Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Has Announced 2020-21 Season
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) added a new milestone to its legacy last year with the launch of Music Director Jaime Martín's inaugural season. Now, LACO and Martín embark upon the next chapter by announcing the 2020-21 season, which begins in October 2020 and continues through May 2021. Martín's second season features three world premieres, all LACO commissions, including one by 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winner Ellen Reid, LACO's Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence, another by celebrated artist Andrew Norman, who recently concluded a seven-year tenure in that role, and a third by Peter Shin, described by the New York Times as "a composer to watch," who has studied with Norman, among others. During LACO's 53rd season, Martín conducts six of eight programs in an expanded Orchestral series, and the Orchestra presents unique SESSION performances, Baroque Conversations concerts, In Focus chamber music evenings and more in venues throughout Southern California. Exceptional guest artists represent classical music's excellence, diversity and breadth.
Symphony No. 9 features a chorale whose 100+ diverse participants from local and professional choirs throughout greater Los Angeles symbolize the composer's hope for peace and understanding among all people. For the first time, Martín shares the stage with Conductor Laureate Jeffrey Kahane, who concluded his 20-year LACO tenure in 2017. In a program led by Martín, Kahane performs Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, and he makes a second LACO appearance this season on LACO's In Focus series. LACO's "Season of the Violin" theme is highlighted by three guest violinists - Gil Shaham, acclaimed as an American master, in his LACO debut, the U.S. orchestral debut of international star Nemanja Radulović and the U.S. debut of 18-year-old Jamaican-born Ellinor D'Melon. Martín also welcomes guest conductors Julian Wachner, the multi-Grammy-nominated composer and keyboardist, and, in his LACO debut, Roderick Cox, winner of the 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award and one of the world's notable African-American conductors, hailed as "an outstanding young conductor" by the Los Angeles Times.
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, LACO is performing seven of the composer's works, among them symphonies 5,8 and 9, while a substantive new Beethoven-related Meet the Music education program engages students in the foundations of composition. In collaboration with Artist Educator Derrick Spiva Jr. and LACO's Composer Teaching Artist Fellows, participants will develop their own poems and music compositions, culminating in the creation of works based on themes echoing language in Schiller's "Ode to Joy" and Beethoven's music from Symphony No. 9's last movement. The Orchestra's performances also feature music spanning five centuries by Bach and his sons, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Wagner, Britten, Fanny Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Mozart and contemporary composer Jessie Montgomery, whose works have been described as "exploding with life" (The Washington Post).
Three popular LACO series continue, including In Focus, a chamber music series curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, featuring appearances by the Emerson Quartet, Conductor Laureate Kahane on piano, and Music Director Martín on flute; Baroque Conversations, exploring Baroque repertoire and spotlighting LACO's virtuoso principals; and SESSION's cutting edge performances that challenge traditional concert-going expectations, curated by Juan Pablo Contreras and Jessie Montgomery.
Other highlights include LACO's community/education programs that reach thousands of young people; Chamber Music LA, a collaboration with seven other chamber music presenters in Southern California; The Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship entering its third year; and LACO's Composer Teaching Artist Fellows, a trio of graduate-level composers who not only receive professional and compositional mentorship from LACO's Artist-Educator Derrick Spiva Jr. but also are deeply integrated in Meet the Music programs by providing in-classroom instruction of composition fundamentals to elementary school students.
"As I look ahead to my second year as LACO's Music Director, I'm proud to carry on the Orchestra's long-standing commitment to commissioning and particularly to introducing these three new works by such esteemed composers as Ellen Reid, Andrew Norman and Peter Shin," says Martín. "We celebrate Beethoven this season, one of the most influential artists in the history of art and humanity, at a time when the message of Schiller and Beethoven - that we are all brothers and sisters - is more relevant than ever. We also continue LACO's abiding partnerships with preeminent and rising guest performers, from the great artistry of Jeffrey Kahane, who represents the longest music relationship in LACO's history, to Gil Shaham, who needs no introduction as a beloved musician around the world. Additionally, I can't wait to introduce LACO audiences to Nemanja Radulović, who will, I'm sure, touch hearts with his sensitivity, and Ellinor D'Melon, who, although she was just 15 years old when I first worked with her three years ago, displays immense energy and the ability to interact with the orchestra as if she's playing chamber music. I am profoundly honored to lead this extraordinary Orchestra."
LACO Board President Leslie Lassiter says, "Last season, Jaime introduced himself to Los Angeles, while, this year, he taps into his deeply rooted passion for the city, presenting a season of exceptional variety and a range of experiences that reflect the region's diversity. From orchestral performances in concert halls to chamber music in intimate venues and unconventional uses of conventional spaces, Jaime continues to build LACO's momentum, keeping us well positioned for the future."
LACO performs throughout greater Los Angeles at Royce Hall in West L.A., Santa Monica's First Presbyterian, the Alex Theatre in Glendale, and The Huntington in Pasadena-San Marino.
ORCHESTRAL SERIES DETAILS
LACO's 2020-21 season launches with Music Director Jaime Martín leading the world premiere of a LACO commission by Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Reid, LACO's Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, featuring a chorale whose 100+ participants from community and professional choirs throughout greater Los Angeles symbolize brotherhood, on Saturday, October 3, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, October 4, 2020, 7 pm, at Royce Hall. Jenny Wong, Los Angeles Master Chorale Associate Conductor, serves as Chorus Master.
Guest conductor Julian Wachner, the multi-Grammy-nominated composer and keyboardist, leads a program of works by JS Bach and sons, including JCF Bach's Symphony in C major, CPE Bach's Symphony In E minor, JS Bach's Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, and Suite No. 2, WF Bach's Sinfonia in F major, "Dissonant," and JC Bach's Symphony in E-flat major, on Saturday, October 24, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, October 25, 2020, 7 pm, at Royce Hall. LACO Assistant Concertmaster Tereza Stanislav is the concert soloist.
Martín returns to share the stage for the first time with LACO Conductor Laureate Jeffrey Kahane, who performs Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, "Emperor" in a program that also includes Brahms's Symphony No. 2 on Saturday, November 14, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre and Sunday, November 15, 2020, 7 pm, at Royce Hall.
The year 2021 begins with Martín conducting the world premiere of a LACO co-commission by Andrew Norman, the second part of concerto composed for the Orchestra, which started with Begin to mark the beginning of Martin's tenure as Music Director, on Saturday, January 30, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, January 31, 2021, 7 pm, at Royce Hall. In his LACO debut, violinist Gil Shaham, acclaimed as an American master, performs Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto on a program that also includes Schubert's Symphony No. 9, "The Great."
Guest conductor Roderick Cox, winner of the 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award and one of the world's notable African-American conductors, leads a program with lyric soprano Nicole Cabell of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, Britten's Les Illuminations and Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 on Saturday, February 20, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, February 21, 2021, 7 pm, at Royce Hall.
Martín makes his fourth appearance this season on Saturday, March 20, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, March 21, 2021, 7 pm, at Royce Hall, for the U.S. orchestral debut of international star violinist Nemanja Radulović performing Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor. The program also features Starburst by Jessie Montgomery, whose works have been described as "exploding with life" (The Washington Post), Overture in C major by Fanny Mendelssohn, whose work was fully recognized only after her death, and Symphony No. 4, "Italian," by her brother, Felix.
LACO, led by Martín, showcases a program of Mozart's last three symphonies - nos. 39, 40 and 41 - on Saturday, April 17, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, April 18, 2021, 7 pm, at Royce Hall.
A spectacular season-concluding program, conducted by Martín, features 18-year-old violinist Ellinor D'Melon, making her U.S. debut with Brahms's Violin Concerto, and also features the world premiere of a LACO commission by Peter Shin and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 on Saturday, May 15, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, May 16, 2021, 7 pm, at Royce Hall. Shin, described by the New York Times as "a composer to watch," is LACO's 2020-21 composer for its groundbreaking Sound Investment commissioning program, established to engage audiences in developing a new piece of music composed especially to suit its unparalleled musical talents.
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, SESSION is designed to explore classical music's cutting-edge sounds and challenge traditional concert-going expectations. Each program is designed to fit the unique properties of a space and test ideas about the relationship between performers and audience. Los Angeles-based Juan Pablo Contreras, "one of the most prominent young composers in Latin America" (Milenio), who is recognized for combining Western classical and Mexican folk music, curates the fall SESSION, while Jessie Montgomery, whose compositions interweave classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language, and social justice, curates the spring program. Dates, locations and programs are to be announced.
In Focus DETAILS
In Focus, curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, provides insights into chamber music. This season, the series features appearances by the Emerson String Quartet, LACO Conductor Laureate Jeffrey Kahane and Music Director Jaime Martín performing works by Beethoven, Shostakovich, Bruch, Spohr and Dutilleux. In a rare treat for audiences, Martín will play flute in the May concerts. Concerts, which all begin at 7:30 pm, take place at First Presbyterian in Santa Monica on Thursdays February 11, March 11 and May 20, 2021 and at The Huntington in San Marino on Fridays February 12, March 12 and May 21, 2021. Programs are to be announced.
BAROQUE CONVERSATIONS DETAILS
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 LACO's virtuoso principals. The series begins with Bach "Art of the Fugue," featuring Principal Second Violin Josefina Vergara, leader and curator, on Thursday, November 19, at First Presbyterian in Santa Monica, and Friday, November 20, 2020, at The Huntington in San Marino, followed by English Baroque "Baroquexit" on Thursday, January 14, at First Presbyterian in Santa Monica, and Friday, January 15, 2021, at The Huntington in San Marino, with Principal Cello Andrew Shulman, leader and curator, and works by Handel, De Fesch, Abel and Eccles. Baroque Conversations concludes on Thursday, April 8, at First Presbyterian in Santa Monica, and Friday, April 9, 2021, at The Huntington in San Marino, with Principal Percussion Wade Culbreath, leader and curator. All concerts begin at 7:30 pm. Programs are to be announced.
OTHER PRESENTATIONS AND PROGRAMS
The Orchestra's community/education programs, including Meet the Music, which introduces youngsters to classical music, reach thousands of young people annually. Chamber Music LA is a collaboration with seven other chamber music presenters in Southern California. Top-tier post-graduate string musicians from underrepresented communities make up 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. Fellows experience a 360-degree view of a career as an orchestral musician in this rigorous two-year training program. LACO's Composer Teaching Artist Fellows are a trio of graduate-level composers who not only receive professional and compositional mentorship from LACO's Artist-Educator Derrick Spiva Jr., but also are deeply integrated in Meet the Music programs by providing in-classroom instruction of composition fundamentals to elementary school students
JAIME MARTÍN, praised as "a visionary conductor, discerning and meticulous" (Platea Magazine), began his tenure as Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's Music Director in the 2019-20 season. Following a prominent career on flute, he turned to conducting full time in 2013 and has since emerged not only as a talented technical conductor but also one with stylistic authenticity who is known for making deep connections to the musicians under his direction. In September 2019, he also became Principal Conductor of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra. He has been Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Gävle Symphony Orchestra since 2013, and his time there has brought the orchestra a new level of international recognition through highly acclaimed recordings and touring performances. Martín also serves as Artistic Director of the Santander Festival, where over the last five years, he brought financial stability and created a platform for some of the most exciting artists in their fields, ranging from symphony orchestras and baroque ensembles to education workshops and ballet companies. As conductor, he has worked with an impressive list of orchestras that include the London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Essen Philharmonic, Gulbenkian and Philharmonia orchestras, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Autumn 2018 saw his highly successful debut performances with the London Symphony Orchestra and Christian Tetzlaff in Madrid and London, with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Joshua Bell, and with the Colorado Symphony and Pinchas Zukerman. In January 2019, he completed a nine-concert tour of Europe with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, including performances at the Gasteig in Munich and the Cologne Philharmonie. Martín made his conducting debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with the Gävle Symphony in September and, later this season, he will undertake an extensive tour of Switzerland and an appearance at the Prague Spring Festival with the Orquestra de Cadaqués. Other future orchestral debuts include engagements with the Melbourne and West Australian symphony orchestras, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Staatskapelle Halle, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Martín's recording for Ondine Records with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra, released in February 2019, includes the Brahms Serenades, Songs of Destiny, Brahms choral works with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and Brahms Piano Quartet, arranged by Schoenberg. He has also recorded Schubert Symphony No. 9 and Beethoven Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," with the Orquestra de Cadaqués and various discs with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra for Tritó Records. In 2015, he recorded James Horner's last symphonic work, "Collages" for four horns and orchestra, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Martín made his operatic debut conducting The Magic Flute at El Escorial Madrid and San Sebastián Festival in August 2012. His debut at the English National Opera in February 2013 conducting The Barber of Seville led to a return in autumn 2014 to conduct The Marriage of Figaro. As a flautist, Martín was principal flute of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, English National Opera, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and London Philharmonic Orchestra. A much sought-after soloist, he made a recording of Mozart flute concertos with Sir Neville Marriner, the premiere recording of Sinfonietta Concerto for Flute and Orchestra written for him by Xavier Montsalvatge and conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, and Bach works for flute, violin and piano with Murray Perahia and Academy of St Martin in the Fields for Sony. He was also a founding member of the Orquestra de Cadaqués, and, while he has held the title of Chief Conductor with the orchestra since 2012, his association with them has spanned over 30 years. Martín is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music, London, where he was a flute professor. He now enjoys working with many of his former students in orchestras around the world.
LOS ANGELES CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (LACO), ranked among the world's top musical ensembles, marks its second year with Jaime Martín as Music Director and was lauded by the Los Angeles Times as one of the city's major classical music institutions. Martín continues to build upon LACO's rich legacy as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and, with eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, a champion of contemporary composers. Headquartered in the heart of the country's cultural capital, LACO is "more important with each passing year" (Los Angeles Times), "America's finest chamber orchestra" (Public Radio International) and "one of the world's great chamber orchestras" (Classical KUSC ). According to New Classic LA, "LACO is an ensemble capable of making new works feel like established classics, and established classics feel brand new." The Los Angeles Times described Martín's appearance as LACO's Music Director Designate in early 2019 as "a thrilling performance, and the orchestra played like it was having the time of its life," adding, "he will make fans very quickly." LA Observed called it "a cause to celebrate." Overseas, he has been praised as "a visionary conductor, discerning and meticulous" (Platea Magazine), and London's The Telegraph said, "His infectious enjoyment of the music communicated to the orchestra and audience alike." The Orchestra has made 32 recordings, including, most recently, a 2019 BIS Records release of works for violin and chamber orchestra that features Concertmaster Margaret Batjer and the world premiere recording of Pierre Jalbert's Violin Concerto (a LACO co-commission). LACO, with offices located in downtown Los Angeles, has toured Europe, South America and Japan, and performed across North America.
For a free season brochure, additional information about Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's 2020-21 season or to order tickets, please call 213 622 7001 x1, or visit www.laco.org.
Photo Credit: Jamie Pham