Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” by Public Radio International, “one of the world’s great chamber orchestras” by KUSC Classical FM and “resplendent” by the Los Angeles Times, has established itself among the world’s top musical ensembles. Since 1997, LACO has performed under the baton of acclaimed conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, hailed by critics as “visionary” and a conductor with “effortless musicality and extraordinary communicative gifts.” Under Kahane’s leadership, the Orchestra maintains its status as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and a champion of contemporary composers. Acclaimed American composer Andrew Norman, whose works have been commissioned and performed worldwide, serves as composer-in-residence for the fifth season. In 2016-17, Mahan Esfahani joins LACO in his first of a three-year residency as the Baroque Conversations artistic partner, bringing excellence in Baroque programming to the series, as well as through community and education presentations each year. During its almost 50-year history, the Orchestra 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.
LACO’s 2016-17 season is its final under the leadership of Kahane, who steps down June 2017, concluding a 20-year tenure at the Orchestra’s artistic helm, the longest in LACO history. During the sweeping and deeply personal season, which commemorates Kahane’s remarkable legacy, the Orchestra presents eight Orchestral Series concerts in collaboration with Glendale Arts and CAP UCLA; five Baroque Conversations concerts in collaboration with The Colburn School; and three Westside Connections chamber music concerts, designed to illustrate the relationship between music and other artistic disciplines. Among the season’s special musical events is “Lift Every Voice,” three-weeks of concerts, conversations and community engagement curated by Kahane to explore themes of tolerance, compassion, cooperation and creativity and the power of music to encourage understanding and promote peace. LACO values its partnerships with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and Renaissance Arts Academy and proudly presents education and community programs such as Meet the Music, Community Partners, Campus to Concert Hall and the LACO/USC Thornton Strings Mentorship Program, that reach thousands of young people annually, nurturing future musicians and composers as well as inspiring a love of classical music.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, headquartered in downtown LA, was founded in 1968 as an artistic outlet for the recording industry’s most gifted musicians. The Orchestra’s artistic founder, cellist James Arkatov, envisioned an ensemble that would allow these conservatory-trained players to balance studio work and teaching with pure artistic collaboration at the highest level. With the financial backing of philanthropist Richard Colburn and managerial expertise from attorney Joseph Troy, who also became the Orchestra’s first president, LACO presented its first performances. Kahane continues the standard of excellence set by the Orchestra’s first four music directors, Sir Neville Marriner, Gerard Schwarz, Iona Brown and Christof Perick.
The official pianists of the Primrose International Viola Competition 2018 will be revealed in June 2018.