• Saturday, Sep. 29, 2018


Opening Night: American Fusion

We open the season with an off-the-charts fusion of contemporary American music in celebration of the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein. In tribute to Bernstein’s fascination with Pop Music, we start the concert with a work by Frank Zappa who began his career in classical music but found acceptance only in pop/rock music due to his often-irreverent song titles. Zappa thought the work was too difficult for humans to play, so you won’t want to miss the Long Beach Symphony executing its throbbing motifs! Then, listen for jazz elements in Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra and in his iconic Rhapsody in Blue, a work Bernstein had played and recorded early in his career. The second half of the program will showcase composer Mason Bates (born 1977), a Bernstein protégé, whose Mothership offers virtuosic riffs over action-packed electro-acoustic orchestral figuration. This explosive program closes with music by the honoree: Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.