Photo of Eckart Preu courtesy of Long Beach Symphony.
New Music Director Designate Eckart Preu of the Long Beach Symphony is taking part in conducting four free concerts for 12,000 elementary students this week, followed by a concert this Saturday at the Terrace Theater of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, it was announced.
The Long Beach Symphony has also announced Preu’s inaugural season repertoire of six concerts that begin in October 2017 and end in June 2018. Dance, performance, food, libations, and visuals have been designed into each concert.
Saturday’s event showcases Camille Saint-Sean’s Danse Macabra, Paul Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Claude Debussy’s prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun, dubbed by Peru and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.
“The work is not only playing mind games on the ‘artist’ whose life it portrays,” Preu said in a statement, referring to the Berlioz piece. “It may be playing mind games with us as well.”
The Saturday concert begins at 8:00PM. Doors open at 6:30PM for those who wish to attend a discussion with Preu prior at 7:00PM. There will also be a toast held after the concert in his honor.
Fourth and fifth graders of Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) and Gulf Elementary fifth graders from Wilmington will be in attendance for the four free symphony concerts on February 1 and 2.
“These concerts may be the only opportunity many of these students have to hear a symphony orchestra play live and to learn from professional musicians,” said Long Beach Symphony Executive Director Kelly Lucera, in a statement. “Watching 12,000 kids file into the concert hall is a truly moving experience, and we are excited to have them be some of the first residents to meet Maestro Preu.”
These concerts are based on the theme, “Symphonic Superheroes.” Students will have the opportunity to meet superhero characters upon arrival.
In addition, 100 LBUSD honors orchestra high school students will join the Long Beach Symphony musicians for these concerts. Dozens of middle school orchestra students are also attending rehearsals.
Preu, from Erfurt in East Germany, was announced music director in August after a two-year search. He earned his masters in Hoschule fuer Musik in Weimer, and continued to study in Paris at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique.
Concert tickets start at $25 with student tickets available for $10.
To purchase tickets and find more information, visit the Long Beach Symphony website here.
The Long Beach Performing Arts Center is located at 249 East Ocean Boulevard, Suite 200.