The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra returns to the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival in a free outdoor concert at Point State Park on Monday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Assistant Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong will lead the orchestra in a program featuring selections from the works of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members Rhian Kenny (principal piccolo) and Jennifer Steele (flute) will solo in Cimarosa’s Concerto in G major for Two Flutes.
The concert is free and open to the public. Questions about the symphony’s performance can be directed to the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or pittsburghsymphony.org. Information about the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival can be found at traf.trustarts.org.
The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank Dollar Bank for their support of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.
About the Artists
A captivating presence on the podium, American conductor FRANCESCO LECCE-CHONG has garnered acclaim for his dynamic performances, commitment to innovative programming, and passion for community engagement. Lecce-Chong begins his post as music director and conductor of the Eugene Symphony in summer 2017, following in the path of renowned predecessors including Marin Alsop and Giancarlo Guerrero. He currently holds the positions of assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Active as a guest conductor, he has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Also trained as a pianist and composer, Lecce-Chong champions the work of new composers and the need for arts education. As associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) from 2011-2015, he curated and presented the works of both active and lesser-known composers, including two works commissioned by the orchestra, as well as two U.S. premieres. He also helped create the first MSO Composer Institute, providing performance opportunities for young American composers. Lecce-Chong has complemented his programming with a strong commitment to arts education for all ages. In Milwaukee, he provided artistic leadership for the MSO’s nationally lauded Arts in Community Education program – one of the largest arts integration programs in the country. His dedication to connecting orchestras and communities continues in Pittsburgh where he gives preconcert talks, conducts concerts for school audiences and leads specially designed sensory-friendly performances.
Lecce-Chong is a native of Boulder, Colorado, where he began conducting at the age of 16. He is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music and Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller. He has worked with many internationally celebrated conductors including Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, Edo de Waart and Manfred Honeck.
RHIAN KENNY joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1990 as principal piccolo. She is active in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s learning and community outreach programs, speaking often to groups throughout the Pittsburgh region.
Kenny was born in Benghazi, Libya, and grew up in Calgary, Canada, which is where she began her flute studies at the age of nine. She continued her studies with Timothy Hutchins at McGill University in Montréal where she received a bachelor’s degree in music. Throughout her studies, she won many competitions, including the Concours de l’Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières (1989), Concours de l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (1988) and the Concours de l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec (1987).
Kenny has no spare time because outside of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, she enjoys running and a little yoga to keep her sanity. After that, she coaches softball, is president of her daughter’s school PTG, and chauffeur to her three daughters.
She also teaches at Duquesne University, and privately.
Described by critics as “thoroughly delightful, with remarkable tone in every register,” JENNIFER STEELE enjoys a dynamic career as both an orchestral musician for the Pittsburgh Symphony and as a chamber player for several ensembles including the acclaimed Pittsburgh Chamber Music Project at the Andy Warhol Museum. Previous to her appointment as second flute by former Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Lorin Maazel, Steele performed for five seasons as principal flute with the Charleston Symphony in South Carolina. While working towards her bachelor’s degree at the Juilliard School, Steele was afforded the luxury of studying with world-renowned flutists Jeanne Baxtresser and Julius Baker. Steele has performed numerous recitals in both the United States and Asia and in 1987, was awarded first prize in the first annual Flute Talk magazine competition. In addition to her current position as second flute, Steele has made several appearances as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Outside of performing, Steele continues to show her dedication to training the next generation of flutists through her past and present associations with Carnegie Mellon, Indiana (Bloomington) and Duquesne universities; as a volunteer for the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Early Childhood Pilot Project; as an adjudicator for the National Flute Association; and as a contributing author for Flute Talk magazine.
The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), André Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944 and John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. Its “Pittsburgh Live!” series with Reference Recordings has resulted in back-to-back Grammy Award nominations in 2015 and 2016. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground breaking PBS series “Previn and the Pittsburgh.” The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900 — including international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America—the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras.