Classical Series

Bluegrass & Beethoven

Feb 01, 2025

7:30 PM

6:30 PM Pre-Concert Talk
Doors open at 6:00 PM

For more information and tickets call the Symphony box office at (562) 436-3203 ext. 1

Long Beach Terrace Theater
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802

Bluegrass & Beethoven

Feb 01, 2025 7:30 PM

Eckart Preu, Conductor

Tessa Lark, Violin


Danzon No. 2

Michael Torke



Symphony No. 1

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During this adventurous and audacious evening, the audience will feel as if it is traveling through rhythmic habaneras, bluegrass dances, and classical symphonies, covering an expansive landscape of musical and cultural terrain. The program, carefully curated to elicit joy and celebration, invites contemplation on the whimsical delight of bluegrass and the classics playing alongside each other. Indeed, the concert emerges as a testament to the transformative power of music that transcends boundaries and converges diverse traditions into an enjoyable and harmonious event.

This evening includes a curated ensemble of award-winning musical masterpieces, genres, and influences. Commencing the program is Arturo Marquez’s “Danzon No. 2,” a resplendent fusion of Contradance and Cuban habanera steeped in the cultural heritage of Mexico. Marquez, a luminary hailing from a lineage of folk musicians, deftly intertwines traditional Mexican musical forms into this composition that resonates with the rhythmic allure of ballrooms in bustling Mexico City. The composition exudes an infectious energy, captivating the audience with its catchy rhythms and toe-tapping quality. Marquez’s composition unfolds as a vivacious dance, wherein sultry, passionate melodies intermingle seamlessly with an underlying drive, creating an experience that is both easy on the ears and exuberantly invigorating for both performers and listeners alike.

Following this rhythmic odyssey is Michael Torke’s “Sky”, a virtuosic composition tailor-made for the prodigious Tessa Lark. The concerto, a manifestation of Torke’s Pulitzer Prize-winning genius, weaves together the classical prowess of a renowned violinist with the rich heritage of Kentucky’s fiddling tradition. Lark, nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category and recipient Lincoln Center’s prestigious Emerging Artist Awards, effortlessly navigates the intricate complexities of the concerto, seamlessly transitioning between her classical prowess and her roots in bluegrass. Torke’s creation, though challenging, unfolds as a lighthearted, evocative homage to the bluegrass idiom, a musical journey that is both technically demanding and artistically rewarding.

The concert expands into Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, a composition that resonates with the effervescence of dance. Beethoven, often perceived through the lens of sternness, here reveals a facet of exuberance, challenging the notion that he was solely a solemn maestro. The symphony, imbued with an upbeat character, weaves together a diverse range of influences, mirroring the theme of the entire program.

Audiences will enjoy the Classical Series fun and elegant evening surrounded by the Terrace Theater’s dazzling fountains and fire pits, live ensemble in the lobby, 6:30 PM Pre-Concert Talk to gain greater knowledge regarding the evening programming, and the ability to “Sip & Enjoy” in the concert hall.  Doors open at 6PM.

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Eckart Preu, Conductor

Eckart Preu (Eck-art Proy) began his tenure as Music Director of Long Beach Symphony in 2017. Critics, the orchestra, and audiences alike have celebrated his ability to combine well-loved masterworks with rare or newer works in programs offering dimension, sophistication, and spirit. Preu also currently serves as …

Tessa Lark, Violin

Violinist Tessa Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time, consistently praised by critics and audiences for her astounding range of sounds, technical agility, and musical elegance. In 2020 she was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo …

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