Two Titans: Bernstein & Mahler


Friday, May 25, 2018 7:30PM
Boettcher Concert Hall

Two Titans: Bernstein & Mahler
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Two Titans: Bernstein & Mahler


BERNSTEIN Overture to Candide
BERNSTEIN Serenade (After Plato's Symposium)
MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D major, "Titan"

Your Colorado Symphony marks the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with a program highlighting the maestro as both composer and conductor. Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong leads the orchestra through Bernstein’s spirited Overture to Candide, then showcases Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams’ artistry in Bernstein’s Serenade (After Plato’s Symposium), a violin concerto in all but name. Finally, to honor Bernstein’s lifelong study and reverence of Gustav Mahler, we will cap off our Classics season with the flourish it deserves: a performance of Mahler’s aptly named “Titan” Symphony — a gripping work of unceasing energy performed by the full orchestra.

Due to illness, Music Director Brett Mitchell is unable to conduct this weekend’s performances. Francesco Lecce-Chong, Music Director for the Eugene Symphony, will lead the concerts in his place. Learn more about the conductor in the Featured Artist tab below.

The running time of this performance is approximately 1 hour and 49 minutes. This includes one 20-minute intermission.

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Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin

ABOUT: Francesco Lecce-Chong
American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong has garnered acclaim for his dynamic performances, commitment to innovative programming and profound engagement in community outreach. In the 2017-2018 season Mr. Lecce-Chong was appointed Music Director & Conductor of the Eugene Symphony, following in the paths of renowned predecessors including Marin Alsop and Giancarlo Guerrero. In the same season, he became the winning Music Director candidate of the Santa Rosa Symphony, a post he assumes in 2018-2019.

In summer 2018, he concludes his tenure as Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with an all-Brahms program. His previous posts include Principal Conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony under Edo de Waart.

Active as a guest conductor, he has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic and collaborated with renowned soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman. In the coming year, Mr. Lecce-Chong makes his subscription debuts with the Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and Xi’An Symphony Orchestra, as well as returns to the Civic Orchestra in Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony.

Mr. Lecce-Chong is equally at home with opera repertoire, having built his opera credentials as staff conductor with Santa Fe Opera and conducted Madama Butterfly with the Milwaukee Symphony at the Florentine Opera. In Europe, he took part in masterclasses at the Lucerne Festival under Bernard Haitink as well as with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. He has worked closely with a number of internationally celebrated conductors including David Zinman, Edo de Waart, and Manfred Honeck.

Also trained as a pianist and composer, Mr. Lecce-Chong champions the work of new composers and the need for arts education. As Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO), 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. Mr. 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.

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 and Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller.

Boettcher Concert Hall is located in the Denver Performing Arts Complex at 14th and Curtis Streets in the heart of downtown Denver. It's easy to find and there are two large parking garages to the east and west of Boettcher. There are often multiple performances happening at DPAC at the same time, which leads to traffic congestion and lines to get into the parking garages. Be sure to leave plenty of time to get to DPAC—we don't want you to miss any of the music!

Find directions, a map, garage information, construction updates, and more here:

Transportation & Parking

Have questions about what to wear, when to clap, or if you can bring the kids? Check our Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t see the answer to your question, feel free to contact Rob Warner, Colorado Symphony Concierge, by concierge@coloradosymphony.org, or call the Box Office at 303.623.7876.

Two Titans: Bernstein & Mahler
This weekend's performances feature a Prelude Lecture with Betsy Schwarm. On Saturday only, enjoy a Talkback with Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams.

Preludes
Join Us Before Each Classics Performance!
Join your Colorado Symphony for preludes; pre-concert events to enhance your experience! Preludes take place at 6:30 p.m. (FRI & SAT) and 12 p.m. (SUN) in Boettcher Concert Hall, before every Classics performance, and are included with your concert ticket.

Prelude Lectures: Classical music author and historian Betsy Schwarm will share information about the composers and pieces on the program. Ms. Schwarm is a celebrated Denver icon. Catch her in action before hearing your Colorado Symphony!  

Prelude Musician Highlights: Ever wonder what your Colorado Symphony musicians think about the music? Come find out! Violist Phillip Stevens hosts an informal Q&A featuring additional Colorado Symphony musicians who are delighted to share their unique point of view on the composers and pieces you'll be hearing.  

Prelude Workshops: Be ready to participate! Take your mind, body, and spirit to a deeper listening plane with Catherine Beeson, Assistant Principal Violist and Director of Community Education Programs for your Colorado Symphony. Catherine will guide you to an internal understanding of the music you'll be hearing by encouraging your super powers of inquiry, observation and application.

Talkbacks*
Immediately following select Classics performances, enjoy a special 15-minute, post-concert discussion with the guest artist or conductor. Talkbacks take place in Boettcher Concert Hall and are included with your concert ticket.

*Subject to change, and to guest artist/conductor availability.


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