Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Press Release

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Presents Casablanca: Film With Orchestra

Score performed live with screening of film

By - Mar 26th, 2015 09:38 am

MILWAUKEE, WIS. 03/26/2015 – The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra presents Casablanca: Film with Orchestra on April 17-18, 2015 at the Riverside Theater. Led by Associate Conductor Francesco

Lecce-Chong, the performances feature a screening of the film with live orchestral accompaniment.

The timeless, classic film tells the story of a man torn between love and virtue, featuring iconic performances by Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid, accompanied by Max Steiner’s Oscar-nominated score.


American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, currently associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, has worked with orchestras around the world, including the Atlanta, Indianapolis, and St. Louis symphony orchestras, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Hong Kong, Pitesti (Romania), and Ruse (Bulgaria) philharmonics. Equally at ease in the opera house, Mr. Lecce-Chong has served as principal conductor for the Brooklyn Repertory Opera and as staff conductor 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. In summer 2014, he served as the associate conductor at the Grand Tetons Music Festival and had guest appearances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, and Breckenridge Music Festival.

In his role with the MSO, Mr. Lecce-Chong works closely with renowned Music Director Edo de Waart and is directly responsible for leading over forty subscription, tour, education, and community concert performances annually. In his acclaimed subscription appearances with the MSO, he has collaborated with soloists such as Itzhak Perlman, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Augustin Hadelich, and Joyce Yang. In addition, Mr. Lecce-Chong has curated and conducted a special three-week series at venues around Milwaukee using thematic elements to draw together a diversity of works from outside the standard repertoire.

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 performances spaces. Mr. Lecce-Chong also provides artistic leadership for the MSO’s nationally-lauded Arts in Community Education (ACE) 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 pre-concert 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 renowned pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller. He currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Follow his blog, Finding Exhilaration, at


Casablanca: Film with Orchestra
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor

Riverside Theater

Friday, April 17 | 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 18 | 8:00 p.m.

Tickets range from $25-105. For more information, please call 414.291.7605 or visit Tickets may also be purchased through the Marcus Center Box Office at 414.273.7206.


The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Edo de Waart, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Now in his sixth season with the MSO, Maestro de Waart has led sold-out concerts, elicited critical acclaim, and conducted a celebrated performance at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2012. The MSO’s full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee.

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