Dr. Geoffrey Pope Becomes BCSO Conductor & Music Director

BCSO is excited to announce Dr. Pope as our new music director!

Maestro Pope guest conducts the BCSO November 2019 Concert.
Maestro Pope guest conducts the BCSO November 2019 Concert.

REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA, JULY 15, 2021 – The magic of live performance of the world’s greatest music, in works both timely and timeless, begins anew with Beach Cities Symphony’s return to the performance hall on Friday, October 28th at 7:15pm. The Beach Cities Symphony Orchestra welcomes new music director and conductor Dr. Geoffrey Pope – leading the orchestra and its audience together into a new generation of concert-going – at El Camino College’s Marsee Auditorium.

Geoffrey Pope brings deep roots in the South Bay community to his new role, having begun his artistic journey as a USC music composition student, and returning to earn his doctorate in conducting at UCLA after receiving degrees at the Eastman School of Music in New York. Just prior to the pandemic, he conducted the Symphony Orchestra and the Opera at UC Irvine, and is ready now to bring post-pandemic vigor and creativity to the question of “What’s the orchestra experience that will liberate us all from lockdown?”

Dr. Pope is candid in acknowledging the need for fresh thinking to elevate the concert experience to 21st-century standards.

“Today’s opportunity,” he says, “is the chance to engage an audience that may never have come to a full-orchestra concert, but nonetheless has high expectations – developed from the music they already enjoy, including everything from movie soundtracks to video game music – to experience great works by both known and unfamiliar classical composers.”

What makes for great music, he believes, is a composer who has something to say, who has the tenacity to develop the technique with which to say it. He feels the same is true about engaging with music both as interpreters and listeners.

“We form emotional attachments to music we come to know, and often associate this music with important experiences and feelings of our own. Creating that connection with an audience requires concert programs that include the best of contemporary works, as well as familiar classics,” he says – and his programs for the upcoming season, hopefully resuming soon, bear out that conviction.

Pope is also committed to the multi-decade mission of the Beach Cities Symphony to develop the future talent pool – not only tomorrow’s performers, like the competitively selected soloists who appear in the orchestra’s annual “Artists of the Future” concerts, but also a next generation of the skilled composers, producers, and technicians who will continue to make live performance vital and accessible. He looks forward to expanding the educational outreach programs of the orchestra, as well as extending its range of performed works in directions that appeal to diverse audiences.

“It’s an exciting time to be a musician,” Dr. Pope enthuses. “After more than two-plus years of the pandemic’s deprivation of live experiences, both artists and audiences are eager to return with even more engagement and appreciation of the delight that comes from an evening sharing great music.”

The Beach Cities Symphony looks forward to their 73rd season kickoff with a pre-concert lecture by Dr. Pope at 7:15pm and the orchestra’s performance of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and featuring Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 2 with Melia Badalian as the soloist. BCSO pays special tribute to former horn player, Mr. Bob Peterson, who played with the symphony from 1949 through 2020, when the pandemic shut down everything. Sadly, Bob passed at nearly 100-years old in 2021, and Beach Cities Symphony will be playing this upcoming concert in memory of Bob Peterson, Margaret McWilliam – another decades-long musician and board member – along with board member Audrie Wing, who all passed in the last 1-2 years. Their spirit lives on through our music!
Dr. Pope shakes hands with BCSO soloist Georgi Slavchev at the Nov 2019 BCSO concert.
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The Beach Cities Symphony Association (the 501c3 fundraising arm of the BCSO) believes that music enriches individuals, whether performer or member of the audience, and the community at large. We promote the musical arts by volunteering our time and talents for the enjoyment and enhancement of both performers and audience.

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