MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CHAMBER SERIES OPENS WITH $5 TICKETS
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's 2013.14 Chamber Series opens on November 1-2, 2013 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Led by Associate Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, the riveting chamber program features Arvo Pa?rt's Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Bach's Chaconne from Partita No. 2, and Bruckner's Symphony No. 6. All tickets are $5 and are general admission.
Arvo Pa?rt composed Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten in 1977. Pa?rt was moved to write a work in memory of the British composer, and described the inception of the piece: "Why did the date of Benjamin Britten's death touch such a chord in me? During this time I was obviously at the point where I could recognize the magnitude of such a loss.... Just before his death I began to appreciate the unusual purity of his music." The repetition in the music suggests minimalism, but the elevated nature of the Cantus sets it apart from any formulaic method.
Bach's Chaconne is the concluding movement of Partita No. 2, BWV 1004, composed between 1717- 1723. Many scholars suggest that the Chaconne was written to commemorate the death of Bach's first wife in 1720. Its duration is longer than the first four movements of the Partita combined and is often considered one of the most technically demanding pieces for solo violin.
Bruckner finished composing Symphony No. 6 in A major in 1881, but it was never performed in full during his lifetime. The symphony is one of Bruckner's most clearly defined symphonic structures, and he considered the symphony a favorite among his works. Following the example of Brahms, the work presents three distinct themes, rather than the earlier standard of two.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Francesco Lecce-Chong, currently associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, is active with the orchestral and operatic repertories on the international stage. In his role with the MSO, Mr. Lecce-Chong works closely with renowned Music Director Edo de Waart and is directly responsible for leading over forty subscription, tour, education, and community concert performances annually. During the MSO's 2012.13 season, Mr. Lecce-Chong took the podium for an acclaimed gala concert with Itzhak Perlman, led the orchestra through its statewide tour of Wisconsin, and conducted a special three-week series at Milwaukee's Basilica of St. Josaphat.
A list of Mr. Lecce-Chong's international appearances include leading the Hong Kong (China), Pitesti (Romania), and Ruse (Bulgaria) philharmonics and the Sofia Festival Orchestra (Italy). Equally at ease in
the opera house, Mr. Lecce-Chong has served as principal conductor for the Brooklyn Repertory Opera and as staff conductor and pianist for the Santa Fe Opera. He has earned a growing reputation and critical acclaim for dynamic, forceful performances that have garnered national distinction. Mr. Lecce- Chong is a 2012 recipient of The Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award and The Presser Foundation Presser Music Award. He is also the recipient of the N.T. Milani Memorial Conducting Fellowship and the George and Elizabeth Gregory Award for Excellence in Performance.
As a trained pianist and composer, Mr. Lecce-Chong embraces innovate programming, champions the work of new composers and, by example, supports arts education. His 2012.13 season presentations included two MSO-commissioned works, two United States premieres, and twelve works by composers actively working worldwide. He brings the excitement of new music to audiences of all ages through special presentations embodying diverse program repertoire and the use of unconventional performance spaces. Mr. Lecce-Chong also provides artistic leadership for the MSO's nationally-lauded Arts in Community Education (ACE) program - one of the largest arts integration programs in the country.
Mr. Lecce-Chong is a native of Boulder, Colorado, where he began conducting at the age of sixteen. 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. Mr. Lecce-Chong also holds a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied as a Martin and Sarah Taylor Fellow with renowned pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller. Follow his blog, Finding Exhilaration, at www.lecce-chong.com.
ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE
Chamber Series I
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist