Join the Inspector in trying to figure out who killed the Composer as Santa Rosa Symphony presents a Family Series concert this weekend, led by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong. On the program is the recent classic The Composer is Dead, with music by Nathaniel Stookey, and a narrated text written by Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler. Lecce-Chong says it was very important to him to conduct a family program in this, his first year leading the orchestra.
There’s more information about the concert at the Santa Rosa Symphony website.
Lecce-Chong, who was announced the Music Director just under a year ago, also leads the Eugene Symphony in Oregon, believes strongly in introducing kids to music at an early age, and feels its his job to be a big part of that. “It was really important to kind of set that down as something that’s important to me. I actually started a family concert series in Eugene, that was my first initiative there. Here, they already have a family concert series, but it was never watched over by the music director… For me, that will always be a hallmark of what I do: making sure that our family programming is to the highest artistic standards. And the only way that happens is by the music director stepping in and saying we’re going to take this seriously.” This program will include one of the most popular new works for children, by Bay Area composer Nathaniel Stookey, The Composer is Dead. “I’ve done it for many many years, over the past six years I’ve done it in several places. It’s one of my very favorite works for children, mainly because you know, the orchestra’s cracking up so much they can hardly play, and the adults are getting the jokes, and the kids are having a brilliant time.” The text describes the musical suspects in the murder of the Composer, travelling through the instruments like Benjamin Britten did in his Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, but with a decidedly dark-humored streak.