Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), considered one of the nation’s premier chamber orchestras as well as a leader in presenting wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissions, announces its 2014-15 music season, which Music Director Jeffrey Kahane’s 18th and LACO’s 46th. Kahane has programmed a mix of seminal masterpieces and enthralling premieres designed to showcase LACO’s exceptional artistry and a dynamic roster of guest artists both celebrated and rising, with the maestro conducting four of seven orchestral concerts from the podium or keyboard on Saturdays at the Alex Theatre in Glendale and on Sundays at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Kahane also continues to lead the popular “Discover” concert at Ambassador Auditorium and appears as both conductor and harpsichordist on the “Baroque Conversations” series at Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles, both of which offer audiences an in-depth look at the music as well as an opportunity to get to know LACO artists on a more personal level. LACO’s “Westside Connections” continues at the 344-seat, state-of-the-art Moss Theater at New Roads School in Santa Monica, providing an intimate setting for the fascinating and often surprising programs, which link music to disparate aspects of our culture.
Among numerous season highlights across these four diverse series are two world premieres that bookend the season, which opens with a world premiere by Australian composer Cameron Patrick paired with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 on September 20 and 21, 2014, and concludes on May 16 and 17, 2015, with a world premiere by composer Ted Hearne, who assumes in the position of Assistant Professor of Composition at USC in the fall. Hearne’s new work is presented in conjunction with the Orchestra’s unique and highly successful “Sound Investment” commissioning program, initiated during Kahane’s tenure 14 years ago to engage LACO audiences in developing new works.
Additionally, the Orchestra presents the West Coast premiere of Philadelphia-based composer Joseph Hallman’s Imagined Landscapes on April 18 and 19, 2015, and the Los Angeles premiere of the Viola Concerto by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, written for and performed by acclaimed violist Paul Neubauer, on November 15 and 16, 2014, a program which also features Kahane performing and conducting from the keyboard Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3.
LACO showcases Steven Isserlis, “one of the world’s leading cellists” (The Guardian), performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 2 under the baton of “superb,” and much sought-after Scottish conductor Douglas Boyd on October 18 and 19, 2014, with Boyd, who makes his LACO debut, also conducting Mozart’s “Haffner” Serenade and At First Light I by George Benjamin.
Dallas Symphony Assistant Conductor and “masterful” violinist Karina Canellakis, also making her LACO debut, does double duty conducting Finnish composer Pēteris Vasks’s powerfully meditative Lonely Angel, John Adams’ early masterpiece Shaker Loops and Schubert’s lighthearted Symphony No. 5, and performing Vivaldi’s vivid Violin Concerto, “La tempesta di mare” (“Storm”) on January 24 and 25, 2015.
Another multi-talented artist and LACO favorite, violinist Joseph Swensen, a renowned conductor who has twice led LACO from the podium and has recently refocused on his career as a violinist, joins the Orchestra as soloist to perform Prokofiev’s athletic Violin Concerto No. 2, on March 14 and 15, 2015. Led by Kahane, the concert also spotlights LACO Principal Flute David Shostac, on the occasion of his 40th anniversary with the Orchestra, in its first performance of Mozart’s beautiful Flute Concerto No. 1, and features LACO Composer-in-Residence Andrew Norman’s Gran Turismo for eight solo violins, which the composer describes as a “creative joyride” named after “an addictive car racing video game.”
Both making their LACO debuts, “exhilarating” New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor Joshua Weilerstein leads cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, winner of the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition, in Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1 on April 18 and 19, 2015. In addition, the rising conductor helms Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter.”
To conclude the season, Jonathan Biss, “one of the most thoughtful and technically accomplished pianists of the younger generation” (BBC Music Magazine), performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, led by Kahane, who also conducts the Hearne world premiere and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, “Italian.”
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 Mozart’s magnificent Requiem in D minor, a crowning musical statement left unfinished at the time of the composer’s untimely death.
Oregon Bach Festival Music Director/harpsichordist Matthew Halls, Jeffrey Kahane and Principal Cello Andrew Shulman are among the artists featured in the “Baroque Conversations” series at downtown LA’s Zipper Hall. This enlightening five-concert series, which provides insight into the genesis of orchestral repertoire from early Baroque schools through the pre-classical period, opens with a program that celebrates LACO artistic founder/former cellist James Arkatov. LACO repeats the concert at the Valley Performing Arts Center, in its first appearance at the Northridge Center.
Continuing to step outside the proverbial music “box,” LACO’s innovative “Westside Connections” series at Santa Monica’s Moss Theater at New Roads School, features a thought-provoking exploration this season of connections between music and architecture with such featured guests as Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne. 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.
Experimental classical music ensemble wild Up begins a three-year residency as LACO Education-Artists-in-Residence, participating in the Orchestra’s “Meet the Music” performances for 2,600 LAUSD Elementary school students annually. These performances reach younger students on a fundamental level through four live programs at downtown LA’s Zipper Hall, funded by LACO, often including student transportation, with venue costs generously waived by The Colburn School.
The Orchestra also hosts several musical fundraisers, including LACO’s annual “Concert Gala” and five “LACO à la carte” salons pairing delectable international cuisine and exclusive musical performances by LACO artists in spectacular international residences.
For a free season flyer, further information about the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s 2014-15 season or to order tickets, please call 213 622 7001, or visit www.laco.org.