A free hour-long concert led by Assistant Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, this program features musical storytelling at its best, including selections from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Copland’s Rodeo, as well as Dukas’ iconic Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Duquesne University Young Artist National Concerto Competition winner Julian Rhee joins the Pittsburgh Symphony to perform the final movement of Brahms’ Violin Concerto.
“We at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra are thrilled to return to the RADical Days celebrations this year,” said Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO. “This orchestra is fortunate to be part of the generous and enthusiastic community that is Pittsburgh and we want to express our gratitude to everyone in the region for their support through this concert.”
RADical Days is an annual celebration of Pittsburgh’s libraries, parks, sports facilities, and arts and culture organizations sponsored by the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) and its funded assets. This year’s celebration runs from September 18 to October 9. Visit radworkshere.org for more RADical Days events.
About the Artists
American conductor FRANCESCO LECCE-CHONG has worked with orchestras around the world including engagements with the National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He currently holds the positions of assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Previously, Lecce-Chong served as associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Grand Teton Music Festival.
Lecce-Chong has earned a growing reputation and critical acclaim for dynamic, forceful performances, garnering national distinction, including the Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award and The Presser Foundation Music Award. He has also been featured in international masterclasses with Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, David Robertson and Christopher Seaman.
As a trained pianist and composer, Lecce-Chong embraces innovative programming, champions the work of new composers and supports arts education. While working with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) from 2011 to 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 – and he continues to be a frequent guest speaker for arts organizations around the country.
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, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree with honors in piano and orchestral conducting. Lecce-Chong also holds a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied as a Martin and Sarah Taylor Fellow with Otto-Werner Mueller.
At age 15, JULIAN RHEE is already making his mark on the music world and has won numerous awards. Among his accomplishments are first place national winner of the 2016 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Senior Strings Competition; first place winner and Grand Prize winner of the 2015 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition and Audrey G. Baird Scholarship recipient where he was the featured soloist with the MSO; first place winner of the 2015 Madison Symphony Orchestra Bolz Young Artist Competition, the Final Forte, where he performed a solo with the symphony and was broadcasted live by Wisconsin Public Television and Radio; first place winner of the 2015 Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Young Artist Competition; first place winner of the 2015 Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Senior Symphony Concerto Competition; first place winner of the 2015 Society of American Musician Competition (SAM), both in the Senior and Junior Division; first place winner of the Junior String Division and Overall Junior Division of the 2013 Walgreens National Concerto Competition; first place winner of the Junior and Senior Divisions of the Sejong Music Competition sponsored by Korea Times of Chicago; first place winner of the Madison Symphony Orchestra Youth Competition; winner of the Bach Double Competition; and performed side by side with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at age 7. At age 12, he was the youngest semifinalist to advance and compete at the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition; one of three American semifinalists to advance to compete at the prestigious 2015 Johansen International Competition; semifinalist at the 2015 Cooper International Competition; the youngest competitor and semifinalist of the 2016 William C. Byrd National Competition and advanced to compete at the 2016 Stradivarius International Violin Competition this summer.
Rhee is a merit scholarship recipient at the Music Institute of Chicago.
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.
HEINZ HALL FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is owned and operated by Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc., a non-profit organization, and is the year-round home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Heinz Hall hosts many events that do not feature its world-renowned Orchestra including Broadway shows, popular touring artists, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org.
Editors Please Note:
Wednesday, September 28, 7 p.m.
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: RADical Days Concert
FRANCESCO LECCE-CHONG, conductor
JULIAN RHEE, violin
“Hoe Down” from Rodeo
Scheherazade, Opus 35
I. “The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship” (Largo e maestoso – Allegro non troppo)
“Beauty and the Beast” from Ma Mère l’Oye [Mother Goose]
Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 77
III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace