Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), considered one of the nation’s premier orchestras as well as a leader in presenting wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissions, announces its 2013-14 season, its 45th, featuring 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 17th season as the Orchestra’s music director. Kahane – hailed by critics as “visionary” and “a conductor of uncommon intellect, insight and musical integrity” with “undeniable charisma” – leads four of seven “Orchestral Series” concerts from the podium and keyboard with a wide range of established and rising guest artists, most of whom are making their LACO debuts.
The first two concerts of LACO’s “Orchestral Series,” usually presented at the Alex Theatre in Glendale on Saturday evenings, temporarily shift location for the Saturday night programs to Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium while the historic Alex Theatre undergoes extensive $6 million backstage renovations, slated for completion in October 2013. All seven Sunday evening concerts continue to take place at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Kahane also continues to lead the popular “Discover” concert at Ambassador Auditorium and appears as both as conductor and pianist on the “Baroque Conversations” series at Zipper Hall, both of which offer audiences an in-depth look at the music being presented as well as an opportunity to get to know LACO artists on a more personal level. LACO’s “Westside Connections” series moves to the new 344-seat, state-of-the-art Ann and Jerry Moss Theater in the Herb Alpert Educational Village at New Roads School in Santa Monica, providing a intimate setting for the fascinating and often surprising programs.
“There’s great sonic depth, emotional texture, richness and color in the repertoire LACO explores this season,” says Kahane. “I look forward to collaborating closely with my remarkable colleagues in the Orchestra as well as with the tremendously gifted guest artists who are joining us for the first time or making a long-awaited return.”
Among numerous season highlights across these four diverse series is a world premiere by emerging composer Hannah Lash, whose work has been hailed as “striking” by The New York Times, presented as part of the Orchestra’s unique “Sound Investment” commissioning program, initiated to engage LACO audiences in developing new works.
Two highly anticipated West Coast premieres include Anna Clyne’s impressionistic Prince of Clouds, a LACO co-commission with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra and the Curtis Institute of Music, heralded as “captivating” and “exhilarating from beginning to end” (Washington Post), and Bruce Adolphe’s Do You Dream in Color?, a powerful work set to a poem about living without sight by mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin, who was born blind and joins LACO for the West Coast premiere of the orchestral version.
In addition to Rubin, other guest artists making their LACO debuts are Natasha Paremski, proclaimed a “spectacular pianist” (American Record Guide), performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21; cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, praised for his striking originality and elegance, performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major; rising violinist and 2012 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient Benjamin Beilman, featured on Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, “Turkish,” K. 219; and young piano wonder Alessio Bax, whose artistry “quivers with an almost hypnotic intensity” (Gramophone), playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491. Highly regarded violinists and Curtis Institute of Music alumni Jennifer Koh (2002) and Jaime Laredo (1959), who was also Koh’s principal teacher at Curtis, team up for Clyne’s aforementioned work and Bach’s Concerto in D minor for Two Violins, BWV 1043. Jeremy Denk, “a pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs” (The New York Times), returns to LACO to take center stage in all three pieces on the closing concert, including Ligeti’s Piano Concerto and a pair of works for two pianos that he performs with Kahane.
Making their LACO debuts as well are guest conductors Hans Graf, Houston Symphony Music Director Laureate and acclaimed Mozart interpreter; James Feddeck, Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Conductor; and Oregon Bach Festival Artistic Director-Designate Matthew Halls.
Reflecting LACO’s keen artistic sensibilities and technical acumen across musical genres, the repertoire runs the gamut from Aaron Jay Kernis’ Musica Celestis, Lutoslawski’s Chain 2 and Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, to such timeless masterworks as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, “Pastoral” and Symphony No. 1 in C major, Schubert’s Symphony No. 3 in D major and Haydn’s Symphony No. 102 in B-flat, major.
LACO’s popular annual “Discover” concert at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium features an in-depth examination by Kahane that sheds light on the creation and significance of Beethoven’s pivotal Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, “Eroica,” about which the composer stated, “I think heaven and earth must tremble beneath us when it is performed.”
Jeffrey Kahane, Concertmaster Margaret Batjer and Principal Oboe Allan Vogel are among the LACO artists featured in the “Baroque Conversations” series at downtown LA’s Zipper Hall. This enlightening five-concert series provides insight into the genesis of orchestral repertoire from early Baroque schools through the pre-classical period.
Continuing to step outside the proverbial music “box,” LACO’s innovative “Westside Connections” series this season, moving to Santa Monica’s Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, features a thought-provoking exploration of connections between music and Los Angeles and with such featured guests as Fairfax High School Alumnus Arnold Steinhardt, who was First Violin of the illustrious Guarneri Quartet for all 45 years of its existence. The inter-disciplinary three-concert chamber music series, designed to illustrate the myriad ways music is woven into society and our lives, is curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, who selects chamber works to complement the presentations of the special guests. The new 344-seat, state-of-the-art venue, with acoustics by Yasuhisa Toyota, acoustician for Walt Disney Concert Hall, opened in early 2013.
For a free season flyer, further information about the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s 2013-14 season or to order tickets, please call 213 622 7001, or visit www.laco.org.