The mission of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is to enrich and connect our community through intimate and transformative musical experiences which exemplify and foster artistic excellence, education and innovation.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” by Public Radio International, 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 of uncommon intellect, insight and musical integrity” with “undeniable charisma.” Under Kahane’s leadership, the Orchestra maintains its status as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and a champion of contemporary composers. During its 45-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.
Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, LACO presents seven Orchestral Series concerts on Saturdays at either Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium or Glendale’s Alex Theatre and on Sundays at UCLA’s Royce Hall; five Baroque Conversations concerts at downtown Los Angeles’ Zipper Concert Hall at The Colburn School; three Westside Connections chamber music concerts, designed to illustrate the relationship between music and other artistic disciplines, at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica; and an annual Discover concert, which features an in-depth examination that sheds new light on a single piece of music, at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium. LACO also presents a Concert Gala, an annual Silent Film screening at Royce Hall and several fundraising salons each year. Additionally, LACO outreach programs—Meet the Music, Community Partners, Campus to Concert Hall and the LACO/USC Thornton Strings Mentorship Program—reach thousands of young people annually, nurturing future musicians and composers as well as inspiring a love of classical music.
The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra 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 in the fall of 1969. Current music director Jeffrey 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.
Learn about the LACO Mural: Harbor Freeway Overture