Love Stories

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Embark upon this musical journey which recognizes the Symphony’s meaningful relationships and partnerships in Long Beach, including the Cambodian community. This concert is a celebration of who we are. It will open with traditional Cambodian music, the ethereal performances of Cambodian dancers Modern Apsara, and the resounding Pin Peat Ensemble under the guidance of Master Ho.

This carefully curated program unfolds as a tapestry of cultural resonances, an ode to Long Beach’s diverse populace. Chinary Ung’s composition, “Water Rings, Overture,” emerges as a testament to the symbiosis of tradition and innovation, echoing the legacy of his mentor, Chinese-American composer Chou Wen-chung. Ung skillfully intertwines the threads of traditional Cambodian melodies with avant-garde elements, mirroring Wen-chung ‘s groundbreaking fusion with traditional Chinese music in a true cultural convergence. (Many audience members will recall Chinary Ung for Long Beach Symphony’s premiere production of KHMERASPORA.)

The Butterfly Lovers violin concerto, beautifully written as a collaboration by He Zhanhao and Chen Gang will feature guest artist Gao Can on violin.

Concluding this evocative journey (and season) is Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, the same piece that closed Long Beach Symphony (then known as Philharmonic) 1st season on June 7, 1935! Delving into the depths of Tchaikovsky’s personal tribulations and a poignant expression of the composer’s tumultuous emotional landscape, the symphony unfolds as a powerful narrative that includes the fleeting romance that marked the composer’s tumultuous piece. Not to be understated, it was this piece that Music Director Eckart Preu used for his audition that gained him the prestigious podium with Long Beach Symphony in 2017. This symphony promises to be a grand crescendo, resonating with the transformative evolution of the orchestra under the conductor’s baton.


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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Musical Fusion with Arturo Sandoval

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This evening will captivate a diverse audience drawn together by the magnetic allure of the multifaceted virtuoso, Arturo Sandoval. Renowned for his mastery in the realms of both jazz and classical music, Sandoval’s ten GRAMMY Awards and his expansive repertoire as a trumpeter, vocalist, storyteller, and composer ensure a captivating performance, promising a harmonious fusion of genres and emotions.

We open with Adam Schoenberg’s “Cool Cat,” a piece inspired by the captivating Los Angeles’ own P22, a thematic inspiration with vibrant fanfare. (We appreciate permission to play this piece for which LA Phil has exclusive rights.)

In honor of our virtuosic guest artist, George Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture” is a nod to Sandoval’s Cuban heritage. This piece, born from Gershwin’s immersive experiences in Havana in the 1930s and his fascination for Cuban music and percussion instruments reminds us of Gershwin’s return from Cuba with a suitcase full of instruments that will eloquently blend Cuban rhythms and instrumentation into this rich soundscape.

The orchestra takes center stage with Paul Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphosis,” a composition serving as a dazzling and catchy showcase of the orchestra’s prowess. The piece, though perhaps not immediately recognizable by its title, is familiar to most. Born in Nazi Germany and fleeing first to Switzerland and eventually to America, Hindemith demonstrates his ability to draw inspiration from the romantic German composers and crafts a four-movement symphony that resonates with both familiarity and innovation, pleasing to musicians and audiences alike.

The second half of the evening is an exclusive dedication to the luminary Arturo Sandoval, featuring his magnum opus, “Concerto for Trumpet No. 2.” Sandoval’s versatility shone through as he seamlessly transitioned between trumpet, piano, and vocals, enraptures the audience with not just his musical prowess but also his engaging storytelling. The performance, reminiscent of a bygone Las Vegas era display of the multitude of talents, is enhanced by Sandoval’s charisma and generosity of spirit that will elevate the evening into a transcendent experience of inclusivity.

Completing the evening is Rachmaninoff’s SERGE: Themes from Piano Concerto No. 2, which transports listeners through a poignant musical journey. With emotive piano phrases supported by lush orchestration, the Adagio unveils a profound emotional landscape. A delicate balance of restraint and passion characterizes this movement, drawing the audience into a world of profound introspection.


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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Bluegrass & Beethoven

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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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Gershwin & Friends

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Embark upon an evening that pays homage to the rich tapestry of American music with an exquisite celebration of diverse musical cultures, influences, identities, and expressive forms where the melodies echo the origins and spirit of America in a harmonious and colorful celebration of past and present.

We open with Coincident Dances, the work from contemporary composer Jessie Montgomery as she channels her profound reflections on the dynamic rhythms of New York City into an innovative musical composition. This piece, a convergence of simultaneous sounds, contrasting times, and diverse cultural ideas, unfolds as a rhythmic masterpiece that elicits an immediate response of understanding and appreciation.

William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 5, “Western Hemisphere” is an opulent composition exuding a late romantic sensibility. Filled with lush and melodic passages, the symphony pulsates with rhythmic vitality, reminiscent of the blue scale. Its cinematic quality carries a positive message of American goodwill and prosperity, exploring the vigorous life-sustaining forces of the hemisphere and focusing on the beauty of nature.

With the timeless genius of George Gershwin, whose signature fusion of jazz and classical music takes center stage, this piano concerto was written a year after “Rhapsody in Blue,” promising an even more ambitious and expansive musical journey. This concerto, performed by the extraordinary pianist Clayton Stephenson, elevates the evening to unparalleled heights. Stephenson, a trailblazing talent and the first black finalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2022, lends his remarkable artistry to this symphonic spectacle.

The program seamlessly weaves together the threads of American identity, from Montgomery’s contemporary reflections to Still’s lush romanticism and Gershwin’s groundbreaking fusion of genres. Join us on this transcendent journey, where the melodies echo the vibrant spirit of America, past and present, in a harmonious celebration of musical innovation and brilliance.


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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A NEW WORLD – Celebrating Long Beach Symphony’s 90th Anniversary!

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Welcome to this celebratory affair as we open the 2024-2025 Season and 90th anniversary of Long Beach Symphony. Beethoven’s Egmont Overture opens our 90th Anniversary Season which was the first piece the Symphony performed in 1934. It will be followed by the West Coast Premiere of Anna Clyne’s Quarter Days and Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” (Dvořák).

Egmont Overture, Op. 84, the jubilant opus that inaugurated the Long Beach Symphony in 1934, encapsulates the quintessence of Beethoven’s artistry. Revered as the “Victory Symphony,” its power and thunderous beginning emanates with an almost excessive virtuosic jubilation. Beethoven had a deeply rooted belief in humanistic freedom. He was drawn to protagonists who fought against repressive forces. In this emotional overture – which is part of incidental music composed to accompany Goethe’s play “Egmont” – he depicts the struggle of count Egmont fighting for freedom and liberty. From thunderous chords of oppression to fanfares of victory, with its dramatic turn from tragedy into triumph, Beethoven unleashes some of his most powerful music. This overture showcases the power and virtuosity of music and represents the philosophical and musical ideals of this orchestra.

Cultivating new beginnings, we present the West Coast Premiere of “Quarter Days, a new concerto for solo string quartet and orchestra by the distinguished British violinist, composer, and Emmy nominee Anna Clyne. Her cello concerto DANCE – performed by the Long Beach Symphony in 2022 – has garnered over 10 million plays on Spotify. We are proud to be part of the consortium that commissioned “Quarter Days”. This concerto will be a great opportunity to showcase the principal string players of the orchestra as soloists. Quarter Days is a reflection on the passing of time – both within a minute, a day, and through the seasons of the year. Anna Clyne’s music has an instant appeal – full of lyricism, colors, and emotion.

The evening concludes with Antonin Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony “From the New World”, composed during Antonin Dvořák’s early days in the United States. It is not only one of quintessential symphonies of the entire orchestral repertoire, but it also stands as a testament to his encouragement of American composers to cultivate a national identity in their music. This tour-de-force for the orchestra includes influences of Native-American melodies, spirituals – and of course his indomitable “Czech spirit.” The performance of the “New World” Symphony will be preceded by a presentation of “Goin’ Home”, a song based on the famous melody of the second movement, with a text by William Arms Fisher.

 


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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Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1

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Welcome June and the leading edge of summer! Our final concert begins with Anton Bruckner’s rousing “Romantic” Symphony, so named by Bruckner himself and inspired by his vision of a day in the life of a medieval village from dawn to dusk. The audience will hear the morning horn call welcoming the day ahead, the thundering hooves of mounted knights departing the castle, the frenzy of a hunt, and the revelry of a village meal and festival to end the long and eventful day. Then, the Symphony closes this concert and its 2023-2024 season with the help of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who gave the world perhaps the second-most well-known four-note opening salvo in the classical music canon with the opening notes of his Piano Concerto no.1, among the most popular and most performed piano concertos. Virtuoso pianist Awadagin Pratt – famed for his formidable technique as well as his love for pranking and colorful concert attire – joins the Symphony for a fiery finish. Don’t miss this scintillating season finale.

In Maestro Eckart Preu’s own words

Audiences will enjoy the Classical Series fun and elegant evening surrounded by the Terrace’s dazzling fountains and fire pits, live ensemble in the lobby, pre-concert talk to gain greater knowledge regarding the evening programming, and the ability to “Sip & Enjoy” in the concert hall.  


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Brahms Requiem

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Enjoy the digital program book with program notes


Enjoy this FREE special Event with Dr. James Bass and the Long Beach Camerata Singers **March 6th**:


On Saturday, March 9th, 2024, we will celebrate Spring with the music of Guillaume Connesson, Vaughan Williams, and Johannes Brahms, featuring solo performances by Elissa Johnston, Kevin Deas, and the powerful choral talents of the Long Beach Camerata Singers.

The evening begins with living French composer Guillaume Connesson’s “Cosmic Trilogy” (2010) as it rejoices in the vastness of the universe, its mysteries, and gorgeously illustrates the journey of life through the birth, radiance, and death of a star. Disparate influences of Indian raga and John Adams-esque modernism combine to convey the universal impact of time passing and how moments of the past and future come together to define the present.

Inspired by lovers gazing at the stars in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice,  Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Serenade to Music” captures the wonder of the night sky and its unfathomable mysteries.  The magic of the universe looking back upon itself is highlighted by the sweeping, lush orchestral arrangement. Come see why “Serenade to Music” reportedly brought audience member Sergei Rachmaninov to tears.

The evening closes with Johannes Brahms’ “A German Requiem,” a mournful meditation on death and redemption. Brahms’s poignant musical prayer (composed between 1865 and 1868) offers comfort and grace in the face of grief and commemoration of life. “A German Requiem” reflects the painful losses Brahms experienced in his own life, composed after the passing of both his adored mother and his mentor, Robert Schumann. Baritone Kevin Deas and Soprano Elissa Johnston join the Long Beach Camerata Singers in an evening celebrating the mysteries of life, death, and humanity’s place in the infinite universe.

In Maestro Eckart Preu’s own words

Audiences will enjoy the Classical Series fun and elegant evening surrounded by the Terrace’s dazzling fountains and fire pits, live ensemble in the lobby, 7PM Pre-Concert Talk to gain greater knowledge regarding the evening programming, and the ability to “Sip & Enjoy” in the concert hall.  


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Pictures at an Exhibition

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Long Beach Symphony presents an evening filled with music and imagery featuring the works of American composer Florence Price, Dvořák, Mussorgsky and Ravel, and Cécilia Tsan’s superb cello.  

A night of emotional warmth and vibrant colors opens with Concert Overture No. 2 by Florence Price, the first African American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer and to have her works performed by a major symphony orchestra. Her compositions disappeared after her death but were discovered half a century later in 2009 in a home in Illinois.  Long Beach Symphony will proudly present Price’s Concert Overture No. 2, a set of three spirituals that demonstrate the influence of ragtime, spirituals, and folk dance. This idea that celebrates American music was originally introduced by Dvořák who encouraged American composers to seek inspiration from their own roots.

Dvořák’s own work and Cello Concerto, featuring Long Beach Symphony’s Cécilia Tsan principal cellist, is beloved both for the deeply felt emotion it evokes and for the showmanship and mastery it spotlights in its soloist.

As a celebration of classical music and artistic inspiration, Long Beach Symphony also presents a mesmerizing performance of Modest Mussorgsky’s timeless masterpiece, “Pictures at an Exhibition.” This orchestral suite, originally composed in 1874, has become a staple of the classical repertoire and continues to captivate audiences with its vivid musical depictions of visual art. The composition was inspired by Mussorgsky’s visit to an exhibition of works by his dear friend, the artist Viktor Hartmann. Originally composed for piano solo, the stunningly creative work was arranged for full orchestra forty years after Mussorgsky’s death by Maurice Ravel to immediate and enduring high praise. From The Gnome to The Old Castle and concluding with the majesty of The Great Gate of Kiev, Mussorgsky’s musical visualization of a Russian gallery of paintings always delights. The original imagery will be projected on screen to enhance the audience’s listening experience.

Audiences can enjoy a relaxed, fun, yet elegant evening along the dancing fountains, fire pits and bar on the Plaza, and a 7pm Pre-Concert Talk that will give further context into the evening– with the ability to “Sip & Enjoy” in the concert hall.  

In Maestro Eckart Preu’s own words

Audiences will enjoy the Classical Series fun and elegant evening surrounded by the Terrace’s dazzling fountains and fire pits, live ensemble in the lobby, pre-concert talk to gain greater knowledge regarding the evening programming, and the ability to “Sip & Enjoy” in the concert hall.  


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Bernstein

CA Festival logo

Long Beach Symphony, and this particular concert, are proud to be part of the California Festival, A Celebration of New Music.

Long Beach Symphony presents an evening of exciting, contrasting musical styles and art forms, plus the introduction of a new soundscape where Indian and western classical music come together in a haunting and extraordinary piece about climate change.

It’s a combination of styles, full of energy and contrasts as we are joined by Hindustani violinist Kala Ramnath and Long Beach Ballet.

The evening starts with Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite, a lighthearted piece narrating our antihero’s narrow escapes while pursuing his affairs of the heart; an intimate piece based on Baroque music of the 18th century and yet 20th century neoclassicism making it very entertaining and theatrical.

Guest Hindustani violinist virtuoso Kala Ramnath, renowned as the leading 21st century practitioner of Hindustani classical violin, will take the stage to perform highly sought-after and multiple-award-winning Indian-American composer Reena Esmail’s Violin Concerto, who wrote this piece specifically for Ramnath and Hindustani violin — a rhythmically captivating tour-de-force for orchestra and Hindustani violin. The concerto aptly channels Esmail’s talent for weaving Western and Indian classical music traditions to paint melodic pictures both rapturous and melancholic. As part of this musical presentation, Long Beach Symphony is proud to be a participant in the CA Festival Celebration of New Music.

From Scott Joplin, known as “the King of Ragtime,” Treemonisha overture, from his three-act opera recently rediscovered in the 1990s, will be followed by the boisterous and jazzy, cool, effervescent, improvisatory, and toe-tapping Fancy Free by Leonard Bernstein where, appropriately, the Long Beach Ballet will take the stage.

Audiences can enjoy a relaxed, fun, yet elegant evening along the dancing fountains, firepits, and bars on the Plaza, and a 7pm Pre-Concert Talk that will give further context into the evening– with the ability to “Sip & Enjoy” in the concert hall.  

In Music Director Eckart Preu’s own words…

About Kala Ramnath and her unique skills as a Hindustani violinist

Audiences will enjoy the Classical Series fun and elegant evening surrounded by the Terrace’s dazzling fountains and fire pits, live ensemble in the lobby, pre-concert talk to gain greater knowledge regarding the evening programming, and the ability to “Sip & Enjoy” in the concert hall.  


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Opening Night with Andreas Boyde

Join your Long Beach Symphony for Opening Night of the 2023-2024 season at the beautiful Terrace Theater. Music Director Eckart Preu launches the orchestra’s new season with a rainbow palette of 19th century musical colors. Johannes Brahms’ lushly harmonic, pulsating Hungarian Dances kick things off with a bright rhythmic energy. Next, renowned pianist and Romantic Era specialist Andreas Boyde joins the orchestra to perform the singular, highly imaginative Piano Concerto by Antonín Dvořák. Written especially for an outstanding popular Czech pianist who championed the young Dvořák, the composer’s only piano concerto will envelope listeners in waves of harmony and emotion. Finally, our celebratory season opening concert concludes with selections from another Romantic icon, the deeply personal “Ma Vlast” – “My Homeland” – by the Czech composer Bedrich Smetana. This beloved and popular work featuring the beloved “The Moldau”, resounding with patriotism, nostalgia, and passion, will send audiences away with ringing ears and hammering hearts.

In Music Director Eckart Preu’s own words:

 

 

Audiences will enjoy the Classical Series fun and elegant evening surrounded by the Terrace’s dazzling fountains and fire pits, live ensemble in the lobby, pre-concert talk to gain greater knowledge regarding the evening programming, and the ability to “Sip & Enjoy” in the concert hall.  


Get all the PERKS and SAVE with a Classical Subscription or 3-Concert Sampler Pack Subscription.

You may also buy tickets through Ticketmaster.


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