Arts, Entertainment and Events

Eugene Symphony Presents Opening Night of 2022/23 Season

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Eugene Symphony opens their 2022/23 season with a Spanish flair, including Angélica Negrón’s Me he perdido and Manuel de Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat.

EUGENE, OR (September 26, 2022) — Opening Night at Eugene Symphony (ESA) is always electric, full of community spirit, and a celebration of the upcoming season. At Eugene Symphony’s Opening Night Concert, patrons will be introduced to the fresh sounds of First Symphony Project composer Angélica Negrón, who will return to the stage on February 16, 2023, for the World Premiere of her Symphony No. 1. The orchestra will then perform George Gershwin’s jazz-infused and thoroughly American piano concerto, featuring dynamic virtuoso and guest pianist Orion Weiss. Finally, the evening will come to a dazzling close with Manuel de Falla’s evocative ballet score The Three-Cornered Hat, which is full of Spanish songs and flamenco-inspired dances.

The evening will also be the first performance featuring returning Concertmaster Searmi Park, who previously served as second-in-command of the orchestra from 2013 to 2017.

Opening Night is much anticipated after two previous years of uncertainty and challenge. “Our 2022/23 Season centers on humanity’s collective drive to create a shared human narrative and I look forward the sharing timeless tales of love, hope, struggle, and triumph,” says ESA Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong. “I am especially excited for the three magnificent ballet scores we will be presenting, Beethoven’s ever-relevant Symphony No. 9, and our collaborations with two of today’s most visionary composers, Gabriella Smith and Angélica Negrón.”

The week leading up to Opening Night features several events related to the concert, such as Symphony Happy Hour at First National Taphouse on Wednesday, October 5, at 5:00 pm. Lecce-Chong hosts Happy Hour, which also feature Angélica Negrón.

Guest pianist Orion Weiss will lead a Piano Master Class for three talented student pianists as part of the Laura Avery Visiting Masters Series on Thursday, October 6, at 4:00 pm, at The Studio at the Hult Center, which is open to the public. The students will each perform a piece and receive coaching from Weiss.

Then, Angélica Negrón will display her use of unconventional instruments, found objects, voices, and electronics at the Lane County Farmer’s Market starting at 11 am on Saturday, October 8. This interactive demonstration features a short plant synthesizer performance including a demo of the Ototo capacitive sensing technology — which converts anything (including vegetables!) into a musical instrument — as well as a demo of the MIDI Sprout, which translates biodata from plants into music.

Saturday, October 8, 2022 — Opening Night
7:30 pm
Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts
Prices: prices range from $10-$68
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Orion Weiss, piano

Angélica Negrón, Me he perdido
Gerswhin, Piano Concerto in F
de Falla: The Three-Cornered Hat

Concert Week Events:

Symphony Happy Hour
First National Taphouse
Wednesday, October 5, 5:00 pm
Hosted by Francesco Lecce-Chong with guest Angélica Negrón
A casual and free event that includes musical excerpts and a trivia competition.

Piano Master Class with Orion Weiss
The Studio at the Hult Center
Thursday, October 6, 4:00 pm
Guest pianist Orion Weiss leads a master class, working directly with three local piano students.

Angélica Negrón at the Lane County Farmers Market
Saturday, October 8, 11 am
First Symphony Project composer Angélica Negrón demonstrates how to make music with plants and vegetables.

Guild Pre-Concert Talk
The Studio at the Hult Center
Saturday, October 8, 6:30 pm
Francesco Lecce-Chong discusses highlights of the concert and talk to guests Orion Weiss and Angélica Negrón.

Interview & Media Opportunities: High-resolution photos are available upon request. For interviews, contact Marketing & Communications Manager Julie Winsel at [email protected] or by phone at 541-687-9487 ext. 1106. If you would like to cover this event, tickets can be arranged.

Tickets: Full-season subscriptions, as well as single tickets, are available now. All ticket options available at eugenesymphony.org or the Hult Center Ticket Office 541-682-5000.

About Angélica Negrón
Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys, and electronics as well as for chamber ensembles, orchestras, choir, and film. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise.” Negrón has been commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kronos Quartet, loadbang, Prototype Festival, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Sō Percussion, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, the Louisville Orchestra, and the New York Botanical Garden, among others. Angélica received an early education in piano and violin at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico where she later studied composition under the guidance of composer Alfonso Fuentes.

About Orion Weiss
One of the most sought-after soloists and chamber music collaborators of his generation, Orion Weiss is widely regarded as a “brilliant pianist” (The New York Times) with “powerful technique and exceptional insight” (The Washington Post). With a warmth to his playing that outwardly reflects his engaging personality, Weiss has dazzled audiences with his passionate, lush sound and performed with dozens of orchestras in North America including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic.

About Francesco Lecce-Chong
Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong is the Music Director of the Eugene Symphony in Oregon, and the Santa Rosa Symphony, performing at the Green Music Center in Northern California. The press has described him as a “fast rising talent in the music world” with “the real gift” and recognized his dynamic performances, fresh programming, deep commitment to commissioning and performing new music as well as to community outreach. Lecce-Chong has appeared with orchestras around the world including the San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic and collaborated with top soloists including Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman.

About Eugene Symphony
Now in its 58th season, the Eugene Symphony is a nonprofit and 83-member part-time orchestra based in Eugene, Oregon led by Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong with a mission of enriching lives through the power of music. Eugene Symphony returned to the concert hall in September 2021, after a year away during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is excited to continue to connect with patrons, local organizations, and community members through concerts, outreach, and educational programming in the 2022/23 Season.

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