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Press Releases

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Spotlights Montgomery, Mozart R. Strauss

January 13, 2022 | By Libby Huebner
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, led by Music Director Jaime Martín, showcases works by award-winning contemporary composer Jessie Montgomery, Mozart and R. Strauss on Saturday, January 29, 2022, 8 pm, at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium. Although LACO has previously performed at the celebrated venue acclaimed for its stellar acoustics, this will be Martín’s first time conducting there. The program opens with Strum by Jessie Montgomery, whose work, described as “exploding with life” (The Washington Post), skillfully weaves American folk idioms and elements of dance and movement. Martín also conducts R. Strauss’ orchestral suite Le bourgeois gentilhomme and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for Four Winds in E-flat major, showcasing four LACO principals – Claire Brazeau, oboe, Kenneth Munday, bassoon, Joshua Ranz, clarinet, and Michael Thornton, horn. The concert marks the final LACO performance by Munday, the Orchestra’s longest serving current musician, who joined the Orchestra at age 23 and will be retiring after anchoring the bassoon section for 46 years.

 

“It is thrilling for LACO to return to Ambassador Auditorium with an eclectic and compelling program that spotlights the Orchestra itself,” says Martín. “It will also be a bittersweet evening as we celebrate the incredible musical legacy of Ken Munday, who has been an integral part of LACO helping to shape the distinctive sound of the woodwind section for more than four and a half decades. His impact on the orchestra is profound and will be felt for decades to come.”

 

Adds Executive Director Ben Cadwallader, “We salute Ken Munday for his historic contributions to LACO during his lengthy and fruitful tenure and wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement. This will no doubt be an emotional evening for the orchestra and our patrons.”

 

Munday was appointed LACO Principal Bassoon by Sir Neville Marriner in 1976, becoming the Orchestra’s youngest principal player at the time. Marriner encouraged Munday and other principals in the orchestra to form a baroque ensemble, Musical Offering, which subsequently performed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, and made three recordings for Nonesuch featuring music by Vivaldi, Telemann and JS Bach and his sons. Munday was also a founding member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Winds, which recorded Mozart wind serenades and Janácek’s Mládí for Nonesuch and the Mozart and Beethoven Piano and Wind quintets for Delos. Additionally, he was featured on the solo bassoon part in a recording of Richard Strauss’s Duet Concertina with clarinetist David Shifren for Nonesuch. Munday has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Oregon Bach Festival, recording Bach’s Brandenburg concertos, orchestral suites and many other works, including the Grammy Award-winning Credo by Krzysztof Pendereki. Munday also recorded for Naxos Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XII, a solo bassoon piece featuring extended techniques, such as double circular breathing, keeping the sound uninterrupted by breathing for 19 minutes. An active studio musician, Munday has played on over 950 film and TV projects, including Titanic, Toy Story, Cars, Back to the Future, Jumanji, Wreck-It Ralph, and Star Wars. He has recorded with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Neil Young and many others. In addition, he has performed on baroque and classical bassoons with Music Angelica, Philharmonia Baroque, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.

 

LACO recognizes the generous support of the Colburn Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The Orchestra also receives public funding via grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.  The appearance of Kenneth Munday in “Montgomery, Mozart Strauss” is made possible, in part, with support from Anne-Marie Alex Spataru.

 

Tickets start at $29 and may be purchased online at laco.org or by calling LACO at 213 622 7001 x1. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for seniors 65 years of age and older and for students.

 

COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS
LACO is committed to the health and safety of its patrons, artists and staff and will require proof of full vaccination for everyone attending in-person LACO events. Social distancing will be implemented and, under current Los Angeles County guidelines, masks will be required indoors at all times. LACO will continue to exceed state and local guidelines, recommendations and requirements for indoor activities. For the most current information on LACO’s COVID safety protocols, visit LACO.org/covid-19.

Effective the performance on January 29, LACO’s vaccine requirement for all eligible audience members includes a COVID-19 booster obtained no later than January 29, 2022.

Eligibility for the COVID-19 booster is as follows: for all Moderna recipients and Pfizer recipients ages 12 , boosters are eligible five months after their second vaccine dose. Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients are eligible for a booster dose two months after their initial vaccine

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

LOS ANGELES CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (LACO) ranks among the world’s top musical ensembles. Beloved by audiences and praised by critics, the Orchestra is a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and, with eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, a champion of contemporary composers. Headquartered in the heart of the country's cultural capital, LACO has been proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” (Public Radio International), “LA’s most unintimidating chamber music experience” (Los Angeles magazine), “resplendent” (Los Angeles Times), and “one of the world's great chamber orchestras"(KUSC Classical FM). Performing throughout greater Los Angeles, the Orchestra has made 32 recordings, including, most recently, a 2019 BIS Records release of works for violin and chamber orchestra that features Concertmaster Margaret Batjer and the world premiere recording of Pierre Jalbert’s Violin Concerto (a LACO co-commission). In 2020, due to the global pandemic, LACO pivoted from presenting live performances to producing the groundbreaking CLOSE QUARTERS interdisciplinary digital series melding musical and visual arts, which has garnered more than 1.6 million views across social media platforms since its debut in November 2020. The “digitally native” programs, created specifically for streaming and applauded as “musically and artistically compelling” (Los Angeles Times) have “redefined how classical music can be presented in the 21st century (Cultural Attaché). LACO, with offices located in downtown Los Angeles, has toured Europe, South America and Japan, and performed across North America. www.laco.org.

 

In September 2019, JAIME MARTÍN assumed his LACO post and also became Chief Conductor of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra. In LACO concert reviews, the Los Angeles Times has hailed Martín’s “infectious music making,” noting “the musicians seem to be having a blast. The audience is invited to the party.” Overseas, he has been praised as "a visionary conductor, discerning and meticulous" (Platea Magazine), and London's The Telegraph said, "his infectious enjoyment of the music communicated to the orchestra and audience alike.” He has been Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Gävle Symphony Orchestra since 2013 and is the Artistic Advisor of the Santander Festival.  He was also a founding member of the Orquestra de Cadaqués, where he was Chief Conductor from 2012 to 2019. Having spent many years as a highly regarded flautist, Martín turned to conducting full-time in 2013, and very quickly became sought after at the highest level.  Recent and future engagements include appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Antwerp Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony and Gulbenkian orchestras, as well as a nine-city European tour with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Martín has recorded a series of highly acclaimed Brahms discs for Ondine Records with the Gävle Symphony and various discs with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra for Tritó Records. He has also commissioned multiple world and regional premieres of works by composers including Ellen Reid, Andrew Norman, Missy Mazzoli, Derrick Spiva, Albert Schnelzer and Juan Pablo Contreras. As a flautist, Martín was principal flute of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, English National Opera, Academy of St Martin the Fields and London Philharmonic Orchestra. Jaime Martín is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music, London, where he was a flute professor.

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