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Violinist Gil Shaham Makes LACO Debut on CLOSE QUARTERS Digital Series

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New episode also includes Arvo Pärt’s Fratres with cinematography by Michael Elias Thomas and direction by LACO Creative Director of Digital Content James Dar.

Violinist Gil Shaham Makes LACO Debut on CLOSE QUARTERS Digital Series

Gil Shaham makes a special guest appearance with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra performing Boulogne's virtuosic Violin Concerto No. 9 in G major, on the Orchestra's groundbreaking CLOSE QUARTERS interdisciplinary digital series that melds musical and visual arts. The program also includes Fratres, composed in 1977 by Arvo Pärt with his distinctive triad-based technique. The orchestra itself is the visual focus of this compelling episode, shot by CLOSE QUARTERS cinematographer Michael Elias Thomas utilizing cutting edge filming techniques. Video effects are by CLOSE QUARTERS production designers Yuki Izumihara and Yee Eun Nam, with direction by LACO Creative Director of Digital Content James Darrah. 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, March 26, 2021, at 6:30 pm (PT), at https://www.laco.org/close-quarters/, LACO's YouTube and Facebook live channels. A digital pre-concert conversation begins at 5:30 pm (PT).

"Gil Shaham's virtuosic artistry, musical creativity and the unabashed joy he projects in his performances and recordings inspire audiences around the globe," says LACO Executive Director Ben Cadwallader. "We are particularly pleased to present his LACO debut in the intimate setting of LACO CLOSE QUARTERS captured through the remarkable camera lens of cinematographer Michael Elias Thomas."

Shaham's LACO appearance comes on the heels of the release earlier this month of his first solo recording in several years, which includes his first-ever recording of Beethoven's Violin Concerto as well as the Brahms concerto. He has previously recorded more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs, earning multiple GRAMMY Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d'Or and Gramophone Editor's Choice, among other accolades. Shaham, who plays a 1719 Stradivarius, is noted for his flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit that has solidified his renown as an American master. The Illinois-born, Israel-raised violinist is sought after for concert and recital appearances on the world's great concert stages. Hailed for drawing "a veritable feast of tone coloring from his violin" (The Baltimore Sun), he was awarded an Avery Fischer Career Grant in 1990, received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize in 2008, and was named Musical America's "Instrumentalist of the Year" in 2012.

Thomas is Director of Photography for all of the CLOSE QUARTERS episodes' visual content shot at Wilhardt + Naud and has previously worked with Darrah on numerous projects. A visual storyteller by way of Birmingham, Alabama, he is a graduate of UCLA's MFA Cinematography Program. His credits include numerous commercials and such short films as The Lu'issi Run, Tied Hands, La Voix Humaine and 10,000 Days, among many others.

CLOSE QUARTERS' "digitally native" programs, created specifically for streaming and hailed as "musically and artistically compelling" (Los Angeles Times), have drawn nearly one million views to date since debuting in November 2020. Between 30 and 40 minutes in length, they are safely filmed at 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, will 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 nearly 250,000 views to date.

Subsequent CLOSE QUARTERS episodes premiere on Fridays, April 9 and 23, May 7 and 21, and June 4, 2021, at 6:30 pm (PT).

LACO recognizes the generous support of the Colburn Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The Orchestra also receives public funding via grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. James Darrah at LACO is generously underwritten by Ruth Eliel and Bill Cooney. LACO: Close Quarters series sponsors include Hilda Herrera Adler, Steve & Evelyn Block, Jennifer Diener, Ann Graham Ehringer, Al Evans & Anna Rosicka, Peggy & Jack Falcon, Anne & Jeffrey Grausam, Diane Henderson, Howard & Judith Jelinek, William & Priscilla Kennedy, Raulee Marcus, Dana & Ned Newman, Dr. Hervey & Doris Segall, and Anne-Marie & Alex Spataru.

Gil Shaham's debut performances with LACO are supported by Terri & Jerry Kohl. To support LACO, its stellar artists and digital programming, please visit LACO.org/donate or call (213) 622-7001, EXT. 4.


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