LA Chamber Orch Announces New MD Jaime Martín's Inaugural Season

LA Chamber Orch Announces New MD Jaime Martín's Inaugural Season

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) and new Music Director Jaime Martín announce sweeping programming for the 2019-20 Season that builds upon the Orchestra's illustrious legacy while blazing a path to its future. In his LACO Music Director inaugural season, which opens in September 2019 and continues through May 2020, Martín displays his passion for music spanning five centuries, his commitment to commissioning new works and his dedication to expanding the reach of LACO's artistry through partnerships with preeminent and rising artists and leading presenters and venues. Marking an exciting new era for the Orchestra and classical music in Los Angeles, the season is also deeply personal for Martín, who introduces LACO audiences to several exceptional artists important to his own career arc. Following his prominent career as a flutist, Martín, who is the sixth Music Director to lead LACO since its inception in 1968, has risen to international acclaim as a conductor in recent years. Most recently, he led the London Philharmonic on a nine-concert European tour and was named Principal Conductor of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, effective in September 2019.

Over a season that features a major orchestral series, unique SESSION performances, Baroque Conversations concerts, In Focuschamber music evenings, intimate LACO à la carte salon programs and more in over a dozen venues throughout Southern California, Martín conducts seven concerts and presents three world premieres, all LACO commissions, a U.S. premiere/co-commission as well as a West Coast premiere. He presents the LACO debuts of three acclaimed guest artists with whom he has enjoyed particularly meaningful professional relationships, mezzo soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter, violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Denis Kozhukhin, and also features pianists Jeremy Denk and David Fray, among other esteemed guest artists. Building on LACO's relationships with three noted composers representing classical music's diversity and breadth, he collaborates with Andrew Norman, who just concluded a seven-year tenure as LACO's Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence, Derrick Spiva Jr., LACO's first Artist Educator, and Juan Pablo Contreras, whose first LACO commission was premiered by the Orchestra in 2018-19. The artists, all based in L.A. but with international careers, are composing new LACO commissions to be premiered by Martín, with Norman inaugurating a three-year project, Spiva completing a trilogy and Contreras named LACO's 2019-20 Sound Investment composer, a groundbreaking program established 19 years ago to engage audiences in developing a new piece of music. Martín welcomes guest conductors Nicholas McGegan, making his long-awaited and highly anticipated return to LACO's podium for the first time in 30 years, multi-Grammy-nominated Julian Wachner and dynamic young artist Ruth Reinhardt. Additionally, Martín appoints critically acclaimed composer Ellen Reid to succeed Norman as LACO's Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence. Reid, whose breadth of work spans opera, sound design, film scoring and ensemble and choral writing, is one of the most innovative artists of her generation. Her work "brims with canny invention" (LA Weekly) and has been lauded for its "sheer incandescence" (LA Times) and for being "accessible in the best way" (New York Times). Reid will work closely with Martín, playing an important role in LACO's artistic trajectory over the next three seasons and creating new works for the orchestra, including a sound installation that will welcome visitors to LACO lobbies during Martín's inaugural season.

Martín extends the reach of LACO's artistry and programming beyond the concert stage and deep into the community with the announcement of two Artists-In-Residence this season, American composer Missy Mazzoli, whose double bass concerto receives its West Coast premiere, and young British cello virtuoso Sheku Kanneh-Mason, whose 2018 U.S. orchestral debut with LACO was postponed due to his "command performance" at the Royal Wedding, which was viewed by more than one billion people worldwide. Mazzoli is one of the most in-demand American composers on the contemporary music scene and draws audiences equally into concert halls, opera houses and rock clubs. She - along with composer Contreras - also each curate SESSION performances, which, in partnership with the acclaimed immersive theatre company and design duo Four Larks, explore cutting-edge sounds and challenge traditional concert-going expectations. Kanneh-Mason is the first black musician to win a BBC Young Musician of the Year award and will perform with orchestras across Europe under the direction of Martín leading up to his LA performances.

Martín introduces Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the first of three dramatic presentations over three years featuring noteworthy incidental music performed by LACO with celebrated actors and singers. A LACO co-commission with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra from Albert Schnelzer, Burn my letters, was inspired by the legacy of Clara Schumann, a pivotal figure in Romantic music, and offers new perspectives on the woman who was recognized as a pianist in her lifetime but was largely overlooked as a composer. Additionally, Martín leads three of Beethoven's most revolutionary works, Symphony No. 7, Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 3, "Eroica." Under his baton, the Orchestra also performs works by Schubert, both Mendelssohns (Fanny and Felix), Berlioz and Dvo?ák seldom heard on LACO stages, and Martín conducts the annual Concert Gala, whose cornerstone work will be the original 13-musician setting of Copland's Appalachian Spring.

"I am inspired by Los Angeles and its artistic vibrancy," says Martín. "As I introduce myself to LACO audiences, I have chosen to create a broad, yet very personally resonant program, and so I am thrilled to be able to present three close musical friends. I have always been in awe of Anne Sofie Von Otter's artistry, and I'm so excited at the chance to work with her in my new musical home with LACO. Christian Tetzlaff and I have played chamber music extensively, and I coached Denis Kozhukhin as a guest lecturer at Madrid's Reina Sofia School in recent years. Equally as important, I am elated to work with Andrew Norman, Derrick Spiva and Juan Pablo Contreras, artists whose extraordinary relationships with LACO have been so meaningful, to make them part of my first season as Music Director. With other exceptional artists like Nicholas McGegan, Ruth Reinhardt, Julian Wachner, Jeremy Denk, David Fray, Missy Mazzoli and Sheku Kanneh-Mason performing alongside LACO's virtuosic players, there will be great musical depth, passion and scope."

LACO Board President Leslie Lassiter says, "Jaime's fresh energy is evident in the rich diversity of musical experiences he's planned for his first season at LACO's helm. As we welcome him to Los Angeles and launch his tenure as Music Director, we can't wait to share him with audiences - both those who already know us and those who don't!"

LACO performs throughout greater Los Angeles in West L.A., Santa Monica, Northridge, Glendale, Pasadena-San Marino, Costa Mesa (Orange County) and downtown L.A.


The 2019-20 season launches when Jaime Martín makes his inaugural appearance as LACO Music Director leading the world premiere of a LACO commission by Andrew Norman, Berlioz' Les nuits d'été, featuring mezzo soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 on Saturday, September 28, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, September 29, 2019, 7 pm, at Royce Hall. Guest artists Nicholas McGegan, conductor, and Jeremy Denk, piano, headline performances on Saturday, October 26, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, October 27, 2019, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, with a program of music from Rameau's opera,Dardanus; Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 19; and Schubert's Symphony No. 6 as well as the overture from his opera, Der Häusliche Krieg. For the Orchestra's concerts on Saturday, November 16, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, November 17, 2019, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, LACO Principal Bass David Grossman performs the West Coast premiere of Dark with Excessive Bright for Double Bass and Strings by LACO Artist-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli. Also on the program, Martín conducts Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel's rarely performed Overture in C Major and Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream in a production featuring the Women of the USC Chorus, soprano Lauren Snouffer and a narrator to be announced. The year 2020 begins with Martín conducting the U.S. premiere of a LACO co-commission with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Albert Schnelzer's Burn my letters, inspired by the legacy of Clara Schumann, on Friday, February 7, 8 pm, at The Soraya, Saturday, February 8, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, February 9, 2020, 7 pm, at Royce Hall. The program also includes violinist Christian Tetzlaff performing Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 6. On Saturday, March 28, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, March 29, 2020, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, Martín presents the world premiere of Juan Pablo Contreras' Sound Investment commission and pianist Denis Kozhukhin on Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major, as well as R. Strauss' Le bourgeois gentilhomme. Guest Conductor Ruth Reinhardt leads Lutos?awski's Little Suite on Saturday, April 18, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, April 19, 2020, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, on a program withChopin's Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring pianist David Fray, Bacewicz' Concerto for String Orchestra and Haydn's Symphony No. 84. Martín's inaugural LACO season concludes with a flourish on Friday, May 15, 8 pm, at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Saturday, May 16, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, May 17, 2020, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, with the season's final LACO-commissioned world premiere by Derrick Spiva Jr., Saint-Saëns' Cello Concerto No. 1, featuring the Los Angeles debut of cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and Beethoven's landmark Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," one of the composer's most celebrated works.


SESSION, featuring programs set in out-of-the-ordinary locales, presents LACO musicians who join forces with compelling composer-curators to create unique musical experiences. Developed in partnership with the immersive theatre company Four Larks, each program is designed to fit the unique properties of a space and test ideas about the relationship between performers and audience. LACO presents two SESSION events this season, with LACO'S Sound Investment composer Juan Pablo Contreras curating two evenings in October 2019 and LACO Artist-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli doing the same in May 2020. (Dates, programs and locations will be announced.)


As Beethoven's 250th anniversary approaches, In Focus, a chamber music series curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, provides insights into the composer's most personal, revealing chamber works. The series will also feature a new arrangement of chamber music from Clara Schumann by Sarah Gibson as part of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of this pivotal figure in Romantic music. Concerts, which all begin at 7:30 pm, take place at The Huntington in San Marino on Friday, February 21, Friday, March 20 and Friday, April 3, 2020, and at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica on Thursday, February 20, Thursday, March 19 and Thursday, April 2, 2020.


Baroque Conversations performances, which explore the genesis of the Baroque repertoire with beloved masterworks and lesser known gems, are led and performed this season by artists including Martín, Guest Conductor Julian Wachner and LACO's virtuoso principals. The series begins when Jaime Martín conducts on Thursday, November 21, at First Presbyterian in Santa Monica, and Friday November 22, 2019, at The Huntington in San Marino, featuring Principal Clarinet Joshua Ranz, and Principal Bassoon Kenneth Munday, followed by Baroque Brass: Washburn & Thornton on Thursday, January 16, at First Presbyterian, and Friday, January 17, 2020, at The Huntington, featuring Principal Trumpet David Washburn, leader, and Principal Horn Michael Thornton, leader. Baroque Conversations continues when Patricia Mabee, harpsichord/principal keyboard, leads on Thursday, March 12, at First Presbyterian, and Friday, March 13, 2020, at The Huntington, and the series concludes on Thursday, April 30, at First Presbyterian, and Friday, May 1, 2020, at The Huntington, with a program conducted by Julian Wachner. All concerts begin at 7:30 pm. Programs will be announced.


Other 2019-20 Season presentations and programs include LACO à la carte salon performances in spectacular locations pairing exclusive musical performances with delectable international cuisine, and LACO's annual Concert Gala, conducted by Martín, whose cornerstone work is the original 13-musician setting of Copland's Appalachian Spring. The Orchestra's community/education programs reach thousands of young people annually, including Meet the Music, during which Martín visits schools throughout Los Angeles to introduce youngsters to classical music. Four top-tier post-graduate string musicians from underrepresented communities continue in their second year as the first class of The Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, a program designed to increase diversity in American orchestras. Launched in August 2018, the groundbreaking program was conceived by a partnership of Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA), the country's largest African-American-majority youth orchestra; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), one of the world's leading chamber orchestras; and USC Thornton School of Music, one of the country's top music programs. Violinist Sydney Adedamola, violinist Ayrton Pisco, violist Bradley Parrimore and cellist Juan-Salvador Carrasco are gaininga 360-degree view of a career as an orchestral musician in this rigorous two-year training program.

Photo Credit Ben Gibbs

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