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The Long Beach Symphony is a symphony orchestra based in Long Beach, California. Founded in 1935 as an amateur "recreational ensemble", it became fully professional in 1966 and hired the Cuban conductor Alberto Bolet two years later. The orchestra faced serious financial troubles in the mid-1980s and cancelled an entire season in 1984-85. In 1989, pioneering female conductor JoAnn Falletta took over and served for 11 years. Since 2001 the company has been led by music director Enrique Arturo Diemecke, a native of Mexico, who announced his departure in November 2013.
The Long Beach Symphony (LBSO) presents six Classics Concerts and five Orchestra POPS! events and several free Sounds and Spaces Concerts at different venues in the Long Beach Arena. LBSO has 83 tenured musicians, including many of Southern California's first-call studio players.
Known for its comprehensive music-education programs, the LBSO reaches more than 30,000 students each year, including the Miller Foundation Symphony Concerts for Young People. In partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District, every 4th and 5th grader is bussed to the Terrace Theater for four symphony concerts over two days.
The education programs of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra are sequentially designed, created as age-appropriate music education experiences, and provide an opportunity for students to experience musical performances at a world-class and professional level.