Long Beach Symphony Receives ACSO’s Inaugural Social Impact Award


Thursday, July 13, 2023 – The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) announced today that the Long Beach Symphony is the recipient of its 2023 Social Impact Award.

Launched this year, ACSO’s Social Impact Award is given to an organizational member that has created positive change or addressed a challenge or injustice in its community.


The Long Beach Symphony’s initiative, Musical Bridges, celebrates the musical artistry of the many diverse communities in Long Beach through free, collaborative, multicultural performances. Its inaugural Musical Bridges project took five years to develop and was presented in April 2023 in artistic collaboration with the Long Beach Cambodian community, the second largest Cambodian population in the world.


The resulting concert and festival were called KHMERASPORA and told the Cambodian American experience from genocide to camp relocation, to the Long Beach ghettos, and ultimately, the integration into the broader community. The program celebrated traditional and contemporary Cambodian artists and featured three world premieres by Cambodian composer Dr. Chinary Ung for a 15-member Long Beach Symphony ensemble and Cambodian dancers, instrumentalists, and singers. The brilliant vision of praCh Ly, the Cambodian American rapper who wrote, directed, and performed the one-hour piece, was to unite the fragmented Cambodian community by using both traditional art forms (nearly decimated by the Khmer Rouge) as well as contemporary performers. The impact on the Cambodian community was profound and deeply moving.


Long Beach Symphony partnered with Cambodia Town Inc., United Cambodian Community, Khmer Parent Association, Long Beach-Phnom Penh Sister Cities, Cambodia Town Film Festival, and many more organizations that said the collaboration had a profound impact on the Long Beach Cambodian community. In a collective letter of support they wrote, “Our story is personal and tragic but also one of survival and strength and it deserves to be told. Many of our genocide survivors and their children and grandchildren finally feel seen and heard. We also had a public forum to share out story with people who may have known nothing or little about the Cambodian genocide. It is partnerships like this that inspire trust, mutual respect, and understanding between cultures.”


“Thrilled to be in one of the most diverse cities in the United States, Long Beach Symphony has embraced its role to partner with many diverse groups and community leaders in our city of 500,000. Relevance and sustainability goals were outcomes of our recent, comprehensive strategic planning process,” said Kelly Ruggirello, President of Long Beach Symphony. “The result [of our Musical Bridges Initiative] was a community that finally felt heard and seen through a very difficult journey to freedom. Non-Cambodian attendees were educated about an important historical event and its impact on 20,000 Long Beach Cambodians. Also, there is an immense sense of gratitude that the Long Beach Symphony helped heal, unite, inspire, validate, and educate our city’s residents.”


ACSO Executive Director Sarah Weber said “With the Social Impact Award, ACSO seeks to recognize the work that orchestras are doing to serve, strengthen, and improve their communities both inside and outside the concert hall. ACSO believes that an orchestra’s value extends beyond the music that it performs – it can also serve as an agent to influence social change and make its community stronger and more connected. The Long

Beach Symphony exemplified social impact by collaborating with and providing a platform for the Long Beach Cambodian community to tell its story.”


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The premier producer of live music in the greater Long Beach region and one of Southern California’s most renowned, professional regional orchestras, Long Beach Symphony’s vision is to unite people through the transformative power of music by engaging audiences of all ages and cultures through exceptional orchestral performances, community partnerships and meaningful educational experiences. www.longbeachsymphony.org

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO), founded in 1969, is a member service organization representing 120 classical music organizations and their 2,000 board and staff in its network. ACSO’s members are comprised of professional, academic, youth, and community-based orchestras, choruses, and festivals in California and the western region. ACSO’s annual awards program recognizes remarkable individuals and organizations for their meaningful contributions to the orchestra field. To read about all our 2023 award winners, click here. www.acso.org


LONG BEACH, CA, June 21, 2023 – Long Beach Symphony, under the direction of Maestro Eckart Preu, announces its 2023-2024 Classical and Pops seasons.

A Fun & Elegant Evening. Sip & Enjoy.
8pm: Terrace Theater (7pm Pre-Talk)
Opening Night with Andreas Boyde(10/21/23)
Bernstein, Hindustani Violin Concerto, Long Beach Ballet (11/18/23)
Pictures at an Exhibition (Ravel) (2/17/24)
Brahms Requiem (3/9/24)
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 (6/1/24)

Indoor Picnicking & Dancing
8pm: Long Beach Arena
A Beatles Celebration by Classical Mystery Tour (10/28/23)
Holiday Swing with Byron Stripling (12/9/23)
Windborne’s Music of the Rolling Stones (2/3/24)
The Music of Fleetwood Mac (3/23/24)
Disco Fever Dance Party (5/4/24)

* All Classical concerts and Beatles Celebration are conducted by Maestro Eckart Preu. Programs, dates, and artists are subject to change. Concert details found below.

The CLASSICAL Season opener on October 21, 2023 features the beautiful The Moldau by Smetana and Andreas Boyde, sharing his virtuosity in Dvorak’s Piano Concerto. On November 18, 2023, Kala Ramnath performs the Hindustani Violin Concerto written for her by Indian American composer Reena Esmail in a program also presenting Long Beach Ballet in Bernstein’s Fancy Free. Pictures at an Exhibition takes center stage on February 17, 2024 as audiences also enjoy Long Beach Symphony Principal Cello, Cécilia Tsan performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto. The Long Beach Camerata Singers provide the vocal forces in the powerful Brahms Requiem and the gorgeous Serenade to Music by Vaughan Williams on March 9, 2024. The season culminates on June 1, 2024 spotlighting the brilliant pianist Awadagin Pratt in one of the most famous works of all time, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 to provide the perfect ending to a great season of music.

Music Director Eckart Preu adds,
“Our Classical Season has something for everyone! Sip, relax and enjoy a beverage while hearing the great masterworks by Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Mussorgsky, as well as rarely heard works by Florence Price, Guillaume Conneson and Reena Esmail.”

Audiences love the unique Long Beach Symphony Pops experience as they enjoy indoor picnicking while singing and dancing the night away inside the Long Beach Arena’s Pacific Ballroom. Opening on October 28, 2023 with A Beatles Celebration, four musicians from the Classical Mystery Tour celebrate Beatlemania and the 60th Anniversary of the first Beatles U.S. tour. A powerhouse trumpeter with a soulful voice, conductor Byron Stripling will entertain with his infectious yuletide joy and blazing virtuosity in seasonal tunes for Holiday Swing on December 9, 2023. The Music of the Rolling Stones by Windborne on February 3, 2024 features a full rock band and Long Beach Symphony delivering timeless hit songs like “Satisfaction”, “Ruby Tuesday”, “Honky Tonk Woman”, “Angie” and many more! A night devoted to the best of Fleetwood Mac on March 23, 2024 will have audiences singing along to “Go Your Own Way”, “Rhiannon”, “Dreams”, “The Chain”, and – of course – “Landslide.” The Pops season concludes on May 4, 2024 with a Disco Fever Dance Party as thousands dance the night away in their boogie shoes to this 70’s extravaganza featuring Classical Night Fever as “The Ultimate Disco Party Band”.

All programs, dates and artists are subject to change. For more information or to purchase subscriptions visit www.LongBeachSymphony.org or call 562-436-3203.

Featuring Southern California’s finest orchestra musicians, Long Beach Symphony marks its 89th season and seventh season of its Music Director, Eckart Preu.
The Symphony presents more than 100 concerts and events a year and a rich array of education and community engagement programs that reach more than 70,000 residents from school children to senior citizens. Core to its offerings is a five-concert Classical series performed at the Long Beach Terrace Theater as well as a five-concert Pops series in the Long Beach Arena’s Pacific Ballroom.
The Symphony has received international stature through its dedication to presenting both classical masterworks and contemporary as well as multicultural work through unique collaborations. The Symphony presented its first premiere in 1939 and since then has commissioned and/or premiered 25 works.
Long Beach Symphony won the 1998 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and produced two recordings entitled Impressions of the Sea (1998) and Pictures (2000). Committed to supporting arts and culture in the region, it regularly produces artistic collaborations with local organizations such as Long Beach Camerata Singers, Long Beach Ballet, California State University Long Beach, Museum of Latin and American Art, and Aquarium of the Pacific. Long Beach Symphony was awarded the Long Beach Heritage Preservation Award in 2012, the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce Award for Outstanding Nonprofit Organization in 2015 and in 2017 honored by the Long Beach NAACP. For more information and to subscribe, please visit www.LongBeachSymphony.org.

Long Beach Symphony 2023-2024 Classical Season Details
All concerts in the Long Beach Terrace Theater at 8:00PM. Doors open at 6:30 for 7:00PM Pre-Concert Talks with Maestro Eckart Preu and guest artists. All concerts conducted by Music Director Eckart Preu. Patrons can enjoy sipping on their beverages during the concert.

Andreas Boyde, piano
Brahms –Hungarian Dances
Dvořák –Piano Concerto
Smetana –from My Fatherland: The Moldau, Sárka, From Bohemia’s Woods & Fields
November 18, 2023 BERNSTEIN
Kala Ramnath, violinist
Long Beach Ballet, dancers
Stravinsky –Pulcinella Suite
Reena Esmail –Hindustani Violin Concerto
Joplin –Treemonisha Overture
Bernstein –Fancy Free
Cécilia Tsan, cello
Florence Price –Concert Overture No. 2
Dvořák –Cello Concerto
Mussorgsky (Ravel) –Pictures at an Exhibition
March 9, 2024 BRAHMS REQUIEM
Long Beach Camerata Singers, chorus
Kevin Deas, baritone and Elissa Johnston, soprano
Connesson –Cosmic Trilogy
Vaughan Williams –Serenade to Music
Brahms –Requiem
Awadagin Pratt, piano
Bruckner –Symphony No. 4 “Romantic”
Tchaikovsky –Piano Concerto No. 1


Long Beach Symphony 2023-2024 Pops Season Details
All concerts at Long Beach Arena, Pacific Ballroom. Doors open at 6:30 PM for indoor picnicking; concerts begin at 8:00 PM. Outside Food and Drinks encouraged. All programs are subject to change.

Eckart Preu, Conductor

December 9, 2023 HOLIDAY SWING
Byron Stripling, Conductor

Brent Havens, Conductor

Mark Alpizar, Conductor

Roger Kalia, Conductor

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