Long Beach Symphony Begins 82nd Season with New Music Director

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Maestro Benjamin Rous will lead the Symphony in a performance of Prokofiev’s Symphony #5. Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Symphony.

Maestro Benjamin Rous will lead the Symphony in a performance of Prokofiev’s Symphony #5. Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Symphony.

Long Beach Symphony opens its 82nd season on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center Terrace Theater with excitement and a new vision for the arts and music scene in the City of Long Beach.

The Symphony announced the appointment of its new Music Director, Eckart Preu this past August, whose plans for the Symphony include new collaborations, commissions, recordings, and enhanced audience engagement initiatives.  Creative civic partnerships will enliven the downtown arts scene by bringing new ideas and a highly talented group of the area’s finest musicians, a litany of guest solo artists, and a highly unique POPS! concert series with a distinct Long Beach brand.

Opening Night will welcome rising guest conductor, Maestro Benjamin Rous who will lead the Symphony in a performance of Prokofiev’s Symphony #5, an expression of the grandeur of the human spirit in its brightness of sound and vibrant optimism. The night will showcase the mastery of the orchestra’s own local musicians, many of whom perform in the Hollywood recording studios, and includes a rare performance of Vaughan Williams’ Tuba Concerto performed by Long Beach Symphony’s Principal tuba, Doug Tornquist.  The audience is invited to arrive at 6:30 PM to enjoy a night on the plaza of the Terrace Theater with refreshments and live local student musician performances. At 7:00 PM guests can meet Maestro Rous and hear a pre-concert discussion of the evening’s program in the Terrace Theater.

Maestro Eckart Preu will lead his first concert as Music Director Designate in February 2017 at the apex of an exciting season involving some of the nation’s finest conductors.  The Long Beach Symphony Classical Series will host two leading female guest conductors, Mei Ann Chang on November 19, 2016 and the return of Long Beach Symphony’s former Music Director, JoAnn Falletta, the first time she has returned to the City in over 15 years.

On October 15, the Symphony’s POPS! Series starts its season with a Halloween Dance Party at the Long Beach Arena featuring popular orchestral monster movie medleys, party themes, and other thrilling hits of the past century arranged exclusively for Long Beach. Over 3,500 people are expected to attend this year’s Opening Night POPS! concert and children 12 and under are welcome to attend for FREE with their families. Audience members are encouraged to come in costume and be ready for fun Halloween surprises, such as guest characters from the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and rising star and former American Idol contestant, Colby Benson on vocals.

“We’ve had a blast creating this Halloween program exclusively for Long Beach–it runs the whole gamut from fun to real scares–and it’s all beautiful and exciting music played by some of the best musicians in Southern California,” said Matt Catingub, guest POPS! conductor and arranger.

For those new to the Symphony’s POPS! experience, the Symphony recommends its popular Bistro-style section, an elevated seating area with 4-top tables perfect for couples and friends. A private bartender and easy access to the dance floor make for an easy-going evening. For those more initiated to the POPS!, tables of 10 and Loge seating are still available. Regardless of seating preference, all POPS! patrons can bring their own picnics and libations or can purchase food and beverages from preferred local caterers found on the Symphony’s website. Doors open at 6:30 PM to allow time for dining and mingling with friends and the concert begins at 8:00 PM.

The Long Beach Symphony is working closely with the City of Long Beach and Long Beach Unified School District to provide engaging performances and accessibility to more Long Beach residents, including its youth. With 11 concerts a year at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, the Symphony attracts more than 20,000 people to the downtown. Likewise, the Symphony has a robust music education program, which provides free music programs to over 24,000 LBUSD students annually. In February, new Music Director Designate Eckart Preu will lead 4 free concerts for 12,000 LBUSD 4th and 5th grade students.

Tickets to the Long Beach Symphony’s Classical and POPS! tickets start at $25. Subscriptions are also on sale for both the 6-concert Classical Series and 5-concert POPS! Series. Subscriber benefits include up to 30% off of single tickets, priority seating, 20% off dining discount card, free subscription ticket exchanges and more. For more information, or to purchase tickets and subscriptions, please visit the Symphony’s website at www.LongBeachSymphony.org or call 562-436-3203 ext. 1.


Established in 1935, the Long Beach Symphony marks its 82nd season in 2016-2017. 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 chamber 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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