.Santa Rosa Symphony Makes Television Debut This Weekend

Last year, the Santa Rosa Symphony–the resident orchestra of the Green Music Center–changed it’s production model in the face of a pandemic with the online presentation of its ‘SRS @ Home’ virtual concert series.

The decision to move performances online and to make the concerts free of charge proved to be a success, as the symphony’s inaugural virtual presentation exceeded expectations and drew nearly 3,000 unique viewers when it premiered in October. Later online concerts averaged more than 5,000 viewers who tuned in from 22 states and three countries.

Now, the Santa Rosa Symphony debuts on television for the first time in its 93-year history. Beginning on April 18, Northern California Public Media will televise three of the ‘SRS @ Home’ virtual concerts on Public Broadcasting Service channel KRCB and non-PBS channel KPJK on select dates through June.

Through the partnership of the symphony and NorCal Public Media, these concerts– entitled Santa Rosa Symphony Presents–will reach 2.8 million households across nine Bay Area counties.

“In a season of firsts that we never would have imagined before the pandemic, the Symphony is, once again, stretching and growing rather than closing its doors, as so many other orchestras have had to do,” Symphony President and CEO Alan Silow says in a statement. “This is the first time, in our 93-year history, that we have televised a concert. The Symphony has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with NorCal Public Media over the years. We are very grateful for their similar commitment to delivering arts to the community, which allows us to expand our reach to the greater Bay Area and also into underserved communities.”

All three upcoming Santa Rosa Symphony Presents concerts are conducted by SRS Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong and all were recorded at the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall on the campus of Sonoma State University. Each concert includes a guest artist performing with the socially-distant orchestra on stage for a work composed by SRS Artistic Partner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize in Music.

The first of the three Santa Rosa Symphony Presents concerts airs on April 18 and 19, and features critically acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey performing Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Zwilich’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. The program also includes Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst for String Orchestra, Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question for Chamber Orchestra and Johannes Brahms’ Serenade No. 2 in A major for Orchestra.

KRCB broadcasts Santa Rosa Symphony Presents on Sundays at 8pm on April 18, May 30 and June 20. KPJK broadcasts the same concerts on Mondays at 7:30pm on April 19, May 31 and June 21.

KRCB broadcasts over the air in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, San Francisco, Alameda, Solano, Contra Costa and the southern tip of Mendocino and Lake counties. KPJK’s over-the-air coverage reaches the south parts of Sonoma, Napa and Solano; all of Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties.

“We treasure our partnership with the Santa Rosa Symphony,” Darren LaShelle, NorCal Public Media President and CEO says in a statement. “This series on KRCB TV and KPJK TV extends the reach and the impact of the SRS into homes all throughout our region. Having this exciting new series on our air is a perfect fit for our mission as the Bay Area’s trusted, independent and essential public media broadcaster.”

srsymphony.com / norcalpublicmedia.com

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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