Enjoy an Evening of Sensual Music at Long Beach Symphony’s Classical Concert February 6

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Benjamin Wallfisch Photo Credit: Radovan Subin

Benjamin Wallfisch Photo Credit: Radovan Subin

February is the month for lovers and on Saturday, February 6, at 8:00 p.m., in the Terrace Theater of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center (300 E. Ocean Blvd.), the Long Beach Symphony continues its 2015-16 Classical Concert Series with the lush, sensual sounds of French composers, Saint-Saëns and Ravel.

Cellist Cécilia Tsan

Cellist Cécilia Tsan

Led by Emmy-nominated film composer and conductor, Benjamin Wallfisch, a Music Director candidate for the Long Beach Symphony, the concert opens with two works by late-romanticist Saint- Saëns.  In the exotic Bacchanale from his opera Samson et Delila, audiences will hear Delilah taunt Samson with a wild and provocative dance.   The Symphony’s virtuoso Principal cellist, Cécilia Tsan follows with an emotional solo performance of Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto #1 in A minor, composed in 1872 when the composer was but 37 years old. The challenging work is reputed by some composers to be the greatest of all cello concertos.

Following intermission, the program travels forward to the impressionist period with the sensual works of Maurice Ravel. His Rapsodie espagnole , replete with castanets and tambourine, is a reflection of the Spanish musical heritage imparted to Ravel by his Basque mother.  Also reflective of Ravel’s love of Spanish music is his Alborada del gracioso (Morning Song of the Jester); a highly spirited and humorous dance that concludes with a grand and glorious racket. The evening culminates with Ravel’s legendary Boléro, a work that crosses the boundary between Classical and Pops music thanks to its frequent use in the movies, in particular to Bo Derek’s provocative reference to it in the 1979 film “10”.

Audiences following the Long Beach Symphony’s Music Director search, now in its second year, will get a chance to see Maestro Wallfisch on stage as he and K-USC radio personality Rich Caparella give insight into the music.

Benjamin Wallfisch is a highly versatile musician, equally at home in the classical and film music arenas. He was appointed Assistant Conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra at the tender age of 22 and has, since then, presided over some of the finest orchestras throughout Europe and the U.S.  His work in film music spans 45 movies to date and has earned him multiple international awards and nominations, including a nomination in the 2009 Emmy® Awards and 2013 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Original Score – Special Feature. He has orchestrated scores for numerous other films, including Atonement, V for Vendetta, and Eat Pray Love. Wallfisch currently serves as Music Director of the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado.

Commenting on the evening’s program, Long Beach Symphony Executive Director, Kelly Ruggirello, said, “This will be an evening of sensual music delights with a spirited young conductor to interpret it and an exceptionally sensitive soloist to nurture it.”

The Symphony’s Classical Concert Series is sponsored by Lexus, and the evening’s concert is sponsored by Long Beach’s Wallboard Tool Company and Jon and Margie Masterson.  Tickets start at $20.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit the Symphony’s website at www.longbeachsymphony.org or call 562-436-3203.


Established in 1935, the Long Beach Symphony marks its 81st season in 2015-2016. Each year the Symphony draws loyal audiences from the South Bay, Long Beach, and North Orange County area to its six Classical concerts in the Terrace Theater and five POPS! events in the Long Beach Arena, plus intimate, free music concerts at various locations. The Symphony partners with the Long Beach Unified School District to provide sequential, curriculum-based music education opportunities throughout the year. Through its comprehensive music education programs—including professional ensembles in elementary and middle schools and widely acclaimed Miller Foundation Symphony Concerts for Young People – the Symphony reaches more than 25,000 students a year. For more information, please visit www.longbeachsymphony.org.

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