New season announced for LA Master Chorale

The season of seasons is here! Here’s the latest on a very busy 2022-23 for the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Eight concerts of their own, six appearance with LA Phil, and two shows on the road. Good music ahead…

See press release below:

Los Angeles Master Chorale Announces 2022-23 Season

  • From Ellington and Esmail to Handel and Haydn, the Master Chorale Showcases the Full Power of Human Expression in Choral Music
  • Peter Sellars Returns to Premiere Staging for Music to Accompany a Departure set to Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien (Funeral Music)

2022-23 Season Highlights:

Haydn’s famous masterpiece, The Creation, a celebration of the dawn of life featuring soloists Anna Schubert, soprano, Arnold Livingston Geis, tenor, Justin Hopkins, bass, opens the season, led by Grant Gershon (October 8 & 9, 2022)

Peter Sellars Returns for World Premiere Staging of Music to Accompany a Departure set to Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien (Funeral Music) (November 20, 2022)

Lo, How a Rose pays tribute to the classic Renaissance Christmas carol by Michael Praetorious, with world premieres by Mari Esabel Valverde and Cristian Grases, and works by Benjamin Britten, Shawn Kirchner, Morten Lauridsen, Ariel Quintana, Hyo-Won Woo, and more (December 11, 2022)

Two beloved holiday traditions return: Festival of Carols (December 10 & 17, 2022), featuring treasured carols and songs, Handel’s perennially popular Messiah (December 18, 2022)
Choose Something Like A Star, named after the Robert Frost poem, features a range of music, from Brahms and Schumann to Meredith Monk and Michael Abels (February 12, 2023)

A world premiere of a new work by Swan Family Artist-in-Residence Reena Esmail is paired with Gabriel Fauré’sRequiem in D minor, one of the great treasures of the choral repertoire (March 26, 2023)

The sacred music of jazz legends: music from Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts and Mary Lou Williams’s Mary Lou’s Mass (June 10 & 11, 2023)


(Los Angeles, CA) March 24, 2022 – The Los Angeles Master Chorale, led by Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director, announced its 2022-23 season during GALA 2022, held on March 23, 2022, at Walt Disney Concert Hall in celebration of Gershon’s 20th anniversary season. As Gershon noted during his remarks, “I am truly humbled to celebrate 20 years with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, an ensemble and organization that has inspired me since day one. From the exceptional talent of the singers, to the unwavering support of our staff, board members and audiences, we have created a special community connected by our love for choral music. The future looks brighter than ever, and I look forward to more music-making for a long time to come.”

“The Master Chorale’s 2022-23 season reflects the broad range and significance of choral music as a means for human expression,” said Jean Davidson, President & CEO. “From classical masterpieces to new works from today’s leading composers, this season is a testament to how choral music transcends time, place and boundaries, uniting us in our shared humanity.”

Season at a Glance

The Los Angeles Master Chorale begins its 2022-23 season with Haydn’s grand oratorio, The Creation, depicting the biblical creation story with texts from Genesis and Paradise Lost. The mysterious opening notes represent the universe before time itself, and what follows is some of Haydn’s most beautiful and dramatic music. It all adds up to what Gershon calls “a piece of theater rather than of the church” and “one of the most joyous and literally life-affirming works ever written.”

Continuing a decades-long collaboration with the Master Chorale, including the world-renowned Lagrime di San Pietro, director Peter Sellars returns for Music to Accompany a Departure, set to the music of Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien (Funeral Music). Twenty-four singers breathe life and movement into this meditation on death and homage to those who have left us. Heinrich Schütz remains one of the most revered in the history of sacred music. Though a majority of his compositions are lost to history, including the earliest German opera, Schütz’s surviving works are of such a caliber that his place in music history is secured. Considered to be the first known requiem composed in the German language, the Musikalische Exequien stands as Schütz’s most extensive funerary compositions. Consisting of three parts played throughout an elaborate service, Schütz’s work anticipates the great oratorios of Bach while synthesizing the major traditions of sacred orchestral and choral music from past composers and his own era.

Throughout 2018 and 2019, the Master Chorale toured Lagrime di San Pietro, which opened the famed Salzburg Festival in July 2019. The Salzburg performances received standing ovations and rave reviews from such outlets as the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which called Lagrime “painfully beautiful” (Schmerzlicheschön). In its review of the premiere of Lagrime, the Los Angeles Timesnoted that the production “is a major accomplishment for the Master Chorale, which sang and acted brilliantly. It is also a major accomplishment for music history.”

The Master Chorale’s Lo, How a Rose concert pays tribute to the classic Renaissance Christmas carol by Michael Praetorius that celebrates the wonder of the season. The program includes beloved works by former composers-in-residence Shawn Kirchner and Morten Lauridsen, world premieres by Mari Esabel Valverde and Cristian Grases, and music by Hyo-Won Woo, Ariel Quintana, Benjamin Britten and more. Choose Something Like a Star, named after a poem by Robert Frost, features music of aspiration and inspiration, from Brahms and Schumann to Meredith Monk and Michael Abels.The Master Chorale gave the world premiere of Abels’ “The Open Hand” during GALA 2022, and performed music from his scores for Get Out and Us at the Great Opera and Film Choruses concert in 2019.

Swan Family Artist-in-Residence Reena Esmail often says that her music exists between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music. The premiere of Reena’s latest work is paired with Fauré’s Requiem in D Minor, a musical tribute to the composer’s beloved father and a stunning showcase of the human voice. In its sequence of movements, the Requiem departs significantly from the standard liturgical text. Fauré included two new sections, the lyrical Pie Jesu and the transcendent In Paradisum, with its soaring vocal line and murmuring harp accompaniment. He also omitted the Dies Irae and Tuba Mirum—for most composers an opportunity to exploit to the full the dramatic possibilities of all the available choral and orchestral forces. Consequently, the prevailing mood is one of peacefulness and serenity, and the work has often been described, quite justly, as a Requiem without the Last Judgment.

Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams were giants of jazz who never stopped searching for new means of expression. Inspired by their faith, both created major sacred choral works that grew out of the African American church tradition and pushed against the boundaries of both sacred music and jazz. Ellington/Williams is a celebration of distinctive music created by two American originals. Ellington’s choral music comes from what he called his Sacred Concerts, written between 1965 and 1973, as he was thinking about his mortality and becoming more spiritual. Beginning in 1954, Williams took a three-year break from jazz and performance, and went through a period of intense reflection about the meaning of her life’s work. When she emerged from her retreat, she had committed herself to Christianity, becoming an enthusiastic convert to Catholicism. She also re-claimed her true power as one of jazz’s fiercest advocates, making spiritual, political music — and with her clarified purpose, she pushed the genre to new places. In 1969, the Vatican commissioned Williams to write what would become her third mass. Originally entitled “Music for Peace,” it was subsequently named “Mary Lou’s Mass.” Newsweek called the score “an encyclopedia of black music, richly represented from spirituals to bop to rock.”

The Master Chorale also brings back perennial holiday favorites Festival of Carols, featuring spectacular arrangements of traditional carols from around the world and today’s favorites, and Handel’s Messiah, the composer’s timeless and glorious masterpiece.


Please click individual links for complete program information.

Saturday, October 8, 2022 at 2 pm
Sunday, October 9, 2022 at 7 pm
Haydn | Die Schöpfung (The Creation)
Grant Gershon, conductor
80 singers, soloists, orchestra

Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 7 pm
Schütz | Musikalische Exequien
Grant Gershon, conductor
Peter Sellars, director
24 singers, continuo

Saturday, December 10 at 2 pm
Saturday, December 17 at 2 pm
From the most spectacular arrangements of traditional carols to today’s favorites, Festival of Carols is a delight for all ages.
Grant Gershon, conductor
62 singers, piano, organ

Sunday, December 11, 2022 at 7 pm
Lo, How a Rose pays tribute to the classic Renaissance Christmas carol by Michael Praetorius that depicts the beauty and comfort of the nativity. Music on this program celebrates the wonder of the season, with beloved works by former composers-in-residence Shawn Kirchner and Morten Lauridsen, world premieres by Mari Esabel Valverde and Cristian Grases, and music by Benjamin Britten, Stacey Gibbs, Ariel Quintana, Carlos Simon, Hyo-Won Woo and more.
Jenny Wong, conductor
48 singers, piano, saxophone, percussion

Sunday, December 18, 2022 at 7 pm
It’s so much more than the Hallelujah chorus. Almost three centuries since its debut, Messiah still “strikes like a thunderbolt,” as Mozart put it. Hear it like never before with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. 
Grant Gershon, conductor
48 singers, soloists, chamber orchestra

Sunday, February 12, 2023
Named after a poem by Robert Frost, and featuring music of aspiration and inspiration, from Brahms and Schumann to Meredith Monk and Michael Abels.
Grant Gershon, conductor
62 singers, soloists, piano, percussion

Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 7 pm
Esmail | World Premiere
Fauré | Requiem
Grant Gershon and Jenny Wong, conductors
62 singers, soloists, tabla, percussion, chamber orchestra

Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 2 pm
Sunday, June 11, 2023 at 7 pm
Ellington | Highlights from the Sacred Concerts
Williams | Mary Lou’s Mass
Grant Gershon, conductor
80 singers, soloists, band


Subscriptions for the 2022-23 season start at $91 and are available now by phone, 213-972-7282, or online at Single tickets will be available August 18, 2022.

All programs, artists and dates are subject to change.


Dec. 2022
Wagner | Tristan und Isolde
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

Jan. 2023
Messiaen | Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine
Villa-Lobos | Choros No. 10
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

Jan. 2023
John Adams | Girls of the Golden West
John Adams, conductor

Feb. 2023
Rachmaninoff | The Bells
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

March 2023
Mahler | Symphony No. 3
Zubin Mehta, conductor

March 2023
Haydn | Mass In Time of War
Zubin Mehta, conductor

Saturday, April 29, 2023
Gaillard Center, Charleston, SC

Saturday, May 6, 2023
Meany Center for the Performing Arts, Seattle, WA

The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s 2022–23 season is made possible by generous support from the LA Arts Recovery Fund.

Major support is provided by the Colburn Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.

The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s Swan Family Artist-in- Residence is made possible by the Philip A. Swan Family.


Read the original press release online

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Featured image courtesy of LA Master Chorale

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