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Eugene Symphony Picks Francesco Lecce-Chong As New Music Director, Conductor


New Eugene Symphony music director and conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong.

New Eugene Symphony music director and conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong.

Brian Bull/KLCC

After more than a year of searching, the Eugene Symphony has announced its new music director and conductor.

The search committee reviewed 250 applications from 34 states and 44 nations, before choosing Francesco Lecce-Chong. He’s been the assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony and music director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Lecce-Chong said he’s ready to jump in and engage the Eugene arts community.

“I won’t go full out right away, as far as really, really going adventurous in my programming,” Lecce-Chong told KLCC. “But over time I want to build that level of trust so that people understand what we’re going to do.”

Matthew Shapiro is president of the symphony’s board of directors. He said all three finalists were great, but Lecce-Chong shined through a program he did, featuring works by Bartok and Mozart.

“The concert was amazing. Particularly the last piece that he played, he got the most absolute, amazing standing ovation,” he said. “I think he just pulled the audience into the music with him.” 

Audiences will get to see Lecce-Chong’s premiere with the Eugene Symphony in Cottage Grove, Oregon, in late July.

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