For Immediate Release:
Media contact: Sue Moylan. [email protected]


Long Beach, CA – 6/10/2024 – Long Beach Symphony is pleased to announce that it has reached agreements with its key artistic and administrative leaders through the 2028-2029 season. Eckart Preu has served as the Symphony’s Music Director since 2017 and Ruggirello was hired in 2013 to head up its administration.

“I am so honored to have the opportunity to continue serving as Music Director in this very special community,” said Eckart Preu, Music Director and Conductor. “The Long Beach Symphony is a family of dedicated musicians, staff, Board and volunteers who continually inspire me, and I couldn’t ask for a better team. We have so many exciting ideas and plans for the years ahead and I simply cannot wait for this next chapter to begin.”

Entering her 12th year as the Symphony’s President, Kelly Ruggirello continues to champion the creation of a new summer series in a proposed professional, outdoor amphitheater having been appointed by former Mayor Robert Garcia to the Queen Mary Land Development Task Force Commission in 2015. As well, LA28, the L.A. Olympics Committee is supportive of her vision to produce a multi-cultural arts festival coinciding with the 2028 Olympics and the 8 sporting events to be held in Long Beach. Ruggirello states, “I am grateful to have a tremendous partner in Eckart and the support of the Board of Directors as we celebrate our 90-year history while looking to an exciting future and new opportunities to serve this wonderful community.”

Preu and Ruggirello’s transformative work with the Cambodian community in Long Beach – the largest outside of Southeast Asia, garnered much praise and recognition, including receiving the inaugural 2023 Social Impact Award by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras for creating positive change and addressing a challenge or injustice in its community. These key leaders also launched the Symphony’s first Family series of concerts due to the generosity and shared vision of The RuMBa Foundation of Long Beach which committed $540,000 – the largest single gift in the Symphony’s history – over 4 years to fund this new initiative serving the families of Long Beach.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are absolutely thrilled to extend contracts to these two leaders who champion artistic excellence, award-winning music education programs and a profound commitment to our diverse community,” said Roger Goulette, Chairman of the Long Beach Symphony Board of Directors. “Eckart brings both innovation and a sense of tradition to Long Beach while Kelly’s dedication to our vision and mission of uniting all people through the transformative power of music ensures the Symphony’s growth, relevance, and service to our broad, diverse city.”

As Preu and Ruggirello look ahead to the future, they are firmly and passionately committed to continuing a tradition of excellence in its artistic, music education and collaborative multi-cultural programming.


Maestro Eckart Preu began his tenure as Music Director of Long Beach Symphony in 2017 and has already made a strong impression on the city of Long Beach, surrounding regions, and with critics for his programming and dynamic stage presence. 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 Music Director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra (OH) and Portland Symphony Orchestra (ME). Previously, he held the positions of Music Director of the Spokane Symphony (2004–2019) and Stamford Symphony (2005–2017), Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony (2001–2004), Resident Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra (1997–2004) and of the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra (1999–2004). Other former posts include Music Director of the Norwalk (CT) Youth Symphony and Principal Conductor of the New Amsterdam Symphony (NY). He was associated with the Bard Music Festival from 1997 to 2004 as both Assistant and Guest Conductor. In Europe, Maestro Preu served as Music Director of the Orchestre International de Paris (1993–1995).


Kelly Ruggirello has led the Long Beach Symphony – celebrating its 90th season – since March 2013. During her tenure, the Long Beach Symphony has enjoyed tremendous growth and financial stability as well as new initiatives aimed at serving all residents in the city – one of the most diverse in the nation.

In recognition of her transformative work, the Symphony won the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce Award for Outstanding Non-profit in 2015 and Ms. Ruggirello won Mayor Garcia’s Go Long Beach Award in 2016, the award for outstanding arts management by the Arts Council for Long Beach and the NAACP Founders Award, both in 2017. In June of 2018, Ms. Ruggirello won the 40 Inspiring Leaders Award by the Nonprofit Center of Southern California. Dedicated to a thriving cultural landscape for all arts organizations in the region, Ms. Ruggirello was appointed by former Mayor Robert Garcia to the Queen Mary Land Development Task Force commission resulting in the City Council approval of a world-class amphitheater, aka “The Summer Home of the Long Beach Symphony” on Queen Mary Island.

Dedicated to strengthening orchestras and arts managers, Ms. Ruggirello served as President of the Board of Directors of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras and was a faculty member for the national service organizations, Chorus America and the League of American Orchestras. Having raised nearly $100 million during her career, she actively consults with local and national orchestras and choruses and serves as a presenter at state and national conferences. Committed to community service, Ms. Ruggirello is a Rotarian and elected to serve as President #109 in 2025/2026. She has been a proud Long Beach resident for over 37 years.


The premier producer of live, orchestral 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. Entering its 90th season, Long Beach Symphony is led by Music Director Eckart Preu and serves 70,000 community members annually through its robust concert and education activities. Five Classical concerts at the Terrace Theater are filled with dancing fountains, firepits, and the ability to sip and enjoy while experiencing classical and newer works. The Pops Series at the Long Beach Arena encourages audiences to bring their picnics and libations and enjoy indoor parties while dancing to the music by renowned artists and the power of a professional symphony orchestra. Its award-winning music education programs serve over 25,000 children annually through field trips, ensembles in the schools, family series, and instrument petting zoos. Located in one of the most diverse cities in the nation, the Symphony’s Musical Bridges program celebrates the musical artistry of the many diverse communities through free, collaborative multicultural performances.

For information on the 2024-2025 Season, please see our Calendar.

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