Francesco Lecce-Chong

Francesco Lecce-Chong was recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra beginning in the 2011-12 season. In addition to assisting Music Director Edo de Waart and guest conductors for all MSO subscription concerts, Mr. Lecce-Chong plays an active role in the orchestra's community and educational programs. Mr. Lecce-Chong has worked with many orchestras in North America and Europe including the Mannes Orchestra, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Festival Orchestra, Ruse Philharmonic Orchestra, and Pitesti Philharmonic. Equally comfortable with the operatic repertory, Mr. Lecce-Chong served as principal conductor for the Brooklyn Repertory Opera during the 2009-10 season and has served as assistant conductor for several productions with Gotham Chamber Opera, the Mannes Opera, and Curtis Opera Theatre.

A native of Colorado, Mr. Lecce-Chong began his conducting work at age 16 as assistant conductor of the Boulder Youth Symphony. He is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree with honors in both piano and orchestral conducting, and was also the recipient of the Alma Askin Award, the N.T. Milani Memorial Conducting Fellowship, and the George and Elizabeth Gregory Award for Excellence in Performance. Mr. Lecce-Chong also holds a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with renowned pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller as the recipient of the Martin and Sarah Taylor Fellowship.

Also trained as a pianist, Mr. Lecce-Chong has performed as soloist with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, and Colorado Symphony Orchestra, as well as presented solo and chamber music recitals at the Young Musicians Forum Concert Series, Music in the West End, and the Curtis Institute of Music Recital Series. He has studied at the Aspen Music Festival with Rita Sloan and the Music Academy of the West with Jerome Lowenthal, and participated in masterclasses with Richard Goode and Yefim Bronfman. In 2010, Mr. Lecce-Chong made his Lincoln Center debut with the Mannes Orchestra, performing Bartok's Third Piano Concerto in Alice Tully Hall.
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