The Santa Rosa Symphony has announced the five candidates who are in the running to replace Bruno Ferrandis as Music Director, with a video in which they introduce themselves. This is the final full season for Ferrandis (he’ll conduct two programs next season, after the candidates have each had a chance to lead the ensemble.
There’s more about the candidates at the Santa Rosa Symphony website.
The candidates are (in the order in which they’ll be appearing): Francesco Lecce-Chong, Mei-Ann Chen, Andrew Grams, Graeme Jenkins, and Michael Christie. (Chen led a performance in January of 2016, and Christie the previous January.) They range in age from late 20s (Lecce-Chong) to late 50s (Jenkins), and reflect experience with organizations from Pittsburgh, Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland, and Minneapolis. There’s particular opera expertise, with Graeme Jenkins leading Dallas Opera for more than two decades, and Michael Christie currently at the helm of the Minnesota Opera, where he presented the premiere of Kevin Puts’ Silent Night in 2011, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Mei-Ann Chen, the lone woman candidate, was born in Taiwan, and last year was named by Musical America as one of 2015’s ‘Top 30 Influencers’. Andrew Grams played with the New York City Ballet orchestra while still a student at Juilliard, and was assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra for three years. Frencesco Lecce-Chong was Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra before his current position of Assistant Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Here’s the video the Santa Rosa Symphony made to introduce them: