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Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Announces 2021-22 Season

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LACO presents a total of 13 programs – five orchestral, six chamber and two new music.

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's 2021-22 Season, announced today by Music Director Jaime Martín and Executive Director Ben Cadwallader, celebrates the Orchestra's full return to the concert hall since the global pandemic shuttered live performances more than a year and a half ago.

Reengaging with audiences through its signature range of diverse offerings, LACO presents a total of 13 programs - five orchestral, six chamber and two new music - showcasing a dynamic mix of LACO-commissioned world premieres by 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Reid and Samuel Adams, as well as cornerstones of classical music, and significant works by composers both iconic and lesser known. The season, which runs from November 13, 2021, to May 15, 2022, is bookended by two Beethoven masterworks - Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Eroica, and Symphony No. 5 in C-major. The Orchestra also introduces audiences to several exceptional talents with the West Coast debut of eminent Serbian-French violinist Nemanja Radulović, who is "causing a huge stir on the classical scene" (Classic FM), and LACO debuts of "world class conductor" Roderick Cox (San Francisco Classical Voice) and in-demand Southern California-based violinist Randall Goosby, who is "poised for the big time" (Los Angeles Times). Bridging LACO's past and present with a warm musical embrace, the season opens with Martín leading LACO Conductor Laureate and acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Kahane on Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major. Figuring prominently in the season's repertoire are an assortment of other concertos by Mozart, Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Telemann, Corelli, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Dvořák and Geminiani. The Orchestra also spotlights members of its own ranks with a host of LACO's virtuosic artists featured as soloists in various programs.

LACO, long distinguished for bringing its artistry directly to the community with appearances throughout the Southland, performs in seven different venues during the season - all with sparkling acoustics that enhance the intimate sound of chamber music - including, on the Westside, Royce Hall and The Broad Stage; on the Eastside, Ambassador Auditorium, The Huntington's Rothenberg Hall and Alex Theater; Downtown L.A.'s Zipper Hall; and Orange Country's Segerstrom Concert Hall.

"Nothing equals the thrill of a live concert experience, and LACO brings renewed energy to the stage as we open a new chapter," says Martín, whose contract was recently extended through 2027. "What a joy for all of us at LACO to be able to, once again, connect with audiences through in-person performances inside some of Southern California's most exceptional concert halls. My vision for the new season as we emerge from these challenging times is to spotlight LACO itself. I've selected programming that spans the Baroque era to new music created by some of today's most exceptional composers to showcase the Orchestra's remarkable versatility and technical ability. I'm also delighted to welcome to the front of the stage as featured soloists a number of LACO artists, who will astound and delight with their shinning virtuosity throughout the season." This marks Martín's third year at the Orchestra's helm.

"That we are able to conceive and produce a season of this magnitude and scope is a testament to LACO's dedicated and generous supporters," states Cadwallader. "Returning to a full season of live performances is an incredibly significant endeavor requiring tremendous financial resources. LACO simply would not be where it is today without our loyal donors, sponsors, and community partners whose generosity and creativity inspire us to continue to innovate and evolve."

The 2021-22 season encompasses five orchestral programs with Martín leading four of them, including the season opener. It features him conducting Kahane on Mozart's enchanting Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major, notable for its colorful interplay between piano and woodwinds, paired with one of Beethoven's greatest works, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Eroica. Martín states, "I have tremendous respect and admiration for Jeffrey Kahane and am deeply honored to, once again, share the stage with him." Regarding Beethoven's Eroica, he says, "I selected this sublime work because it is such a fitting statement about humanity at this particular time in the world." (November 13, at Royce Hall.)

LACO, under Martín's baton, next explores Strum by Jessie Montgomery, whose work, described as "exploding with life" (The Washington Post), skillfully weaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language, and social justice. Additionally, the program includes R. Strauss' orchestral suite Le bourgeois gentilhomme and Mozart's Sinfonia concertante for Four Winds in E-flat major, showcasing four LACO principals - Claire Brazeau, oboe, Kenneth Munday, bassoon, Joshua Ranz, clarinet, and Michael Thornton, horn. (January 29, at Ambassador Auditorium.)

Making his LACO debut, on the third orchestral program, guest conductor Roderick Cox, winner of the prestigious 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, leads Wagner's Siegfried Idyll and Brahms' Serenade No. 2 in A major. He is joined by rising violinist Randall Goosby, in his LACO debut as well, on Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, considered one of the greatest violin concertos ever written. Cox, "an undeniable talent" (NBC), was slated to lead one of LACO's concerts last season, an appearance that had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Goosby, hailed as "supremely gifted" (NPR) and "arrestingly virtuosic" (The Guardian), was signed exclusively to the recording label Decca Classics in 2020, at the age of 24. (March 19, at Royce Hall; March 20, at Ambassador Auditorium.)

Martín returns to LACO's podium for the penultimate orchestral program to conduct the overture to Joplin's groundbreaking opera, Treemonisha, one of the world's first Black operas and the only one ever written by the famed ragtime composer. The concert concludes with Ravel's ethereal ballet Ma Mère l'Oye (Mother Goose), and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, featuring the West Coast debut of Nemanja Radulović, the "dazzling" Franco-Serbian violinist who wows with "his intensity and playing" (Classical FM). (April 23, at Alex Theatre; April 24, at Royce Hall.)

Martín wraps the season with a LACO-commissioned world premiere by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid, LACO's Creative Advisor and 2017-18 Sound Investment Composer. He also leads Brahms' Double Concerto for Violin and Violoncello in A minor, highlighting Concertmaster Margaret Batjer and Principal Cello Andrew Shulman; and Beethoven's monumental Symphony No. 5 in C minor. Reid, one of the most innovative artists of her generation, has been hailed for her "ineffably moving" work (Los Angeles Times). LACO presents the compelling season finale at three different Southland locations. (May 12, at Segerstrom Concert Hall; May 14, at Ambassador Auditorium; May 15, at Royce Hall.)

In addition to five orchestral programs, this season LACO presents six intimate chamber programs curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, each featuring a smaller compliment of LACO's superlative artists who elevate gems familiar and new from the prodigious chamber music repertoire.

Batjer explains, "LACO embraces the chamber music genre, in all of its iterations. The concept for these chamber programs goes back to LACO's roots, when the orchestra often played without a conductor. Under those circumstances, communication between the musicians becomes paramount and is almost palpable, making for particularly exciting performances."

The first chamber program opens with Concerto in A Major for Harpsichord and Strings by Seixas, a pre-eminent 18th century composer and harpsichord virtuoso. It also includes Vivaldi's popular Oboe Concerto in F Major, Pergolesi's lyrical Violin Concerto in B-flat Major, Haydn's virtuosic String Quartet Op. 1 No. 1, and Telemann's Concerto in A minor for Violin, Flute, Oboe and Continuo. LACO artists performing are Tereza Stanislav, violin; Jason Issokson, violin; Sandy Hughes, flute; Claire Brazeau, oboe; and Patricia Mabee, harpsichord (December 4, Rothenberg Hall).

Two 20th century works anchor the second chamber program, led by Batjer - Arvo Pärt's Summa for String Orchestra, composed in 1977 as a choral work and later scored for instruments, and Britten's Simple Symphony Op. 4, featured in Wes Anderson's hit film Moonrise Kingdom and the Emmy-winning television show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. They are contrasted by three earlier works, Corelli's joyful Concerto Grosso in D Major Op. 6, No. 4; Geminiani's Concerto Grosso in D Major Op. 5, No. 1; and Grieg's lively Holberg Suite for String Orchestra. (January 8, The Broad Stage.)

LACO travels to downtown L.A. for the third chamber program, which includes Mendelssohn's String Quartet in F minor No. 6, a requiem to his older sister, who preceded him in death, and the last major piece he wrote before his own death two months later at the age of 38. Additionally, Principal Bass David Grossman takes on the unusual challenge of performing the difficult second cello part on bass in Brahms' innovative Sextet in G Major, No. 2, adding surprising dimension to the piece. (February 12, Zipper Hall.)

In another musical twist, LACO presents Bach's Goldberg Variations for String Orchestra led by Batjer. The arrangement for strings honors note-for-note Bach's monumental work, originally written for harpsichord and long a staple of the piano repertoire, while imbuing it with a fresh new musical perspective. (March 12, The Broad Stage.)

The sixth and final chamber program showcases a LACO-commissioned world premiere for percussion and string quartet by Samuel Adams, featuring Principal Percussion Wade Culbreath on vibraphone and almglocken and an eclectic array of percussion instruments. Adams, a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow hailed for his "mesmerizing" (The New York Times) orchestrations, explores the expressive possibilities of resonance through digital manipulations of acoustic instruments. His new work is paired with Arvo Pärt's ethereal Spiegel im Spiegel for String Quartet, and Dvořák's Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, considered a masterpiece in the chamber music canon. (March 26, at Rothenberg Hall).

Details about two programs dedicated to new music curated by noted composer Derrick Skye, LACO's Artistic Advisor and Artist-Educator, and another artistic collaborator will be announced at a later time.

LACO is committed to the health and safety of its patrons, artists and staff and will require proof of full vaccination for everyone attending in-person LACO events. Social distancing will be implemented and, under current Los Angeles County guidelines, masks will be required indoors at all times. LACO will continue to exceed state and local guidelines, recommendations and requirements for indoor activities. For the most current information on LACO's COVID safety protocols, visit LACO.org/covid-19.

For additional information about Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's 2021-22 season or to order tickets, please visit www.laco.org or call 213 622 7001 x1.


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