American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong has worked with orchestras around the world including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He currently holds the positions of Associate Conductor at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and Grand Teton Music Festival. 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 including the Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award and The Presser Foundation Music Award. During the 2014-15 season, he will regularly lead the MSO in subscription, tour, education, and community concerts, collaborating with artists such as Itzhak Perlman and Christopher Taylor. Guest appearances will include the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Las Vegas Philharmonic.
As a trained pianist and composer, Mr. Lecce-Chong embraces innovative programming, champions the work of new composers and, by example, supports arts education. 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 program – one of the largest arts integration programs in the country. He is a frequent guest speaker at organizations around Milwaukee and hosts, Meet the Music, the MSO’s preconcert lecture series.
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 Otto-Werner Mueller. He currently works with world-renowned conductors Edo de Waart and Donald Runnicles.