Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras renowned for its wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissioning initiatives, has received a generous $1 million challenge gift, the largest gift in the Orchestra’s 44-year history, from dedicated LACO subscribers and supporters Terri and Jerry Kohl. The unprecedented challenge has attracted $1 million in additional support from two anonymous donors. The $2 million, raised as a result of the Kohls’ challenge gift and the other contributions, provides the foundation for LACO’s newly established Cornerstone Campaign, a major gifts and endowment initiative to further strengthen the Orchestra’s fiscal health, ensuring its continued artistic advancement and role as an indispensable community resource. Subsequently, two additional gifts totaling $200,000 have been donated to the Cornerstone Campaign.
The Kohls, generous arts patrons, became LACO subscribers in 2007 and have provided financial support to LACO in the past. Founders of Brighton, the successful Southern California-based women’s accessories company, they have taken their commitment to LACO to a new level.
“Terri and I are deeply upset that many orchestras around the country have been struggling due to difficult economic times,” Jerry says. “Although LACO has been fiscally responsible, it, like other orchestras, has had to make considerable sacrifices in recent years in order to maintain its fiscal standing. We chose to make this gift because we don’t want the Orchestra to ever compromise its artistic programming, even in difficult economic times. We want to make sure they don’t have to cut back any more. LACO has some of the best musicians in the world, and we want to see them continue to make the best music ever. We want to see the arts in Los Angeles thrive and challenge others to help make that a reality.”
States LACO Music Director Jeffrey Kahane, “Jerry and Terri’s Kohl’s magnificent gift – and the gifts of the donors who quickly stepped up to match their challenge – are not only a powerful statement of their belief in LACO’s importance as one of the region’s cultural crown jewels, but they also have tremendous symbolic significance at a time when so many orchestras around the country are fighting for survival. All of us at LACO are convinced that these gifts have opened a new chapter in the distinguished history of this great orchestra and that they will inspire many others to follow suit in helping to assure an era of lasting stability and dynamic growth.”
Adds LACO Executive Director Rachel Fine, “Terri and Jerry have been passionate and committed supporters of LACO for many years, and their extraordinarily generous gift reflects their visionary efforts and deep desire to ensure LACO’s continued success in the future. We are very grateful to the Kohls and to those who met their challenge.”
The Kohls, who were high school sweethearts, launched Brighton in 1991 after running their own specialty store for many years, where they learned that people love being treated well and how important it is to have beautifully made products. Over the years, Brighton has grown from a single collection of belts to an accessory company with something for everyone, including handbags, shoes and eyewear. The company strives to touch people’s hearts, which is why the symbol adorning its products is a heart. Today, although the business has grown beyond the Kohls’ wildest dreams, one thing never changes – the people of Brighton put passion, inspiration, and their hearts, into each and every product. The company prides itself on the “Brighton Difference,” which is rooted in the philosophy that the difference is in the details. Brighton’s designers sketch each creation by hand and then follow the product from concept to completion. Brighton leather accessories are hand assembled and often require as many as 140 individual manufacturing steps using up to 40 different parts, resulting in timeless creations. Each piece in the Brighton collection is a unique original design. Brighton is a division of Leegin Creative Leather Products based in City of Industry, CA. For more than 30 years, Leegin has been manufacturing belts and other leather accessories at a California factory that has expanded from a shop with five employees to a technologically advanced plant employing more than 600 people.
To make a contribution in support of LACO or the Cornerstone Campaign, please call (213) 622-7001or visit www.laco.org.
LOS ANGELES CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (LACO), proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” by Public Radio International, has established itself among the world’s top musical ensembles. Since 1997, LACO has performed under acclaimed conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, hailed by critics as “visionary” and “a conductor of uncommon intellect, insight and musical integrity.” Under Kahane’s leadership, the Orchestra maintains its status as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and a champion of contemporary composers. During its 44-year history, the Orchestra has made 30 recordings, toured Europe, South America and Japan, performed across North America and garnered seven ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. LACO presents its Orchestral Series at both the Alex Theatre and Royce Hall, Baroque Conversations at Zipper Hall, Westside Connections chamber music series at The Broad Stage, and an annual Discover concert at Ambassador Auditorium. LACO also presents a Concert Gala, an annual Silent Film screening and several fundraising salons each year. Additionally, LACO’s outreach programs Meet the Music, Community Partners, Campus to Concert Hall and the LACO/USC Thornton Strings Mentorship Program reach thousands of young people annually.