Former Long Beach Symphony music director to return for final concert of season

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JoAnn Falletta, who served as the music director for Long Beach Symphony from 1989 to 2000, will return to Long Beach June 10 to lead the symphony in its final concert of the classical season.

Photo by David Adam Beloff

The Long Beach Symphony will wrap up its 2016-17 classical concert season on Saturday, June 10 at 8pm at the Terrace Theater of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., with a homecoming performance by JoAnn Falletta, who successfully served as the symphony’s music director from 1989 to 2000.
According to Long Beach Symphony representatives, under Falletta’s direction, the organization sold out the Long Beach Performing Arts Center and heralded in an era of premiers, commissions and a celebration of living composers.
Her upcoming concert with Long Beach Symphony, the first time she has led the orchestra since she left in 2000, opens with four movements from Shostakovich’s The Gadfly Suite, arranged for the 1955 Soviet film The Gadfly, based on the novel of the same name by Ethel Lilian Voynich and featuring a violin solo that will be delivered by the symphony’s concertmaster, Roger Wilkie.
That solo will be followed by Falletta’s own compilation of Prokofiev’s Cinderella Suites 1-3.
“After intermission, Falletta will be joined onstage by guest pianist, George Li, a 21-year-old prodigy whose astonishing technique, distinctive tonal quality and exceptional musicality have earned him consistent critical acclaim and a silver medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition,” states a Long Beach Symphony press release. “Together, they will close the symphony’s season with Tchaikovsky’s majestic Piano Concert No. 1 in B-flat minor, whose powerful opening chords have become legendary in classical music.”
Falletta currently serves as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
“Long Beach Symphony was the first regional orchestra to appoint a woman as its music director in 1989,” said the symphony’s executive director, Kelly Lucera, “and we are honored to welcome her back to lead our season finale.”
Patrons are invited to arrive early for a 7pm pre-concert talk by Falletta and to enjoy music in the lobby by the Poly High School String Quartet– part of a longstanding program offering Long Beach students the ability to perform before Long Beach Symphony concerts.
The Symphony’s 2017-18 Classical concert series will begin Oct. 7, as Eckart Preu takes the podium for his inaugural concert as the symphony’s new music director.
Tickets to the Long Beach Symphony’s classical concerts start at $25, with student tickets available for $10. For more information, or to purchase tickets and subscriptions, visit LongBeachSymphony.org or call (562) 436-3203 ext. 1.

Source: LB Symphony

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Pianist George Li will perform with Long Beach Symphony June 10 during its final performance of the current classical season.

Photo by Christian Steiner

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