L.A. Chamber Orchestra Announces New Board Members & Other Board Moves

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2017-18 season, appoints two new Board of Directors members, extends the terms of its President and Chair and elects two new officers, it was announced by Executive Director Scott Harrison. Terms for President Dana Newman (Altadena), the board's presiding officer, and Chair K. Eugene Shutler (Santa Monica) are extended by one year. Newly elected officers are Leslie Lassiter, Vice President and President Elect (Beverly Hills), and Shaheen Nanji, Secretary (Pacific Palisades).

New board members are Julie Andersen (Malibu), executive director of the Plastic Oceans Foundation, and June Li (Pasadena), leading Asian art historian and curator, receive three-year terms. Additionally, former Board members Ahmad Gramian (Los Angeles 90049), Gary Larsen (Rolling Hills Estate) and Ann Mulally (Santa Monica) have been elected to the Emeritus Board. LACO, one of the nation's leading orchestras, is renowned for its wide-ranging repertoire, adventurous commissioning initiatives and commitment to the Los Angeles community.

"Dana Newman has helped propel LACO's unprecedented artistic growth and strong fiscal health with visionary and inclusive leadership, enabling the Orchestra to thrive as it begins the next chapter in its illustrious history with the celebration of its 50th anniversary season," says LACO Executive Director Scott Harrison. "We are extremely grateful for the continued leadership and tremendous commitment of both Dana and Gene Shutler, who brings decades of experience and commitment to his role as Chair."

Newman states, "My new colleagues Julie Andersen and June Li, with their keen, forward-thinking, business acumen and deep passion for LACO, will be wonderful ambassadors and stewards for the Orchestra. They bring to the Board years of in-depth non-profit experience, each from different vantage points, that will enhance LACO in myriad ways. I am also pleased to welcome to the executive committee newly elected officers Leslie Lassiter and Shaheen Nanji, who are both extremely committed to helping expand LACO's boundaries. During their time on the board, their spirit of innovation and focus on community-facing activities have proven invaluable in propelling the organization forward artistically and helping to draw new audiences. I'm particularly encouraged with Leslie's election as President Elect and my successor in one year, as she will be a creative and dynamic leader for the organization."

She adds, "It is with deep respect, gratitude and admiration that we salute LACO's new Emeritus Board Members: Ahmad Gramian, Gary Larsen and Ann Mulally. Tireless champions of LACO, they have left an indelible mark on the Orchestra, serving on the Board of Directors with excellence and distinction. It has been an honor and pleasure to work with them. LACO is extremely fortunate to have their continued engagement and wisdom."

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), founded in 1968 and celebrating its 50th anniversary season, was proclaimed "America's finest chamber orchestra" by Public Radio International and has established itself among the world's top musical ensembles. The Orchestra maintains its status as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and a champion of contemporary composers. During its 50-year history, LACO has made 31 recordings, toured Europe, South America and Japan, performed across North America, earning adulation from audiences and critics alike, and garnered eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. For information on LACO, please call 213 622 7001 or visit www.laco.org.

Julie Anderson, who has focused her career on the effective communication of information regarding new means of improving and safeguarding human health as well as the environment against the negative effects of industrial development, has held top management positions in public health and the nonprofit sector internationally in the US, Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand. Prior to joining the Plastic Oceans Foundation, she served as executive director of the Joshua Hellmann Foundation and scientific director of Meditech Media, both based in Hong Kong, statistician and science writer for the Japan International Volunteer Center in Tokyo, and medical and scientific program manager of the Huntington's Disease Society of American, based in New York City. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UC San Diego and a Masters in Public Health from Hunter College. Raised in San Diego, where the ocean was a part of her daily life as a swimmer and triathlete, Andersen combines her education and career in the life sciences with her love of the ocean. Her husband, William Pfeiffer, is CEO and founder of Dragongate Entertainment, a feature film company focused on producing, distributing and financing English-language and Asian-language films.

JUNE LI is a highly respected art historian and curator of Asian art and an eloquent ambassador for Chinese culture. After an esteemed 30-year career, first as a curator of Chinese and Korean Art with Los Angeles County Museum of Art, then as curator of The Huntington's Chinese Garden in San Marino, she retired in 2014 and now holds the position of Curator Emerita for the Chinese Garden. Continuing her remarkable legacy, Li serves as a consultant and honorary advisor to the Center for East Asian Garden Studies and Liu Fang Yuan at The Huntington, working on select projects for the Center. Most recently, she organized and curated for The Huntington the exhibition "Gardens, Art, and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints," which ran through January 2017. Li has long been a supporter of the arts and is particularly passionate about music and dance.

In addition to her work with The Huntington, she serves on the East Asian Art Committee at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and is also a member of the Board of Directors of both the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and Pennington Dance Group. A long-time LACO supporter, Li has been a donor since 1997, a subscriber since 1999, a member of the Orchestra's Sound Investment commissioning program since 2009 and a LACO Visionary since 2012. Born in Hong Kong, Li moved to California in 1984. She earned a BA from the University of Toronto in Art History and East Asian Studies and a Master of Arts in Chinese Studies and Art History from the University of Pennsylvania. Her husband, Simon Li, an editing and leadership consultant, was an assistant managing editor and foreign editor of the Los Angeles Times before he retired in 2007.

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