Eugene Symphony brings new voices, new ideas, and works by composers whose music is based in storytelling in its 58th season

EUGENE, OR (April 22, 2022) — After two previous years of uncertainty and challenge, Eugene Symphony (ESA) presents a season centered around storytelling with their 2022/23 Season. Opening Saturday, October 8, 2022, the season features works by composers who drew inspiration from such sources as Shakespeare with Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet on April 20, 2023, Greek mythology in Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe on May 25, 2023, 1,001 Arabian Nights with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade on October 27, 2022, and more. Eugene Symphony is showcasing new voices and new ideas, including two brand-new works by Composers-in-Residence Angélica Negrón and Gabriella Smith as part of the First Symphony Project — on February 16, 2023, and March 16, 2023, respectively — while also embracing the enduring majesty of the orchestral tradition such as Beethoven’s inspiring Symphony No. 9 and music by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms.

“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 [are] 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 season sees Act II of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, the Pacific Northwest premiere of The Fretless Clarinet by clarinet virtuoso David Krakauer and his partner Kathleen Tagg, and both new and returning guest soloists, including pianist Orion Weiss, violinist Julian Rhee, and pianist Pallavi Mahidhara. Join the Symphony for three special concerts: a New Year’s Eve Celebration on December 31, 2022; Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi on February 25, 2023; and the annual Family Concert on April 30, this season featuring Camille Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals. It promises to be an unforgettable season.

Dates and programming details below. For more information, visit Eugene Symphony’s website at, and watch this video from Francesco Lecce-Chong on our upcoming season.

Tickets: Full- and partial-season subscriptions, as well as single tickets, are available now, with Compose Your Own 5- and 3-Concert packages available starting May 15 and Single Ticket Sales opening on August 15. All ticket options available at or the Hult Center Ticket Office 541-682-5000

Saturday, October 8, 2022 — OPENING NIGHT
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Orion Weiss, piano

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

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

Thursday, October 27, 2022 — SCHEHEREZADE
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
David Krakauer, clarinet

Program includes traditional Klezmer selections with David Krakauer
David Krakauer & Kathleen Tagg: The Fretless Clarinet (Eugene Symphony co-commission & Pacific Northwest premiere)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherezade

Inspired by 1,001 Arabian Nights, Scheherezade boasts a lush tapestry of musical storytelling while clarinet virtuoso David Krakauer guides the audience through the history of klezmer.

Tristan und Isolde Act II

Thursday, November 17, 2022 — TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, ACT II
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Nina Warren, Isolde
Roy C. Smith, Tristan

Program includes an introduction to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde
L. Boulanger: D’un matin de printemps
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, Act II

Eugene Symphony continues their exploration of Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in Act II, paired with Lili Boulanger's miniature springtime-inspired work.

Saturday, December 10, 2022 — BEETHOVEN'S ODE TO JOY
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Kelly Nassief, soprano
Abigail Nims, mezzo-soprano
Christopher Pfund, tenor
Michael Dean, bass
Eugene Symphony Chorus, Dr. Sharon Paul, Director

Gabriella Smith: Field Guide
Shawn Kirchner: Hallelujah
Beethoven: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, “Choral”

Celebrate the holiday season with Ludwig van Beethoven's hymn to humanity, featuring the Eugene Symphony Chorus and a work by First Symphony Composer Gabriella Smith.

Saturday, December 31, 2022, 8:30 pm — NEW YEAR'S EVE
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Peter Hollens and Evynne Hollens, vocalists

SPECIAL CONCERT: Count down to 2023 with the Symphony, the vocal talents of Peter and Evynne Hollens, and other special guests as we pop some bubbly and ring in the new year!

Thursday, January 19, 2023 — MOZART'S "JUPITER"
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Julian Rhee, violin

Martines: Sinfonia
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5, “Turkish”
Haydn: Overture to The Desert Island
Mozart: Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”

The internationally renowned, multi-talented Nicholas McGegan leads a concert featuring four works from the late 18th Century, including one of planetary proportions.

Thursday, February 16, 2023 — TCHAIKOVSKY'S VIOLIN CONCERTO
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Keila Wakao, violin

Brahms: Tragic Overture
Angélica Negrón: Symphony No. 1 (Eugene Symphony co-commission & World Premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto

This concert marks the world premiere of First Symphony Composer-in-Residence Angélica Negrón’s Symphony No. 1, complemented by Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

Saturday, February 25, 2023, 7 pm — STAR WARS: EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI

SPECIAL CONCERT: The original Star Wars trilogy comes to a close with Luke, Leia, and Han’s triumph over Imperial forces at the Battle of Endor.

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Claire Huangci, piano

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture
Gabriella Smith: Symphony No. 1, ONE for Orchestra (Eugene Symphony co-commission & Pacific Northwest Premiere)
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3

Pianist Claire Huangci will sweep you away with Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto alongside the Pacific Northwest premiere of First Symphony Composer Gabriella Smith’s ONE.

Thursday, April 20, 2023 — PROKOFIEV'S ROMEO & JULIET
Joseph Young, conductor
Pallavi Mahidhara, piano

Lera Auerbach: Icarus
Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2
Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet

Pianist Pallavi Mahidhara returns to our stage, this time performing Camille Saint-Saëns’s Concerto alongside stories of star-cross lovers and ill-fated heroes.

Sunday, April 30, 2023, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm — FAMILY CONCERT: CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor

Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals

SPECIAL CONCERT: Kids of all ages will love the lion, swan, kangaroo, and elephant who come to play at our Family Concert!

Thursday, May 25, 2023 — RAVEL'S DAPHNIS ET CHLOE
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Carey Bell, clarinet
Eugene Symphony Chorus, Dr. Sharon Paul, Director

Jessie Montgomery: Soul Force
Copland: Clarinet Concerto
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe

A love story brings our season of storytelling to a close, alongside Eugene-native and clarinetist Carey Bell in Aaron Copeland’s lively Concerto and Jessie Montgomery’s Soul Force.

All concerts are at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts (1 Eugene Center, Eugene) and begin at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted.

Interview & Media Opportunities:
High-resolution photos are available upon request.

For interviews, contact Marketing & Communications Manager Julie Winsel at 541-687-9487 x 1109 or

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. While away from the concert hall since March 1, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Eugene Symphony offered digital content through its virtual hub at, including its Soundwaves virtual concerts, radio broadcasts, music education content, live chats with Maestro Lecce-Chong, and musician performances. In all, these virtual engagement activities reached more than 60,000 people in Oregon, across the country, and around the world. More at