Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal



Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra blog

July 17, 2014

keeping a promise i made to myself at laco's silent film

It’s been over a month since LACO’s annual Silent Film Gala, and I’m still flooded with wonderful memories from an incredibly entertaining evening. You can read my blog post on the event, with lots of details, here. I loved watching Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” on the big screen, and the final scene, featuring Charlie and his co-star walking down a deserted road towards a row of mountains, inspired me. By the time I left Royce Hall that evening, I had given myself a new goal:

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the finish line
June 19, 2014

Have you ever trained for a race? You know—you sign up for a big race, immediately feel giddy and you start to anticipate what it will be like when you cross that finish line. You’ll probably pat yourself on the back (metaphorically speaking, of course—unless you have a friend to help you out) and you’ll smile with pride because you’ve done something that you probably never thought you could. With two half-marathons under my belt and a third one in the works, I know that feeling all too well.

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welcome Patty!
June 16, 2014

Every summer, LACO welcomes a new high school intern from the Constitutional Rights Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to “assuring our country’s future by investing in our youth today.” I am happy to introduce you to this summer’s intern, Patty Sanchez, who works with LACO through mid-July:

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a silent tribute to los angeles
June 10, 2014

I’m still smiling from my excellent weekend – one that was capped by a sensational Sunday night performance by LACO. The occasion was the annual Silent Film Gala, where classic films are screened at Royce Hall, with LACO performing the scores live. This year’s festivities, which featured two Charlie Chaplin films (“Modern Times” and “Kid Auto Races in Venice”), were especially noteworthy, as they marked a number of milestones, including the 25th anniversary of the first Silent Film Gala, and the 125th anniversary of Chaplin’s birth. I suspected I might leave Royce Hall feeling jubilant, but I didn’t anticipate leaving with a desire to explore the city around me. But that’s what LACO concerts will do to a person: they’ll change you, and in ways you don’t expect.

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charlie chaplin's modern times
June 03, 2014

This year, LACO’s annual silent film screening features Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times and Kid Auto Races in Venice. Kally Mavromatis of WelcomeToSilentMovies.com offers a bit of history into both the films and the man himself.

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a whole lotta pianos
May 23, 2014

Man, if you love pianos, than the Alex Theatre was the place to be this past Saturday. LACO’s program for the Bach & Mozart: Double Concertos concert featured not one pianist, not two pianists, and not three pianists. It had four pianists! They ranged in age from 12 to significantly older than 12, and they were backed by the orchestra in a glorious array on concertos from the masters of classical music. Plus, there was a program switcharoo that really kept me on my toes!

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beethoven the pianist
May 11, 2014

LACO’s upcoming concert features “double concertos” by Mozart and Bach and a selection of Etudes for Piano by György Ligeti. The finale of the evening will be Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, played by the incomparable Jeremy Denk and the talented musicians of LACO. Beethoven’s piano music is fascinating to me because I know he wrote most of it to show off his own talent as a pianist. To closely study these concertos, sonatas, and piano trios is to understand Beethoven the performer. And one cannot help but feel a little melancholy in looking at these pieces because we know that Beethoven had to give up his performing career sooner than he wanted to because of his hearing loss.

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roll the dice
May 08, 2014

What is aleatoric music? Before today, I had never heard of it; but, I don’t think I’m alone. As I write this blog, spell check is alerting me of a misspelling and has “no suggestions.”

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an excellent bunch of showoffs
May 02, 2014

Many people think classical music is antiquated, and only for older people. I mean, sure, technically a lot of the stuff played at LACO is really old music. And sure, looking around at the Alex theater you see a lot of…distinguished hair. But, for those who attended the April 26th LACO performance, what they got was in some ways a celebration of youth; a concert that showed all the classical haters out there that you don’t have to be old to rock a concerto.

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anticipating the anticipation
April 28, 2014

LACO’s annual Sound Investment premiere concert is quickly becoming one of my favorites of the year. This year, the official name of the concert was “Chopin: Piano Concerto,” but I didn’t show up for Chopin, I showed up for Sound Investment premiere. I’m glad I heard the Chopin, and I’ll get to that piece a little later, but I’ll start with the Sound Investment premiere. Did I mention it was a premiere?

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chopin and haydn share the stage
April 19, 2014

LACO’s upcoming concert features a Piano Concerto written at the beginning of Chopin’s career and a symphony composed near the end of Haydn’s career. In some ways, their professional lives were the inverse of each other. Chopin started out writing symphonic works to introduce himself to the musical public, and eventually all but gave up public performance in his later years. On the other hand, Haydn spent 30 years working for a single family and didn’t really have the opportunity to work in the public sphere until he was in his late forties.

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make a fashion statement with LACO
April 17, 2014

On September 16, 154 Days ago and Day 1 of the #LACO205 challenge, LACO staff and musicians all received a #LACO205 t-shirt.

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sound investment with Hannah Lash
April 11, 2014

In LACO’s latest Sound Investment Salon on February 20, composer Hannah Lash shared insights about her approach to composing and her world premiere composition, This Ease.

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fiddlefest: history in the making
April 01, 2014

When I hear the word ‘fiddlefest,’ my mind paints a very specific picture: bales of hay, people wearing overalls and biting pieces of straw, lots of “yee-haws” filing the air, and a crowd of folks dancing and having a great time. But thanks to LACO’s astounding Stradivarius FiddleFest concert, that image will forever be replaced with the memories from last Friday night. I’ve enjoyed my share of LACO concerts over the years, but I’ve never left a venue feeling so in awe, so invigorated, and so giddy.

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what do you get a 329-year-old music icon?
March 23, 2014

This weekend LACO celebrated Bach’s birthday and in a major social faux-pas, I plumb forgot to bring a present. Whoops! Johann Sebastian Bach was born this month in 1685, and I’m not exactly sure what you get for a man firmly rooted in his fourth century of being a major player in the international music scene. Perhaps something that he wasn’t able to enjoy during his lifetime? After all, Bach died in 1750, before many commonplace things we use daily even existed, including the first published dictionary (1755), carbonated beverages (1767), the flush toilet (1775), and the hot air balloon (1783). Hell, Bach never got to see the horrors of the guillotine (1789) – but that’d make for a pretty lousy birthday present.

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hope springs eternal - even on the hill
March 19, 2014

...especially on The Hill! As the folks of Chavez Ravine referred to their hamlet nestled in the baby Santa Monica Mountains. Truth is I love baseball – love baseball at the park the way God and country intended it to be watched. And every game I went to last year as I watched the magic of the double play turned from second base to first I thought of the magic under all those bases. The magic is this: Several residents that Culture Clash interviewed for our play CHAVEZ RAVINE claimed to have been born in houses near second base and shortstop.

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