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Press Releases

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's 2018-19 Season Features 3 World Premieres, West Coast Premiere, New Programming, and More

February 8, 2018 | By Laura Stegman
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), one of the nation’s premier music ensembles and a leader in presenting wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissions, announces broadened collaborations and inventive new programming for its 2018-19 season.  Opening in September 2018 and continuing into May 2019, the season spotlights LACO's virtuosic artists and builds upon the Orchestra’s five decades of intimate and transformative musical programs.  

Highlighting an eight-program Orchestral Series are two world premieres and a West Coast premiere, all LACO commissions/co-commissions, including the world premiere of celebrated film composer James Newton Howard's Cello Concerto, a world premiere by Los Angeles composer Sarah Gibson and a West Coast premiere by Bryce Dessner, best known as a member of the Grammy® Award-nominated band The National and a force in new music.  The series also features a broad array of works by other internationally-renowned living composers, among them LACO’s Creative Advisor Andrew Norman, Matthias Pintscher, Arvo Pärt and Gabriella Smith.  A versatile and diverse array of exceptional guest artists range from classical music's most eminent to those who have more recently established themselves as among the most compelling musicians of their generation.  They include Hilary Hahn and Jennifer Koh, violins; Jonathan Biss, piano; Anthony McGill, clarinet; Lydia Teuscher, soprano; Kelley O’Connor and Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-sopranos; Tuomas Katajala, tenor; and conductors David Danzmayr, Thomas Dausgaard, Bernard Labadie, Jaime Martín, Gemma New, Peter Oundjian, Pintscher and Jeffrey Kahane, who stepped down as LACO Music Director in June 2017 after a 20-year tenure and makes his second appearance as Conductor Laureate.  LACO musicians spotlighted on several programs include Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, Principal Flute Joachim Becerra Thomsen, Principal Cello Andrew Shulman and Principal Timpani/Percussion Wade Culbreath.  Making LACO debuts are New, McGill, Danzmayr, O’Connor, DeYoung, Teuscher and Katajala.  Among the LACO signature works being presented this season are the Mozart Requiem with USC Thornton Chamber Singers, Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth symphonies, and Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony.  [details below]

Assuming LACO Guest Artist-in-Residence roles are McGill (Shaheen and Anil Nanji Guest Artist-in-Residence) and Pintscher.  McGill, now in his second season as Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, has been recognized as one of the classical music world’s finest solo, chamber and orchestral musicians.  Pintscher, who is equally accomplished as conductor and composer, also leads his own work, Transir for Flute & Orchestra, with LACO in March 2019.  Their residencies include master classes, community engagement opportunities and free public performances, along with concert appearances, providing more accessible musical opportunities to the broader Los Angeles community.

LACO Creative Advisor Andrew Norman, in his third year as LACO Composer-in-Residence, is joined by composers Derrick Spiva, Jr., Matthias Pintscher and Christopher Rountree as curators of SESSION, new artist-curated events designed to explore classical music's cutting-edge sounds and challenge concert experience expectations.  Set in nontraditional spaces, SESSION features LACO musicians who join a different composer or musical artist for each concert.  Programs fit the unique properties of the space and test ideas about the relationship between performers and audience.  As a prelude to the season, LACO Creative Advisor Andrew Norman kicks off SESSION on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at the Arts District's Angel City Brewery.  Each evening includes a "Hang SESSION" with the artists, drinks and a bite to eat.  SESSION continues in fall 2018 with Los Angeles composer Spiva, known for integrating into his work music practices from different cultural traditions around the world; in Winter 2019 with Pintscher; and in spring 2019 with conductor/composer and wild Up director Rountree, whose work stands at the intersection of classical music, new music, performance art and pop.  Dates and details to be announced.

Leading baroque violinist Monica Huggett, acclaimed British conductor Matthew Halls and mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital join LACO's Allan Vogel Chair and Principal Oboe Claire Brazeau as leaders of LACO's celebrated Baroque Conversations performances.  The five-concert series, held at The Colburn School’s Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles, spotlights repertoire from early Baroque schools through the pre-classical period.  Programming ranges from Bach's orchestral suites and keyboard concertos and Vivaldi's The Four Seasons to Thomas Adès' Sonata da Caccia for oboe, horn and harpsichord.  In signature LACO style, Baroque Conversations artists share their musical insights and invite questions from the audience to provide patrons with an in-depth look at the music and an opportunity to get to know LACO’s artists.  Programs take place on Thursdays, 7:30 pm, with dates and details to be announced. 

LACO’s In Focus chamber music series, curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, provides insights into the quintessence of the chamber music repertoire through the lens of LACO’s artists.  Program highlights include a world premiere by prominent Latin American composer Juan Pablo Contreras, recipient of the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award who is currently Los Angeles-based and noted for incorporating Mexican popular and folk music into his works.  The three-concert chamber music and discussion series is performed Wednesdays at The Huntington, San Marino, and Thursdays at the Ann and Jerry Moss Theater at Santa Monica's New Roads School.  All evenings begin at 7:30 pm, with dates and programs to be announced.

Six LACO à la carte fundraising events illustrate that music truly knows no boundaries by pairing international cuisine and musical performances in spectacular private residences of the consul general corps.  LACO’s annual fundraising Concert Gala features auctions, dinner and a special performance.  Dates, locations and programs to be announced.

LACO's education and community outreach programs, which nurture future musicians and composers as well as inspire a love of classical music, continue to reach thousands of young people through programs like Meet the Music, Community Partners, LACO-USC Thornton Strings Mentorship Program, master classes and school visits with guest artists.  LACO musicians also perform side-by-side with Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA), deepening the Orchestra’s commitment with that training organization, which introduces inner-city youth to the life-affirming power of music.

The Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, announced jointly last season by LACO, ICYOLA and USC Thornton School of Music, introduces its first class of Fellows.  Designed as the West Coast’s first comprehensive fellowship program for top-tier string musicians from underrepresented communities on the verge of launching careers in orchestral performance, the program is primarily funded by generous grants totaling $700,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  The Fellowship is a unique partnership between the country’s largest African-American-majority youth orchestra, one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras and a university with one of the country’s top music programs.  Ultimately, the program seeks to address the lack of diversity within American orchestras, in which less than 5% of the workforce is African American, Hispanic or Native American, according to a 2016 report on diversity issued by the League of American Orchestras. 

For a free season brochure, additional information about Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s 2018-19 season or to order tickets, please call 213 622 7001 x1, or visit




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