Diverse new 2018-19 season announced for LA Chamber Orchestra


The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra may not have announced their new artistic director yet, but next year’s line-up has plenty to get excited about.  Among their vocal-related programs, watch for Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Michelle DeYoung; Mozart’s Requiem paired with a co-commission by Bryce Dessner and featuring mezzo Kelley O’Connor; and a grand season finale filled with some of history’s most magnificent composers, featuring soprano Lydia Teuscher in her LACO debut.

The new season also includes a new orchestral fellowship in collaboration with USC’s Thornton School of Music, a series of creative fundraisers, an impressive passel of guest curators and soloists, and more of the excellent performance and creative programming we’ve come to except from LACO. Clearly, their legacy continues.


Press release follows.


Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s 2018-19 season includes broadened collaborations, inventive new programming, popular works and performances across the Southland


  • Three World Premieres, all LACO Commissions/Co-Commissions, by Celebrated Film Composer James Newton Howard, Juan Pablo Contreras and Los Angeles Composer Sarah Gibson, Plus West Coast Premiere by Bryce Dessner, Best Known as Member of Grammy® Award-Nominated Band The National

  • LACO Creative Advisor Andrew Norman and Composer/Conductor Matthias Pintscher among Curators of SESSION, LACO’s New Events Designed to Explore Classical Music’s Cutting Edge Sounds and Challenge Concert Experience Expectations

  • Pintscher and New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill are 2018-19 LACO Guest Artists-in-Residence
  • Versatile, Diverse Array of Exceptional Orchestral Series Guest Artists Include Hilary Hahn and Jennifer Koh, Violins; Jonathan Biss, Piano; Anthony McGill, Clarinet; Kelley O’Connor and Michelle DeYoung, Mezzo-Sopranos; and Conductors David Danzmayr, Thomas Dausgaard, Bernard Labadie, Jaime Martín, Gemma New, Peter Oundjian, Matthias Pintscher and LACO Conductor Laureate Jeffrey Kahane
  • Mozart Requiem with USC Concert Choir, Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony among Signature LACO Works to be Performed

  • Leading Baroque Violinist Monica Huggett, Acclaimed Conductor Matthew Halls, Mandolin Virtuoso Avi Avital and LACO’s Principal Oboe Claire Brazeau Lead Celebrated Baroque Conversations Series Performances

  • LACO’s In Focus Chamber Music Series, Curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, Provides Insights into Quintessence of Chamber Music Repertoire
  • Other Presentations include LACO à la carte Salon Performances, Concert Gala and Community/Education Programs that Reach Thousands of Young People

  • Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship Introduces First Class of Fellows to Launch theComprehensive Program Addressing Lack of Diversity within American Orchestras

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 Updirector 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.

LACO’s vibrant and engaging Orchestral Series showcases the ensemble’s remarkable artistry and trademark mix of orchestral masterpieces and new works from today’s leading composers, as well as the much-admired collaborative style between LACO artists.  The 2018-19 season launches with HILARY HAHN PLAYS BACH on Saturday, September 29, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, September 30, 2018, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, when Gemma New, formerly a Los Angeles Philharmonic Dudamel Conducting Fellow, leads a program with three-time Grammy® Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn and LACO Concertmaster Margaret Batjer.  The program features LACO Creative Advisor Andrew Norman’s Try, Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins and Violin Concerto in E major, Franco Donatoni’s Eco and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, “Italian.”  On Saturday, October 27, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, October 28, 2018, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, Thomas Dausgaard conducts SIBELIUS’ THIRD, a program that includes Edvard Grieg’s Two Nordic Melodies, Arvo Pärt’s Silouan’s Song, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 3 and Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto, featuring Anthony McGill, clarinet.  Dausgaard is Principal Conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Chief Conductor Designate of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Designate of the Seattle Symphony.  For the Orchestra’s BEETHOVEN’S “PASTORAL” performances, LACO is led by David Danzmayr, widely regarded as one of the most talented and exciting European conductors of his generation, and joined by violinist Jennifer Koh, who performs Ligeti’s Violin Concerto, on Saturday, November 17, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, November 18, 2018, 7 pm, at Royce Hall.  Also on the program are Korngold’s Straussiana and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral.”  Koh, named Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, has premiered more than 60 works written for her.

The year 2019 begins with MOZART + BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH, including the season’s first world premiere, on Saturday, January 26, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, January 27, 2019, 7 pm, at Royce Hall.  Conductor Peter Oundjian leads composer Sarah Gibson’s new work, a LACO Sound Investment commission, Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Andante for Strings, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17, featuring Jonathan Biss, piano.  Oundjian, who is music director of both the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Royal National Orchestra in Scotland, is lauded as “consistently illuminating” by Gramophone.  Biss is widely regarded for his artistry, winning international recognition for his performances and award-winning recordings.  LACO commissioned Gibson as part of its singular Sound Investment program that engages LACO audiences in developing new works.  It gives participants who invest $300 (or more) the rare opportunity to create a legacy in music and observe first-hand the development of a new work from the composer’s earliest ideas to the finished composition.  Membership includes intimate salons throughout the season featuring in-depth discussion with the composer about the creative process, unique reading sessions of the work-in-progress and tickets to the work’s premiere.

LACO’s Orchestral Series continues with MICHELLE DEYOUNG – SONG OF THE EARTH on Saturday, March 2, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, March 3, 2019, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, when Matthias Pintscher leads his own work, Transir for Flute & Orchestra, with LACO’s Principal Flute Joachim Becerra Thomsen.  Also featured on the program are Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano, and Tuomas Katajala, tenor, in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (orch. Cortese).  DeYoung appears frequently with many of the world’s leading orchestras, and Katajala is one of Scandinavia’s most versatile and sought after artists.  The season’s second world premiere is spotlighted during KAHANE ON MOZART, Saturday, March 23, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, March 24, 2019, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, featuring LACO’s Conductor Laureate Jeffrey Kahane, who conducts and performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14.  LACO Principal Cello Andrew Shulman is featured on the world premiere of Grammy®-, Emmy®- and Academy® Award-nominated composer James Newton Howard’s Cello Concerto, a LACO commission.  LACO Principal Timpani/Percussion Wade Culbreath takes center stage for Gabriella Smith’s Riprap for marimba and strings, and the program also includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 36, “Linz.”  On Saturday, April 27, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, April 28, 2019, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, MOZART’S REQUIEM is led by Jaime Martín, who conducts a West Coast premiere by Bryce Dessner, Voy a Dormir, a LACO co-commission with Carnegie Hall and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, featuring Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano.  The USC Thornton Chamber Singers join LACO for Mozart’s ever-popular Requiem.  Martín has risen to international acclaim as a conductor in recent years, following his prominent career as a flautist.  Dessner is one of the most sought-after composers of his generation, with a rapidly expanding catalog of works commissioned by leading ensembles.  Known to many as a guitarist with The National, he is also active as a force in the flourishing realm of new, creative music.  O’Connor, possessing a voice of uncommon allure and musical sophistication far beyond her years, has won a Grammy® Award.  The season concludes with BACH, HANDEL, MOZART & HAYDN on Saturday, May 18, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, May 19, 2019, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, with a program led by Bernard Labadie, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading Baroque and Classical conductors, featuring Lydia Teuscher, soprano.  Labadie conducts Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 and Haydn’s Symphony No. 94, “Surprise,” among other works.  Teuscher collaborates regularly with Sir Roger Norrington, Helmuth Rilling, Markus Stenz and Labadie, among other conductors.

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” by Public Radio International, has established itself among the world’s top musical ensembles.  Over the past five decades, the Orchestra, noted as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and a champion of contemporary composers, has made 31 recordings, toured Europe, South America, Japan and North America, earning adulation from audiences and critics alike, and garnered eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming.  With the establishment of LACO in 1968 as an artistic outlet for the recording industry’s most gifted musicians, Los Angeles’ music and culture scene took a major step forward.  Since then, the Orchestra’s five illustrious music directors – Sir Neville Marriner, Gerard Schwarz, Iona Brown, Christof Perick and Jeffrey Kahane – have set a standard of musical excellence for the Orchestra that continues today.  LACO’s founder, cellist James Arkatov, envisioned an ensemble that would allow the Orchestra’s conservatory-trained players to balance studio work and teaching with pure artistic collaboration at the highest level.  Financial backing for the Orchestra came from philanthropist Richard Colburn and managerial expertise from attorney Joseph Troy, who also became LACO’s first president.

LACO recognizes the generous support of The Colburn Foundation and Carol & Warner Henry.  Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.  The Orchestra also receives public funding via grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

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 www.laco.org.
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2018-19 SEASON


Hilary Hahn Plays Bach
Saturday, September 29, 2018, 8 pm, Alex Theatre
Sunday, September 30, 2018, 7 pm, Royce Hall

Gemma New, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
Margaret Batjer, violin

BACH                           Concerto for Two Violins
BACH                           Violin Concerto in E major
DONATONI                  Eco
MENDELSSOHN          Symphony No. 4, “Italian”

Sibelius’ Third
Saturday, October 27, 2018, 8 pm, Alex Theatre
Sunday, October 28, 2018, 7 pm, Royce Hall

Thomas Dausgaard, conductor
Anthony McGill, clarinet

GRIEG                         Two Nordic Melodies
ARVO PÄRT                 Silouan’s Song
NIELSEN                      Clarinet Concerto
SIBELIUS                     Symphony No. 3

Beethoven’s “Pastoral”
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 8 pm, Alex Theatre
Sunday, November 18, 2018, 7 pm, Royce Hall

David Danzmayr, conductor
Jennifer Koh, violin

KORNGOLD                 Straussiana
LIGETI                         Violin Concerto
BEETHOVEN               Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral”

Mozart + Beethoven’s Fifth
Saturday, January 26, 2019, 8 pm, Alex Theatre
Sunday, January 27, 2019, 7 pm, Royce Hall

Peter Oundjian, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano

SARAH GIBSON           title TBA (LACO Sound Investment commission, world premiere)
MOZART                      Piano Concerto No. 17
SEEGER                      Andante for Strings
BEETHOVEN               Symphony No. 5

Michelle DeYoung – Song of the Earth
Saturday, March 2, 2019, 8 pm, Alex Theatre
Sunday, March 3, 2019, 7 pm, Royce Hall

Matthias Pintscher, conductor
Joachim Becerra Thomsen, flute
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano
Tuomas Katajala, tenor

MATHIAS PINTSCHER              Transir for Flute & Orchestra
MAHLER (orch. Cortese) Das Lied von der Erde

Kahane On Mozart
Saturday, March 23, 2019, 8 pm, Alex Theatre
Sunday, March 24, 2019, 7 pm, Royce Hall

Jeffrey Kahane, conductor & piano
Andrew Shulman, cello
Wade Culbreath, percussion

MOZART                      Piano Concerto No. 14
JAMES NEWTON HOWARD Cello Concerto (LACO co-commission, world premiere)
GABRIELLA SMITH      Riprap for Marimba and Strings
MOZART                      Symphony No. 36, “Linz”

Mozart’s Requiem
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 8 pm, Alex Theatre
Sunday, April 28, 2019, 7 pm, Royce Hall
Jaime Martín, conductor
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano (Dessner)
USC Thornton Chamber Singers

BRYCE DESSNER        Voy a Dormir (LACO co-commission with Carnegie Hall and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, West Coast premiere)
MOZART                      Requiem

Season Finale: Bach, Handel, Mozart & Haydn
Saturday, May 18, 2019, 8 pm, Alex Theatre
Sunday, May 19, 2019, 7 pm, Royce Hall

Bernard Labadie, conductor
Lydia Teuscher, soprano

BACH                           Orchestral Suite No. 3
HANDEL                       Three Opera Arias
MOZART                      Three Arias
HAYDN                        Symphony No. 94, “Surprise”

Thursday, May 24, 2018, Angel City Brewery, Los Angeles’ Arts District

Andrew Norman, curator
Fall 2018
Derrick Spiva Jr., curator
Winter 2019
Matthias Pintscher, curator
Spring 2019
Christopher Rountree, curator
Dates, times, locations and programs to be announced.

Dates and programs to be announced; 7:30 pm, Zipper Hall, downtown Los Angeles.

Dates and programs to be announced; 7:30 pm, The Huntington, San Marino, and Ann and Jerry Moss Theater at The Herb Alpert Educational Village at New Roads School, Santa Monica

Dates, locations and programs to be announced

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Artists, dates, times and programs subject to change.

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