as a developing news story with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra performing the music, and on Sesame Street with the Boston Pops Orchestra as "Elmo's Musical Adventure" in 2000.  

Roustabout Theater is the longest-running resident theater company of the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. Roustabout consists of a professional ensemble—presenting the Northern California premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner Tray Letts’ new play, “Mary Page Marlowe,” in March—and its Apprentice Program, an unparalleled actor training program, which highlights the talents of the county’s most extraordinary student performers, ages 11 – 20, through award-winning, professionally-produced productions. Read full bio.
 
The Instrument Petting Zoo, at 2:00 PM, provided at no extra cost to ticket holders, allows children (and curious adults) to handle and play various orchestral instruments.
 
Ideal for introducing small children to classical music, this affordable concert ($20/adult, $10/child) makes for a memorable afternoon outing for families.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Bobby Rogers, Francesco Lecce-Chong, Alan Silow
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony Family concert "Peter and the Wolf"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Bobby Rogers, conductor
Roustabout Theater, Clark Lewis, director
 
WHEN:
Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 3:00 PM (Instrument Petting Zoo at 2:00 PM)
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
TICKETS:
$20 for adults and $10 for children.
Seating is reserved for this concert and every patron, regardless of age, must have a ticket.
 
Tickets are available at (707) 546-8742, srsymphony.org or in person at Santa Rosa Symphony Patron Services, 50 Santa Rosa (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
ENHANCEMENTS:
Free Instrument Petting Zoo
 
Sponsors
Family Concert Series sponsored by:
 The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust and Victor and Karen Trione
Additional support from the The Press Democrat and County of Sonoma—Board of Supervisors    
 
-High-res photos of Bobby Rogers, 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.
 
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. Recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, the Symphony's Institute for Music Education serves 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

November 25, 2019: SRS Institute for Music Education welcomes Jennifer Huang as new Aspirante Youth Orchestra conductor

Santa Rosa Symphony, November 25, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education named Jennifer Huang its new Aspirante Youth Orchestra conductor. Huang's recent posts have included Assistant Conductor and Chorus Director of West Edge Opera’s Summer 2019 season, Music Director of the University of California Berkeley Chamber Orchestra and Summer Symphony, and Assistant Conductor of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Chorus. The Aspirante Youth Orchestra is the mid-level ensemble of the Institute's Training Young Musicians program and concentrates on increasing the young musicians' skills and expanding their repertoire. Students typically range in age from 12 to 18, have had three years of ensemble experience and at least one year in the SRS Institute's Debut Youth Orchestra. 
 
"Young people have an amazing potential to connect with music," says Huang. "As an artist and conductor, I'm inspired by how naturally they react to what they hear and how, with just a little guidance, they can develop a deep capacity for artistic expression. With the Aspirante Youth Orchestra, I am very much looking forward to teaching our young students to love music through our repertoire and encouraging them to continue playing throughout their lives."
 
In addition to being an award-winning conductor, Huang is also an accomplished violinist, pianist and vocalist. She has performed under the baton of world-class artists such as Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel and David Robertson. 

While the majority of the Taiwanese-American's work focuses on standard orchestral repertoire, she is also an active opera conductor and a strong advocate for new music performance, working closely with composers from around the world. In her musical studies at UC Berkeley, she conducted and music-directed a student opera, A Note Before I Go, for which she was awarded the Eisner Prize and the Mary Nunes Souza Award from the University. Earlier this month, Huang conducted a workshop of a new opera, Both Eyes Open, by Max Duykers and librettist Philip Gotunda, working alongside tenor John Duykers and members of the Paul Dresher Ensemble. 
 
In 2016, she graduated from UC Berkeley with a dual degree in Molecular Cell Biology and Music. There she studied violin performance with Dan Flanagan and Antoine van Dongen and conducting with Professor David Milnes.
 
-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 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

November 19, 2019: Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient Simone Porter plays Sibelius' Violin Concerto in D minor

Santa Rosa Symphony, November 19, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) —Virtuoso violinist Simone Porter joins the Santa Rosa Symphony to perform Jean Sibelius' Violin Concerto in D minor, on January 11-13 at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. "Shadows and Sunshine," conducted by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, also includes Johannes Brahms' Second Symphony, one of the most cheerful of his later works, composed while he was enjoying a summer away at a beautiful Austrian lake in 1877. The program opens with Missy Mazzoli's Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres), which was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.     
 
Lecce-Chong said, "Despite composing in three different centuries, Brahms, Sibelius, and Missy Mazzoli are connected in this program through their focus on rich orchestral harmonies and textures. This combination of sublime music will be punctuated with the dazzling virtuosity of Simone Porter."
 
Sibelius' lyrical yet powerful Violin Concerto may be the most popular violin concerto composed in the twentieth century, its opening few seconds transfixing listeners, as the violin enters on a dissonant note, delicately, and gradually leans into the chord. 
 
Violinist Simone Porter has been recognized as an emerging artist of impassioned energy, interpretive integrity and vibrant communication. In the past few years, she has debuted with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles. Born in 1996, Porter made her professional solo debut at age 10 with the Seattle Symphony and her international debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London at age 13. In March 2015, Porter was named a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Highlights of Porter’s 2019-2020 season include performing Beethoven with the Colorado Symphony, Mendelssohn with New Jersey Symphony, Brahms with the Pacific Symphony and the Brahms Double Concerto with the Charlotte Symphony. Read Porter's full bio.
 
Interesting facts about Simone Porter:
Porter made her Carnegie Zankel Hall debut on the Emmy Award-winning TV show "From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall," followed in November 2016, by her debut in Stern Auditorium.

In June 2016, her featured performance of music from "Schindler’s List," with Maestro Gustavo Dudamel and members of the American Youth Symphony, was broadcast nationally on the TNT Network as part of the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award: A Tribute to John Williams.

Porter performs on a 1740 Carlo Bergonzi violin made in Cremona Italy on generous loan from The Master’s University, Santa Clarita, California.

The three movements of Brahms' Symphony No. 2 in three sentences
(courtesy Steven Ledbetter):

One of the loveliest moments in the first movement occurs at the arrival of the second theme in violas and cellos, a melting waltz tune that is first cousin to Brahms’s famous Lullaby.

The second movement, a rather dark reaction to the sunshine of the first, begins with a stepwise melody rising in the bassoons against a similar melody descending in the cellos, the two ideas mirroring each other.

Here Brahms’ lavish invention makes familiar ideas sound fresh in new relationships.Missy Mazzoli's Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres), "is music in the shape of a solar system, a collection of rococo loops that twist around each other within a larger orbit," says Mazzoli, that "churns and roils, that inches close to the listener only to leap away at breakneck speed, in the process transforming the ensemble turns into a makeshift hurdy-gurdy, flung recklessly into space." 

Francesco 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.
 
In the 2018-2019 season, Lecce-Chong debuted in subscription concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic and Xi’An Symphony in China among others. The 2019-2020 season marks his debut with the New York Philharmonic. Read full bio.
 
Northern California Public Media will broadcast this concert on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 3:30 pm. Listeners may tune in to KRCB at 91.1 FM or 90.9 FM. 
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Simone Porter
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Shadows and Sunshine"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Simone Porter, violin
 
WHEN:
Saturday, January 11, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, January 11, at 2:00 PM – no talk)
Sunday, January 12, 2019 at 3:00 PM (Doors at 1:30 PM, Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM)
Monday, January 13, 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
 
Performance ticket prices:
$24-$87 for Saturday and Monday evening and Sunday afternoon performances
FREE tickets for youth, ages 7-17. Patrons may request (by phone or in person) ONE FREE ticket for a youth (7-17 years of age) with each paid adult ticket to a Classical Series concert.
 
Discovery Open Rehearsal ticket prices:
$20 / adult; $10 / youth (7-17 years of age)
 
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 by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, begin one hour prior to each performance.
 
Sponsors
Concert sponsored by The Peggy Anne Covington Fund
Supporting sponsors: The Press Democrat and The E. Nakamichi Foundation
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by Corinne and David Byrd
Simone Porter underwritten by Ava and Sam Guerrera
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
Concert overview video underwritten by Chuck and Ellen Wear
Media sponsors: The Press Democrat and Northern California Public Media
 
-High-res photos of Lecce-Chong, Orchestra and guest artist 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.
 
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

November 11, 2019: New date set for Santa Rosa Symphony Family Concert

Santa Rosa Symphony, November 11, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony's postponed Family Concert, "Halloween with Harry Potter," will be performed at Weill Hall, Green Music Center on Sunday, January 5, 2020. The October 27 concert had been cancelled due to PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).
 
Francesco Lecce-Chong will conduct "Halloween in January with Harry Potter," which features music from two Harry Potter movies, Beauty and the Beast and more. The Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy under the direction of Carol Menke, will join the orchestra for two pieces, including Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz. Children are encouraged to come at 2:00 PM, wearing their Halloween costumes, to enjoy the free photo booth. A free Instrument Petting Zoo, also available at 2:00 PM, provides an opportunity for children (and curious adults) to handle and play various orchestral instruments.
 
Lecce-Chong said, "I am thrilled to lead a program exploring the magic of orchestral music through the eyes of Harry Potter. As a lifelong fan of John Williams' music, I cannot wait for our youngest audience members to experience his music live and some of the great orchestral classics about magical creatures, like Stravinsky's ballet, The Firebird. The interactive program will give our audience a chance to meet some of the musicians in our orchestra and even learn how to conduct."
 
Lecce-Chong's entertaining and educational concert program will also include Mozart's The Magic Flute, Ravel's Beauty and the Beast and Strauss' Thunder and Lightning Polka.
 
Ideal for introducing small children to classical music, these affordable concerts ($20/adult, $10/child) make for a memorable afternoon outing for families.
 
"Halloween with Harry Potter" ticket holders have been notified of the new date and ticketing options.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Carol Menke
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony Family Concert "Halloween in January with Harry Potter"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy, Carol Menke, director
 
WHEN:
Sunday, January 5, 2020 at 3:00 PM (Photo booth and Instrument Petting Zoo at 2:00 PM)
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TICKETS:
Season Packages: $54 per adult and $27 per child (age 12 and younger)
Family packages: start at $144 and must include two child subscriptions
Single tickets: $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 (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)

ENHANCEMENTS:
Free Instrument Petting Zoo and FREE photo booth (costumes encouraged)

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 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

November 4, 2019: Santa Rosa Symphony ratifies new 5-year collective bargaining agreement with musicians' union

Santa Rosa Symphony, November 4, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony Board of Directors has ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the Musicians Union Local 6 of the American Federation of Musicians. The new agreement covers a period of five years, up to June 30, 2024. It was ratified by the Musicians Union on October 21 and the Symphony's Board of Directors on October 22. The new contract calls for increases ranging from 2-3% annually in the base scale for rehearsals and concerts, and increases in minimum guaranteed number of services, pension and other areas of musician compensation.
 
"I deeply appreciated that our negotiations with the Union leadership were collaborative, professional and respectful, resulting in a five-year contract that will benefit both our musicians and the organization overall," said Symphony President & CEO Alan Silow.
 
"Beginning my first full season here, I am delighted that we have a contract settled for another five years, allowing us to focus solely on creating great music that matters for our audiences,” said Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Alan Silow
 
-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 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

October 23, 2019: SSU Symphonic Chorus joins Santa Rosa Symphony for Mozart's Requiem Dec 7-9

Santa Rosa Symphony, October 23, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) —The Santa Rosa Symphony welcomes the return of Sonoma State University Symphonic Chorus for the orchestra's performance of Mozart's Requiem in D minor, conducted by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong on December 7-9 at Weill Hall, Green Music Center. "Mozart's Swan Song" also includes Haydn's Symphony No. 39, which Lecce-Chong will conduct from the fortepiano, and award-winning composer Jessie Montgomery's Records from a Vanishing City.
 
Lecce-Chong said, "With Mozart's beloved Requiem, I look forward to my first opportunity to work with the SSU Symphonic Chorus. Although Mozart completed less than half of the work before his death, it has always been the standard by which all other Requiems have been held—musically, emotionally and spiritually. This performance is particularly special as it is based on the meticulous research and immense knowledge of one of the greatest Mozart scholars of our time, Robert Levin, who crafted this completed edition of the Requiem in 1996."
 
For Mozart's Requiem, the SSU Symphonic Chorus, led by SRS Choral Director Jenny Bent, will be augmented by the Santa Rosa Junior College Chamber Singers (Jody Benecke, director) for a combined choir of 80 voices. The performance of Mozart's masterpiece also features four guest vocalists: Shawnette Sulker, soprano; Laura Krumm, alto; Benjamin Brecher, tenor; and Philip Skinner, bass. The Hall will resonate with Mozart's anguish, strong will and passion.
 
Classical music annotator Steven Ledbetter describes Mozart’s Requiem as a work of somber and impressive beauty, darker in color, but rising to great heights of power and drama . . . ."
 
Haydn's Symphony No. 39 in G minor opens the program. Haydn, in his works beginning in the late 1760s, leaned heavily on minor keys, which evoke strong emotion. He also employed additional horns in a complimentary key in order to achieve the desired notes from the valve-less horns of his time. Mozart and others later benefited from Haydn's innovation. The complimentary effect, now produced with modern horns, is evident in this symphony, nicknamed Tempesta di mare (Storm at Sea).    
 
Montgomery's tone poem, Records from a Vanishing City is, she says, "based on my recollections of the music that surrounded me as I grew up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1980s and 1990s." Montgomery, who turns 38 on the day of the December 8th performance, adds, "Artists, truth seekers and cultures of all kinds defined our vibrant community. The embracing diversity burst out with an effortless everydayness in block parties, festivals and shindigs of every sort."
 
Northern California Public Media will broadcast this concert on KRCB FM Radio 91. Listeners may tune in to 91.1 or 90.9 on January 5, 2020 at 3:30 pm. 

Interesting facts about "Mozart's Swan Song":

*Levin's version of the Requiem is considered to be truer to Mozart's intentions

*Francesco Lecce-Chong will direct the Haydn's Symphony No. 39 from the fortepiano

*Montgomery received the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation

Described by critics as a “fast rising talent in the music world” with “the real gift,” American conductor Francesco 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.
 
In the 2018-2019 season, Lecce-Chong debuted in subscription concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic and Xi’An Symphony in China among others. The 2019-2020 season marks his debut with the New York Philharmonic. Read full bio.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Jenny Bent
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony concert "Mozart's Swan Song"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
SSU Symphonic Chorus, Jenny Bent, director
 
WHEN:
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM, Pre-concert talk 6:30 PM-7:00 PM)
(Discovery Open Rehearsal, Saturday, December 7, at 2:00 PM – Doors at 1:00 PM, no talk)
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 3:00 PM (Doors at 1:30 PM, Pre-concert talk 2:00 PM-2:30 PM)
Monday, December 9, 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 years of age) 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 by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, begin one hour prior to each performance.
 
Sponsors
Concert sponsored by Donald and Maureen Green
Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by Corinne and David Byrd
Guest Artist Shawnette Sulker underwritten by Amy and Joel Levine
Guest Artist Phil Skinner underwritten by Irene Sohm
            SRS Chorus Director Jenny Bent underwritten by Linda and David  Hanes
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
Media sponsors: The Press Democrat and Northern California Public Media
 
-High-res photos of Lecce-Chong, Chorus 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.
 
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

October 9, 2019: SRS Youth Orchestra turns 60 with State Senate proclamation at Nov 17 concert

Santa Rosa Symphony, October 9, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony (SRS) Youth Orchestra, which began as the Sonoma County Junior Symphony in 1959, celebrates its 60th season. The Junior Symphony, under the direction of Eugene Shepherd, held its first concert in May of 1960. Senator Mike McGuire will present a proclamation detailing the many accomplishments of the orchestra prior to its concert entitled "Great Composers Revisited" on November 17, 2019 at Weill Hall, Green Music Center.
 
This 3:00 PM concert, conducted by Bobby Rogers, features guest piano soloist Jana Olvera, who hails from Woodland, where she performs and teaches, performing Eclogue for Piano and String Orchestra by Gerald Finzi. The concert will also include Kaiser-Walzer by Johann Strauss, Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich, Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns and Symphony No. 1 by Robert Schumann. The program opens with Prelude to Die Meistersinger by Richard Wagner.  
 
More immediately, the SRS Youth Orchestra will share the stage with Mobility, the high-energy rock band of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West at 7:00 PM on Saturday, October 12 at Jackson Theater on the Sonoma Country Day School campus to honor first responders.
 
In addition to the usual concert cycle, this season will include celebratory chamber music events and an alumni concert in the Spring.  
 
The award-winning Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra is the highest level of performing youth orchestras within the Santa Rosa Symphony Institute for Music Education's Training Young Musicians program.
 
Training Young Musicians
Additional performance orchestras within the Training Young Musicians program include Young People's Chamber Orchestra (YPCO), Aspirante Orchestra and Debut Orchestra. YPCO, under the direction of Aaron Westman, performs without a conductor. Their next concert is "From Folk to Fugue" at Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, November 10 at 7:00 PM. Debut Youth Orchestra is an entry-level performing orchestra. Aspirante Youth Orchestra is a mid-level ensemble that works on building repertoire and mastering their instruments. The next performance of Debut and Aspirante orchestras will be a joint concert on November 24 at 3:00 PM at Jackson Theater at Sonoma Country Day School.
 
From Junior Symphony to Institute
Other components of the SRS Institute for Music Education include:

Music for our Schools provide free concerts, assemblies and listening programs for elementary school children through the It’s Elementary and Primarily Classical programs.

Simply Strings, an El Sistema-inspired afterschool program, provides fully-funded instruction to underserved children at Sheppard Elementary School

Family-oriented programs include a family concert series, discovery dress rehearsals and ensembles at library and other community events

Adult Education is offered through open dress rehearsals, pre-concert talks, String Orchestra Workshop, master classes, select SMA classes and library events  

INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Wendy Cilman, Alan Silow, Bobby Rogers
 
-High-res photos available upon request-
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: SRS Youth Orchestra 60th Anniversary concert "Great Composers Revisited"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra
Bobby Rogers, conductor
Jana Olvera, piano
 
WHEN: Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 3:00 PM
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
COST:  $15/adult, $5/youth in advance (before 11:00 AM November 15); $20/adult, $10/youth at the door. Group discounts for 10 or more also available.
 
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 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.
 
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

September 30, 2019: Santa Rosa Symphony partners with Northern California Public Media

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 30, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Renewing a partnership that brought Sonoma County's premier music organization to radio listeners, the Santa Rosa Symphony and Northern California Public Media, today announce plans to present the orchestra's Classical Series concerts on Sunday afternoons on KRCB FM Radio 91. With this partnership, listeners unable to attend the concerts, or those who want to experience them a second time, will be able to enjoy the first full season led by Music Director and Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong.
 
According to Darren LaShelle, Content Manager of Northern California Public Media, "KRCB FM is thrilled to be a media partner with SRS for the 2019-2020 season. Our shared missions to build community and bring creativity and learning into people’s lives will be enhanced through this broadcast partnership. We hope to introduce new fans to classical music, who will make the transition from on-air listeners to concert-goers."

"We are delighted," said Santa Rosa Symphony President and CEO Alan Silow, "to be reinstating this valuable, mutually beneficial partnership, which we were privileged to enjoy in years past."  
 
Listeners may tune in to KRCB radio at 91.1 FM and 90.9 FM at 3:30 pm on the dates below to hear the Classical Series concerts in their entirety.
 
Unmasking the Stars (Oct. 5-7): October 27 
Master of the Modern Banjo (Nov. 2-4): December 1
Mozart's Swan Song (Dec. 7-9): January 5 
Shadows and Sunshine (Jan. 11-13): February 2 
Riveting Rachmaninoff (Feb. 8-10): March 15 
Showcasing Contemporary Women (Mar. 21-23): April 26 
Visions of Hope (May 2-4): May 31
 
-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 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.
 
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).
 
About Northern California Public Media
In order to encourage full participation in society and community, Northern California Public Media provides educational, informational and cultural telecommunication services in partnership with our community. Our motto “Telling Our Stories - Connecting our Communities,” embodies our mission to bring people together, through educational media and digital experiences, to discuss issues and gain understanding. Northern California Public Media consists of KRCB TV in the North Bay, KPJK TV in the South Bay, KRCB FM Radio 91 in Sonoma County, norcalpublicmedia.org, and the Northern California Public Media free digital app.

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

September 23, 2019: Francesco Lecce-Chong conducts "Halloween with Harry Potter," Sunday, Oct. 27, Green Music Center

Santa Rosa Symphony, September 23, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Santa Rosa Symphony Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong conducts the first concert in its popular and affordable Family Concert Series, which features John Williams' music from two "Harry Potter" soundtracks. "Halloween with Harry Potter," performed by the Symphony's award-winning orchestra on October 27, also features the Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy, directed by Carol Menke. Pre-concert fun includes a photo booth (costumes encouraged) and Instrument Petting Zoo, both free to ticket holders.
 
Lecce-Chong said, "I am thrilled to lead a program exploring the magic of orchestral music through the eyes of Harry Potter. As a lifelong fan of John Williams' music, I cannot wait for our youngest audience members to experience his music live and some of the great orchestral classics about magical creatures like Stravinsky's ballet, The Firebird. The interactive program will give our audience a chance to meet some of the musicians in our orchestra and even learn how to conduct."
 
Lecce-Chong's entertaining and educational concert program will include two pieces from Williams' "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" score and Williams' Double Trouble from "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."  The orchestra will also play Over the Rainbow from "The Wizard of Oz," selections from Stravinsky's The Firebird, Mozart's The Magic Flute, Ravel's Beauty and the Beast and Strauss' Thunder and Lightning Polka. The Choral Academy will join the orchestra for Williams' Double Trouble, and Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg's Over the Rainbow, from "The Wizard of Oz."
Founded as The Santa Rosa Children's Chorus in 1984, the chorus changed its name to Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy in 2017. Its mission is to provide rich musical education and professional performance opportunities to local, musically-oriented youth. In addition to past appearances with the Symphony, the chorus has performed with the Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus, Opera Santa Rosa, Sonoma Bach Choir and as part of Ballet California's production of The Nutcracker. Choral Director Carol Menke's early training was at the Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria. Menke, who holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance, maintains a full teaching schedule in addition to solo engagements. Read her full bio.

The Instrument Petting Zoo, at 2:00 PM, provided at no extra cost to ticket holders, allows children (and curious adults) to handle and play various orchestral instruments. Ideal for introducing small children to classical music, these affordable concerts ($20/adult, $10/child) make for a memorable afternoon outing for families.
 
INVERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Carol Menke
 
AT A GLANCE / CALENDAR LISTING:
 
WHAT: Santa Rosa Symphony Family concert "Halloween with Harry Potter"
 
WHOSanta Rosa Symphony
Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Santa Rosa Children's Choral Academy, Carol Menke, director
 
WHEN:
Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 3:00 PM (Photo booth and Instrument Petting Zoo at 2:00 PM)
 
WHERE:  Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
 
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TICKETS:
Season Packages: $54 per adult and $27 per child (age 12 and younger)
Family packages: start at $144 and must include two child subscriptions
Single tickets: $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 (Weekdays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, opening at 10:30 AM Wednesdays)
 
ENHANCEMENTS:
Free Instrument Petting Zoo and FREE photo booth (costumes encouraged)
 
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, orchestra, chorus and Menke 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.
 
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. Recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, the Symphony's Institute for Music Education serves 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

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).

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

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).

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

July 5, 2019: Santa Rosa Symphony welcomes new Board Members July 1, 2019

Santa Rosa Symphony, July 5, 2019

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) — The Santa Rosa Symphony, as it enters its 92nd season, announced four new appointments to its board of directors. They are Garth Bixler, Pam Chanter, Barb Spangler and Mark Wardlaw. New board officers are as follows: Al Seidenfeld, Chairman of the Board; Corinne Byrd, Vice-Chairman; Sean Pryden, Treasurer; Linda Castiglioni, Secretary; Jamei Haswell, Immediate Past Chairman. 
 
SRS Chairman of the Board Al Seidenfeld said, "It is with great pleasure that we make this announcement of all of the Officers of the Santa Rosa Symphony Association. I look forward to serving with all of them as their new Chairman of the Board."
 
Garth Bixler, after a career in painting and design, did volunteer counseling during the AIDS epidemic for ten years, then returned to school for a degree in Counseling. In addition to serving on the Symphony Board, he has been volunteering with the Petaluma Arts Center, with a focus on enhancing music education in the schools.
 
Pam Chanter previously served on the Board (1997 to 2009), was Chairman of the Board for two of those years, and contributed to fundraising efforts and served on committees. Her international travel inspired her to create opportunities for women and a clean drinking water project in Peru.
 
Barb Spangler’s career in Healthcare Technology Research and Development gave her many opportunities to travel, live abroad and experience the world’s economic and cultural diversity. After retiring, she joined a Rotary Club and is now District Governor for Rotary District 5130, responsible for the community and global impact of the 47 Rotary Clubs between Petaluma and Crescent City.
 
Santa Rosa Symphony principal clarinetist (and saxophonist) Mark Wardlaw brings 35 years of music-making and 30 years of music instruction to the Board. He recently retired as Director of Instrumental Music at Santa Rosa High School. 

-High-res photos available upon request-
 
Garth Bixler was raised in a household with a meager selection of classical records. Sibelius’ Finlandia and Copland’s Rodeo were outnumbered by Bing Crosby, Tommy Dorsey and Carmen Miranda. But as an undergraduate in Southern California, his friends in the music department took him along to concerts of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the visiting San Francisco Opera and new music recitals. After many years and many concerts, he still finds that listening to a live performance of an orchestra is a fresh and transcendent experience.

Bixler moved to Petaluma in 1976, while finishing graduate school in Fine Arts. He made a career of painting and design in the Bay Area. This work could be quite solitary. So, in 1985 he began to volunteer as a peer counselor at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. This began his love for being part of a group of individuals who are committed to making a difference in the community. The ten years of AIDS work led him to return to university for a Masters’ degree in Counseling. Bixler's interest in building a strong collaboration with local schools to enhance their arts programs inspired his involvement with the Petaluma Arts Center for the last three years.

Today, Bixler is mostly retired and lives quietly in Petaluma with his two wirehaired Dachshunds. His daughter Sara resides in Sonoma County with her husband and their three children. Bixler loves his Monday night seats for the Santa Rosa Symphony's Classical Series. He feels that the Symphony continues to gain in strength and subtlety. Bixler is passionate about the music and acknowledging the teamwork necessary to keep the Symphony strong and growing. (photo credit: Sara Bixler)

Raised in Portland, Oregon, Pam Chanter discovered her interest in music at age six, when she began piano lessons and attended her first Symphony. Chanter previously served on the Santa Rosa Symphony Board (1997 to 2009) and was its President from 2002-2004. She also served on the first Green Music Center Steering Committee, the GMC Inaugural Year Committee and helped fundraise for the Symphony for over 15 years.

Chanter's business career began with Aetna Casualty & Surety, where she was recruited after college. In 1982, a promotion and transfer to Sacramento made her Aetna’s first female Bond Manager. She worked with over 120 brokerages in Northern California and Nevada. In 1992, she and her husband Tim, who she met while Bond Manager with Aetna, became partners in an insurance brokerage in Santa Rosa, which was recently sold to Acrisure out of Michigan. In addition to her professional career, Chanter has served her community for decades. Currently, she is the Chairman of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board and also the Chairman of the SRJC Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee, reviewing all expenditures of the $410 Million Bond. Chanter has Chaired the County’s Oral Health Task Force and served on the City of Santa Rosa’s Charter Review and the Mayor’s Pension Reform Task Force. She has been Chairman of the SRJC Foundation Board and Co-Chaired its 100th Anniversary Campaign, among many other civic responsibilities.
 
Chanter's love for international travel began with a summer backpacking trip through Europe as a teenager. Her travels led her, in 2003, to support a Peruvian women’s alpaca weaving cooperative and the creation of an import/export company. She also facilitated a clean drinking water project in the Peruvian Amazon rain forest, which is still going strong today through a partnership with Engineers Without Borders and the NGO Amazon Promise, serving 20,000 indigenous people. (low-res photo from Facebook profile)
 
Growing up in Boston, young Barb Spangler believed the whole world was all about rich history, great schools, medical innovation, intellectual curiosity, broad cultural opportunities in music and art, sports and lobsters. Spangler says, “The world is about all of those things, actually. It’s just that they’re not always available in one single place as is the case with Boston.”
 
Spangler earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in the sciences and business from schools in the Boston area. Many field trips to Boston Symphony Hall and Tanglewood led to her long lasting love of music and affirmed her belief in the importance of music as a source of community engagement. 
 
Spangler’s career in Healthcare Technology Research and Development gave her many opportunities to travel, live abroad, and experience the world’s economic and cultural diversity. After retirement from GE Healthcare, she joined the Rotary Club of the Valley of the Moon in Santa Rosa. She is the District Governor for Rotary District 5130, responsible for the community and global impact of the 47 Rotary Clubs between Petaluma and Crescent City in 2018-2019. She is also the Chair of the International Grants Committee for the Rotary District and a member Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisors in healthcare.
 
Spangler and her husband Jim have been Santa Rosa Symphony season ticket holders for many years and love the time they spend with the Symphony. They live in Santa Rosa with their dog, Buddy, affectionately known as Puppyzilla. (Portrait by Lisa Johnson)
 
Active in Sonoma County’s music scene for 35 years, Mark Wardlaw has been the second clarinetist (and saxophonist) in the Santa Rosa Symphony since 1984 and just retired as the Director of Instrumental Music at Santa Rosa High School after 30 years. He has also been the jazz band instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College, and he has been a woodwind artist with Transcendence Theater Company (“Broadway Under the Stars”) for five years.

Wardlaw earned a Master’s Degree in Clarinet Performance and Literature from the University of Washington in Seattle and studied privately with clarinetist David Glazer in New York City from 1978 through 1979.
He has performed with musicians and entertainers such as Mel Torme, Yo-Yo Ma, Jeffrey Kahane, Ute Lemper, Andre Watts, Steve Allen, Fred Hersch, David Benoit, Frankie Avalon, Josh Groban, Kathy Mattea, Fabian, Lou Christie, Joan Rivers, Olivia Newton John, Neil Sedaka, Judy Collins, Nnenna Freelon, Mariachi Sol de Mexico, and the rock group Yes.  He has also played lead alto and clarinet in the Gene Krupa Big Band.
In his real life, he and his wife are travel addicts who have been to over 30 countries and all 50 states. (low-res photo from Mark – hi-res photos available in The Press Democrat archives)
 
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.
 
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

Contact Us

Santa Rosa Symphony
Administrative Office:
Hours: M-F 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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

 

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