Oregon conductor gets management

Oregon conductor gets management


norman lebrecht

November 15, 2017

The young American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, music director of Oregon’s Eugene Symphony, has signed on with IMG.

He’s 30 and on a roll.

No connection to other Oregon disasters.



  • Olassus says:

    He might wish to fully Italianize and shorten his name, but not to Lecce, which is awkward in English. Perhaps developing something from a middle or relative’s name? Or inventing one using both current parts: Leccione?

    • HBoyle says:

      Come on, if we can deal with Yannick Nezet-Seguin without having to rename him Johnny Sequins…

      • Olassus says:

        All three parts of YNS’s name are unique in classical music and fit the French language. So there is only a pronunciation hurdle. Even when wrong, there are no problematic sounds. Already he is known mostly as “Yannick” by audiences.

  • NamesMatter says:

    Or he could just use the name he is given and expect lazy people to actually give a f*^%# and learn how to pronounce his name.

    • Olassus says:

      If he is going to be promoted, he will need a name that works. Fransessko Lease Chong does not. Remember, even HvK had to scrap the Heribert.

      • Amy Adams says:

        Miguel Harth-Bedoya has seemed to do just fine with a lengthy hyphenated name.
        I think we can let this issue go for better ones.

        • Olassus says:

          There is also YNS and Frankly Worst Than Most, and there was Schmidt-Isserstedt and Molinari-Pradelli. The hyphen is not a problem.

          Nor is length. The idea of shortening was to eliminate the combination of two languages, which tends to leave a dissonant impression. One can’t quite get a handle on who the person is, at least not at first. This adds to the branding and promotional challenge.

          The name Lecce presents a separate problem of its own.

          The matter of promotability is not to be taken lightly, and the name enters into the equation just as looks do.

          • Amy Adams says:

            I’m sorry, I’m finding this laughable.
            It’s his NAME. We are, or should be, above accommodating outdated notions.
            Maybe find a new issue, Olassus?

            As a supporter of the Eugene Symphony, I plan to enjoy watching Francesco Lecce-Chong’s career trajectory, as he possesses a great deal of talent at a young age.
            That’s his name. He uses it, we use it.

          • Olassus says:

            As a supporter of the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, perhaps you can tell us how he pronounces his name.

  • Michael B. says:

    Why should he change his name? It was suggested to Leonard Bernstein when he was starting out that he should change his name to something “less Jewish.” He ignored the “advice.” The problem is not his name, but the fact that he is an American. There is still a reflex on the part of many American orchestras to prefer a random vice-Kapellmeister of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Philharmoniker to any American candidate. I have always said that if the ancestors of Leonard Slatkin and Michael Tilson Thomas had remained in Russia so that they would have been Leonid Zlatkine and Mikhail Thomashevsky, from Leningrad (OK, now St. Petersburg again)rather than Los Angeles, they would have had even bigger careers than they actually had,

    • Olassus says:

      Michael Tilson Thomas has always been a good name, promotable and memorable, especially as affectionate initials.

      Leonard Slatkin is not so good, but not bad. His average looks have surely limited his fame and following.

      As for Lenny, well, the charisma and overflowing talent, and later the silver mane, were unstoppable. No promotion needed.

    • Olassus says:

      By the way, do we know that that “less Jewish” anecdote is true? I’ve heard it before. Maybe it’s from the silly Peyser book. But is it true? I wonder.

  • Jon says:

    Really? His name is a problem?? Really?!

    He’s a friendly, approachable, intelligent, engaging human being who is an excellent conductor and musician. That’s all that matters.

  • Jaime Weisenblum says:

    Why would anyone complain about a personal name,even in the name of
    “making it or failing” in our musical/art world?
    Furthermore,this name has lots of power and appeal if one pronounces it the correct Italian way: Franchesco
    Leche (as in Dulce de Leche)
    Chong (mostly people know how to pronounce this one…)
    Now,everybody together: Francesco Lecce-Chong.
    Not so difficult and very resonant,RIGHT?
    Maybe now we can return to more important art news and REAL worries…

    • Olassus says:

      Yes, Chong is the easy part. And I agree that Francesco, said correctly, is a beautiful name. Please review earlier comments.

      • Amy Adams says:

        Olassus, for every remark you make about this, I’m going to donate to the Eugene Symphony.
        At this rate, though….gosh. I may have to hit my retirement fund.

        • Olassus says:

          Perhaps one of your donations can be the word “Orchestra.”

          And perhaps you can tell the marketing department that “Paganini Violin Concerto” does not describe its next program.

          • Amy Adams says:

            *pinching your adorable trolly cheeks*
            Olassus, dear, keep it up. You are the master of ceremonies on this topic.

  • Kali says:

    I’m sure IMG thought his name was fine when they signed him.

    • Olassus says:

      Yes, revealing its bad judgment. Let’s not imagine that these people are geniuses: most of the artists agencies represent have modest, short careers.