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LACO CLOSE QUARTERS Episode 13 Features World Premiere By Peter Shin And Work By Ellen Reid

Episode includes collaborations with Visual Artist/Animator Jian Lee, stage director George Miller, choreographer Rebecca Steinberg and more.

In this star-studded episode of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's CLOSE QUARTERS interdisciplinary digital series melding musical and visual arts, guest conductor Grant Gershon leads the LACO-commissioned world premiere of Hyo by 2020-21 Sound Investment Composer Peter S. Shin.

Additionally, internationally renowned soprano and native Californian Nicole Cabell makes her LACO debut performing Britten's Les illuminations, a song cycle set to the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, and Lumee's Aria from the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera p r i s m by LACO Creative Advisor and Composer in Residence Ellen Reid. Shin's premiere incorporates animation and drawn portraiture by visual artist Jian Lee as part of a pioneering collaboration in which Shin and Lee are actively working together to conjure up visuals as the piece is written in real time throughout the multi-month artistic process.

The Britten and Reid segments, cinematic in nature, spotlight collaborations with stage director George Miller, choreographer Rebecca Steinberg and dancers Layne Paradis Willis and Joe Davis. LACO Creative Director of Digital Content James Darrah provides visual curation.

Thanks to the generosity of individual donors, the new episode is available to the public at no cost and can be streamed on demand following its premiere on Friday, May 21, 2021, at 6:30 pm (PT), at https://www.laco.org/close-quarters/, LACO's YouTube and Facebook live channels.

Shin describes Hyo, which is related to self and identity, as "a deeply personal and hopeful narrative about filial piety, an important and uniquely Korean virtue embracing dutiful respect, obedience and caring for one's parents and elderly family members." It was composed during the pandemic, which he says stirred in him "a strong feeling of anxiety about my responsibility to protect the health and safety of my parents, which was heightened by the anti-Asian American sentiment inflamed by COVID-19."

Regarding his "real time" virtual artistic collaboration with visual artist Jian Lee, Shin states, "What I like about Jian's portraiture is that, upon first glance, it seems uncanny but also eerily innocent, whimsical, graceful and elegant, sort of how my music extends from a dark experience and transforms into a more hopeful tone. I immediately felt a kinship to her work."

LACO commissioned Shin - "a composer to watch" whose music is "entirely fresh and personal" (The New York Times) - as part of the Orchestra's singular Sound Investment commissioning program that engages LACO audiences in developing new works. Sound Investment donors have 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. Participants invest $300 or more for a membership, which includes intimate salons throughout the season featuring in-depth discussions with the composer about the creative process and previews of the final work. Shin has received fellowships, commissions and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Harvard University Fromm Music Foundation, the Fulbright Program, ASCAP, American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, Minnesota Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony, and the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals, among others.

Ellen Reid, whose work is "ineffably moving" (Los Angeles Times), is one of the most innovative artists of her generation. A composer and sound artist whose breadth of work spans opera, sound design, film scoring, ensemble and choral writing, she recently became the first composer to have works premiered by Los Angeles' four leading musical institutions - the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale - all within one year. Her opera for p r i s m received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

CLOSE QUARTERS' "digitally native" programs, created specifically for streaming and hailed as "musically and artistically compelling" (Los Angeles Times), have drawn more than one million views to date since debuting in November 2020. Between 30 and 40 minutes in length, they are safely filmed at either FOX studios or The Colburn School's Olive Rehearsal Hall. Additionally, Darrah has established a creative hub for developing artistic media content with L.A.-based artists and filmmakers at a first-of-its-kind LACO digital studio at Wilhardt & Naud: a film studio and multidisciplinary arts campus located in Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles. The artists, inspired by the Orchestra's musical programming, create new visual works in a variety of mediums that will factor into the broadcasts and endure long after the season concludes. CLOSE QUARTERS builds upon the highly successful LACO SummerFest series, the Orchestra's first foray into streaming that concluded in September and featured five digital chamber music concerts that have attracted more than 250,000 views to date.

The final CLOSE QUARTERS episode premieres on June 4, 2021, at 6:30 pm (PT).


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