LB Symphony Debuts Music Inspired by Rancho Los Alamitos

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Symphony inspired by Rancho Los Alamitos

I was so inspired by the ambiance and timeless spirit of Rancho Los Alamitos that I had to capture it through music, explains composer Robert Cummings.

On April 28, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra conducted by Enrique Arturo Diemecke will perform the world premiere of the first movement of Robert Cummings’s Suite for Double String Orchestra for Rancho Los Alamitos, a work that Cummings composed for the site several years ago after a visit to the historic landmark.

Robert Cummings is a three-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated composer whose work has been internationally performed, with notable performances by the Orange County Chamber Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony and the Orquestra Sinoloa de las Artes.

“I was so inspired by the ambiance and timeless spirit of Rancho Los Alamitos that I had to capture it through music,” said Cummings. “With this suite, I wanted to reaffirm that profound feeling of being in a place that embodies a seamless continuum between the past, present and future.”

The piece will be performed at the end of the evening’s program, which also includes Brahms’ Hungarian Dances 5-7 and Symphony No.3 and Dvořák’s Concerto for Violoncello. The program will be followed by a special invitation-only reception with Rancho Los Alamitos principals, orchestra principals and members.

As one of the events leading up to Rancho Los Alamitos’ June 10 Grand Opening, the premiere performance will give audiences a chance to experience the muse of this significant Southern California gem.

“Robert Cummings’s suite has tapped into the spiritual essence of Rancho Los Alamitos, or Povuu’ngna—a sacred site that represents the past, present and future of California,” said Pamela Seager, Rancho Los Alamitos Executive Director. “We are excited for this performance ahead of our June Grand Opening.”

One of several events that speak to the spirit of creativity and ingenuity of Rancho Los Alamitos, as part of RLA’s Grand Opening Year program of events, the concert preludes the culmination of a long-term transformation of the site that includes the new Rancho Center building and the careful restoration of its adobe-core Ranch House, historic gardens and Barns Area. At the heart of the ambitious transformation is RLA’s commitment to public education and historic preservation, both of which will be greatly aided by the creation of the new Rancho Center, a stunning architectural adaptive reuse and expansion of a 1948 horse barn, which will house the new exhibition Rancho Los Alamitos—Ever Changing, Always the Same and a Rancho Room featuring gorgeous large-scale mural illustrations by the late Dugald Stermer.

For information about the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra and upcoming performances, visit their website at

Rancho Los Alamitos is a place for all time: listed on the National Register of Historic Places twice—as the sacred Tongva village of Povuu’ngna and also for its adobe core ranch house c.1800, four acres of lush historic gardens and historic barnyard dating from the early-mid 20th century. In June 2012, RLA will open a new Rancho Center including a permanent exhibition, related program facilities, and its restored historic Barns Area—an experience that will connect 21st century audiences with the powerful story of California, its landscape and its inhabitants throughout time. Additional information about Rancho Los Alamitos is available online at

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