Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Westside Connections Explores Controversial History of Chavez Ravine with Culture Clash Satirist Richard Montoya
March 14, 2014
Laura Stegman, 310 470 6321
Libby Huebner, 562 799 6055
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Westside Connections Explores Controversial History of Chavez Ravine with Culture Clash Satirist Richard Montoya and Music of Revueltas, Chávez and Dvořák
“LA Influential” Is 2014 Thematic Twist
for Orchestra’s Innovative Chamber Music Series
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 7:30 pm
Moss Theater, Santa Monica
Culture Clash satirist/comedian Richard Montoya explores the controversial history of Chavez Ravine at Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s (LACO) WESTSIDE CONNECTIONS chamber music series on Thursday, April 3, 2014, 7:30 pm, at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica. The three-part series, with “LA Influential” as this year’s thematic twist, examines the impact our diverse city has had on arts and culture through the eyes of distinguished guest artists and speakers. LACO Concertmaster and series curator Margaret Batjer has programmed evenings that showcase the virtuosic artistry of LACO musicians in chamber masterpieces, reflecting the compelling LA connections and inspirations that have deeply influenced the series’ special guests.
Providing a thought-provoking musical context for Montoya’s penetrating political and cultural musings, LACO artists perform Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 12, “American”; String Quartet by mercurial Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas, and two works by Revueltas’s contemporary, Carlos Chávez, a cultural force who synthesized elements of Mexican, Indian and Spanish-Mexican influence in his Trio for Harp, Flute and Viola; and Sonatina for Violin and Piano.
Montoya, who calls himself a “Chicano” and draws on real-life experiences, has been addressing racial issues with humor and satire with the performance troupe Culture Class since 1984. Critics proclaim, “His thought-provoking performances…have cracked up audiences, and changed some minds” (National Public Radio) with their “deadly serious message” (The New York Times). Having lived in Los Angeles for more than two decades, Montoya says, “There’s a constant soundtrack, always in my head. Music has inspired me and comforted me (because) to be a political artist is kind of a lonely thing.”
Westside Connections, now in its sixth season, concludes on May 15 with John Rubinstein, the prolific film, stage and television artist who is the son of legendary pianist Arthur Rubinstein. The series opener in February featured Arnold Steinhart, acclaimed first violin of the illustrious Guarneri Quartet.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is considered one of the world’s premier chamber orchestras as well as a leader in presenting wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissions. Its 2013-14 season, the Orchestra’s 45th, features a compelling mix of beloved masterpieces and genre-defying premieres from firmly established and notable up-and-coming composers programmed by Jeffrey Kahane, one of the world’s foremost conductors and pianists, who marks his 17th season as LACO’s music director.
Tickets (beginning at $50) are available online at laco.org, by calling LACO at 213 622 7001, or at the venue box office on the night of the concert, if tickets remain. Student rush tickets ($10), based on availability, may be purchased at the box office one hour before the concert. Also available for college students is the $25 “Campus to Concert Hall All Access Pass” – good for LACO’s three Westside Connections concerts at the Moss Theater, seven Orchestral Series concerts at either the Alex Theatre or UCLA’s Royce Hall and Discover Beethoven’s Eroica at Ambassador Auditorium. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for groups of 12 or more. The Moss Theater at New Roads School is located at 3131 Olympic Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA, 90404.
A multi-talented cultural visionary, RICHARD MONTOYA is a playwright and principal writer for the famed performance trio Culture Clash, which marks its 30th anniversary in 2014. The group’s landmark 2003 play Chavez Ravine told the story of thousands of poor Angelenos who were displaced by Dodgers Stadium. In 2006 Montoya premiered the Chicano noir, Water & Power, which is now a film. His solo works include American Night, a scathing look at the US Immigration crisis, commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Montoya studied at the American Conservatory Theater. Tonight’s performance is dedicated to the loving memory of his father Jose E. Montoya and the bouncing joy of his life, Mountain Montoya, age three and a half.
MARGARET BATJER has served as concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998. She made her first solo appearance at the age of 15 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has since returned to the CSO and soloed with a succession of major orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the St. Louis, Seattle and Dallas symphony orchestras. Batjer has performed with such European ensembles as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Prague Chamber Orchestra and Berlin Symphony Orchestra. She appears regularly at the Marlboro Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Salzburg Festival, and Italy’s Naples and Cremona festivals. In 2008, she developed LACO’s acclaimed chamber music series, Westside Connections.
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 and garnered eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, LACO presents its Orchestral Series on Saturdays either at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium or Glendale’s Alex Theatre and on Sundays at UCLA’s Royce Hall; Baroque Conversations at downtown Los Angeles’ Zipper Concert Hall; Westside Connections chamber music series, designed to illustrate the relationship between music and other artistic disciplines, at the Moss Theater 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 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.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Richard Montoya, guest artist
Margaret Batjer, curator/host
Josefina Vergara, violin
Joel Pargman, violin
Robert Brophy, viola
Giovanna M. Clayton, cello
JoAnn Turovsky, harp
David Shostac, flute
Bryan Pezzone, piano
Cheryl Norman-Brick, violin
Maia Jasper, violin
Victoria Miskolczy, viola
Armen Ksajikian, cello
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 7:30 pm
REVUELTAS String Quartet No. 4, “Musica de Feria”
CHÁVEZ Trio for Harp, Flute and Viola
CHÁVEZ Sonatina for Violin and Piano
DVORÁK String Quartet No. 12, “American”
Ann and Jerry Moss Theater
at New Roads School
3131 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
TICKETS/INFORMATION: 213 622 7001 × 1
For further information about the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s 2013-14 season, please call 213 622 7001, or visit www.laco.org.