Celebrated author Mona Simpson, whose 2011 novel My Hollywood features a classical composer as protagonist, joins members of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) on Monday, April 15, 2013, 7:30 pm, at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, for the final program in the Orchestra’s innovative “Westside Connections” chamber music series, which this season pairs LACO’s virtuosic musicians with top authors for a fascinating exploration of the relationship between “Music & Story.” Simpson offers her insights into the Beethoven Violin Sonata that inspired Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata, which in turn inspired Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1, both of which are performed by LACO artists as part of the evening. Janáček confided in a letter to his young muse Kamila Stösslová, “I was imagining a poor woman, tormented and run down, just like the one the Russian writer Tolstoy describes in his Kreutzer Sonata.”
LACO Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, currently celebrating her 15th anniversary with the Orchestra, curates and hosts the series, which showcases the virtuoso talent of LACO musicians and illustrates the myriad ways music touches other artistic disciplines, society and our lives. Joining Batjer on piano for Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata is LACO Music Director Jeffrey Kahane. Principal Second Violin Josefina Vergara, Violin Carrie Kennedy, Associate Principal Viola Victoria Miskolczy, Associate and Principal Cello Armen Ksajikian are featured in Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1.
Simpson, whose other novels include Anywhere but Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy and Off Keck Road, is a professor of English at UCLA and of Languages and Literature at Bard College. She has received numerous accolades, including a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a Lila Wallace Readers Digest Writers award, a Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and, most recently, an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is considered one of the nation’s premier orchestras as well as a leader in presenting wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissions. Its 2012-13 season, the Orchestra’s 44th, features a compelling mix of beloved masterpieces and genre-defying premieres from firmly established and notable up-and-coming composers programmed by Jeffrey Kahane, one of the world’s foremost conductors and pianists, who marks his 16th season as LACO’s music director.
“Westside Connections” tickets ($50) are on sale now and may be purchased online at laco.org, by calling LACO at 213 622 7001 x 1, or at the venue box office on the night of the concert, if tickets remain. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for groups of 12 or more. The Broad Stage is located at 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA, 90401.