The Long Beach Symphony playing Barber and Mahler will host guest soprano Elissa Johnston.

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony: You haven’t really heard it ’til you’ve heard it live

On June 8 at 8:00 PM, the Long Beach Symphony wraps up its classical series season with enduring music of pomp and unity: Handel’s Royal Fireworks Music and Beethoven’s epic 9th Symphony. The concert will take place in the Terrace Theater of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center (300 E. Ocean Boulevard).

The concert begins with Handel’s jubilant Royal Fireworks orchestral suite that was composed for an outdoor festival celebrating the end of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48). Its opening trumpet fanfares announce the magnitude of the celebration. It is said that King George II had forbidden Handel to use any string instruments; seeking the proper musical balance for his composition, however, Handel did not entirely comply with that mandate.

The concert finale is Beethoven’s monumental 9th Symphony, which Long Beach Symphony Maestro Eckart Preu refers to as the “crown of classical music.” Written at a point when the composer was completely deaf, this masterpiece incorporates 4 vocalists and a chorus in the well-known “Ode to Joy” section based on Schiller’s poem of the same name. Soloists Kala Maxym, Soprano – I-Chin Feinblatt, Alto – Jason Francisco, Tenor – Steve Pence, Bass will be joined by the Long Beach Camerata Singers. The libretto puts forth a society of universal brotherhood, bringing the Symphony’s 84th season to a joyful close.

“People know and love this Symphony,” added Symphony President Kelly Lucera, “but many have never heard it played live. Live music is the ‘highest art’ – because you can interact with the musicians and the conductor. It’s a one-time expression only captured in the moment, never to be repeated.”

Concertgoers may enjoy the pre-concert talk that begins at 7:00 PM. For those who prefer to mix and mingle, there will be music in the lobby and, weather permitting, firepits outdoors on the plaza. Doors open at 6:30 PM and concert starts promptly at 8:00 PM.

Tickets to the concert start at $29 with student tickets available for $10. For more information or to purchase tickets and subscriptions visit or call 562-436-3203 ext. 1. Tickets are also available on

The Symphony’s 85th Anniversary season begins September 28, 2019 and runs through May 30, 2020. Subscriptions are available for purchase at

Concert sponsored in part by Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Mahoney, Mahoney Law Group, APC, Dottie and Ken* Reiner, and Ovation! – Volunteers of the Long Beach Symphony.

Established in 1935, the Long Beach Symphony marks its 84th season in 2018-19. Each year the Symphony draws over 60,000 people to its six Classical concerts in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center Terrace Theater, five POPS! concert events in the Long Beach Arena, as well as its new family concert series and student-only concerts. The Symphony partners with the Long Beach Unified School District to provide over 150 free music education programs throughout the year. Through its comprehensive music education programs—including professional ensembles in elementary and middle schools and the Toyota Youth Concerts program – the Symphony reaches more than 25,000 students annually. For more information, please visit

This article was released by Long Beach Symphony.