LA Chamber Orchestra's 2012-13 Season Announced
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) announces its 2012-13 season, its 44th, 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 16th 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 five of seven "Orchestral Series" concerts this season from the podium and keyboard at the Alex Theatre in Glendale and UCLA's Royce Hall, and also appears as both as conductor and in a solo recital on the "Baroque Conversations" series at Zipper Hall.
Among numerous season highlights across four diverse series are two world premieres including one by Benjamin Wallfisch, a "major new name on the new music horizon" (BBC Radio 3) who conducts the premiere of his own Violin Concerto written for Tereza Stanislav, who celebrates ten years as LACO assistant concertmaster this season. The other by LACO Composer-in-Residence Andrew Norman, is presented as part of the Orchestra's unique "Sound Investment" commissioning program, initiated to engage LACO audiences in developing new works. A second piece by Norman, The Great Swiftness, inspired by an Alexander Calder sculpture, also receives its West Coast premiere, as does James Matheson's True South, commissioned by New York Philharmonic with influences ranging from Judas Priest to Nietzsche. Also presented are a range of show-stopping concertos spotlighting LACO's virtuosic musicians, the US premiere of Hugo Gonzalez-Pioli's The Love of Zero; a performance of Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 107, featuring cello phenom Alisa Weilerstein, recipient of the 2011 MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant"; and a celebration of Mozart's 257th birthday led by internationally acclaimed conductor Helmuth Rilling with the USC Thornton Chamber Singers.
Reflecting LACO's keen artistic sensibilities and technical acumen across musical genres, the repertoire runs the gamut from the American vernacular with John Adams' Son of Chamber Symphony; the original 1924 version of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Copland's 1944 version of Appalachian Spring Suite; to such time tested masterworks as Mozart's Requiem in D minor, K. 626; Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36; Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major; Dvo?ák's Serenade for Winds, Op. 44; selections from Handel's Water Music; Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050; and Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, Op. 62.
"There's great richness and a wonderfully collaborative aspect to the season's offerings," says Kahane. "I look forward to celebrating the artistry of so many of my amazing colleagues - who are being spotlighted in a fascinating array of challenging and beautiful concertos."
Noting that he enjoys long and close personal relationships with some of the guest artists, Kahane says, "Helmuth Rilling, who was recently recognized with the 2011 Karajan Prize, one of the music world's highest honors, is one of the central figures in my own musical life. I am one of many conductors for whom Helmuth has been a role model and a mentor. It is always a joy and a privilege for us to bring him to LACO, an orchestra full of musicians whom he knows and loves so well. I've also had the delightful pleasure of knowing Alisa Weilerstein since she was a small child and observing her evolution over the course of 20 years from a phenomenal child prodigy into one of the world's greatest living cellists."
Deeply committed to nurturing the next generation of gifted artists and composers, the Orchestra presents violinist Augustin Hadelich in his LACO debut, as well as works by highly regarded emerging composers Anna Clyne, described as "dazzlingly inventive" (Time Out New York) and Hugo Gonzalez-Pioli, a recent graduate of USC's prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program whose bassoon concerto with a short silent film receives its US premiere on LACO's "Orchestral Series."
LACO's popular annual "Discover" concert at Pasadena's Ambassador Auditorium features an in-depth examination by Kahane that sheds new light on Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, one of the pinnacles of the piano literature and a piece Kahane has performed more than any other in his career.
Nigel Armstrong, 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition finalist, who made his LACO debut last season, LACO Concertmaster Margaret Batjer and Principal Oboe Allan Vogel, along with Kahane, lead the "Bach and Sons"-themed "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 pairs novelists and musicians for a fascinating exploration of the relationship between music and stories at its innovative "Westside Connections" inter-disciplinary chamber music series, designed to illustrate the myriad ways music is woven into society and our lives. Each year, Batjer, who curates the three-concert series, selects chamber works to complement the presentations of the special guests. "Westside Connections" takes place in Santa Monica at The Broad Stage. Featured novelists include Mark Salzman (Iron & Silk, True Notebooks and Lying Awake) and Jane Hamilton (A Map of the World and The Book of Ruth).
LACO, further expanding its community reach, embarks on a new role as the first resident orchestra of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (formerly UCLA Live). For the 2012-13 season, the residency provides extended audience reach for both organizations with plans for them to collaborate on programming and co-presentations in subsequent seasons. Additionally, the Orchestra tours next spring to Santa Rosa, where Kahane resides, to perform on the inaugural season of Sonoma State University's new Donald & Maureen Green Music Center.
Other community partnerships include the "LACO-USC Thornton Strings Mentorship Program," in which, for the third consecutive year, selected Thornton students participate in a mock audition with the possibility of winning a guest musician slot in the string section on a LACO concert. Reaching students on a more fundamental level are LACO's "Meet the Music" performances serving 2,600 Los Angeles Unified School District elementary school students annually through six live concerts at downtown LA's Zipper Hall, funded by LACO, often including student transportation, with venue costs generously waived by The Colburn School. Featured on one "Meet the Music" program is PROJECT Trio, now in the second year of a three-year residency with LACO, and proclaimed by Downbeat Magazine as "packed with musicianship, joy and surprise!"
LACO's annual Concert Gala is slated for February 2, 2013, at The California Club. LACO's other major fundraiser, the annual "Silent Film," during which the Orchestra provides the live sound track to some of Hollywood's classic silent films, set for June 8, 2013, at UCLA's Royce Hall, features Buster Keaton's 1923 comedy, Our Hospitality, with a score by Carl Davis.
A number of LACO musicians mark major tenure milestones this season, including LACO PrincipAl Viola Roland Kato (35 years); Oboe Kimaree Gilad (30 years); Principal Trumpet David Washburn (20 years); Concertmaster Margaret Batjer (15 years); and Assistant Concertmaster Tereza Stanislav (10 years).
LACO, which regularly performs in multiple venues throughout a wide range of communities, presents concerts at Glendale's Alex Theatre, UCLA's Royce Hall in Westwood, Pasadena's Ambassador Auditorium, Santa Monica's The Broad Stage and downtown Los Angeles' Zipper Hall.
Guggenheim Partners, LLC is an official sponsor of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. LACO also recognizes the generous support of Carol and Warner Henry for "Baroque Conversations" and The James Irvine Foundation for its support of "Westside Connections" and this season's "Discover" concert. The Orchestra also receives public funding via grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Los Angeles magazine is an official media partner for the 2012-13 season.