Jeffrey Kahane music director
Andrew Norman composer-in-residence
Margaret Batjer concertmaster


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.

LACO bio

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” by Public Radio International 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 of uncommon intellect, insight and musical integrity” with “undeniable charisma,” “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. 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.

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Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, this season LACO presents seven Orchestral Series concerts on Saturdays at Glendale’s Alex Theatre and on Sundays at UCLA’s Royce Hall; five Baroque Conversations concerts, of which four are held at downtown Los Angeles’ Zipper Concert Hall at The Colburn School and one at USC’s Bovard Auditorium as part of the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival; three Westside Connections chamber music concerts, 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 film event, featuring the Orchestra performing the score live, 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.

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LACO needs your support

Share your love of great music with a contribution to the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Support from music lovers like you makes possible all LACO programs, bringing the Orchestra’s innovative programming into the lives of thousands of students, families and Angelenos of all ages. There are many ways to give! read more →

LACO mural

Muralist Kent Twitchell’s mammoth works are well known in Los Angeles, his gargantuan figures standing sentinel over the urban structures they grace. Perhaps the most familiar of these mega-paintings, seen by more than 250,000 people each day as they stream north on the 110 Freeway, is Harbor Freeway Overture.

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Comprised of three walls of the parking structure adjacent to Seventh Street Marketplace, portraits of musicians (and one significant patron) of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra loom eight stories over downtown. Since 1994, when the third panel was completed, the mural has become a cultural icon for Los Angeles, employing a visual medium to declare the city’s status as a world center for the arts and to proclaim the city’s pride in its performing artists.

Although the work appears to be a fresco, painted directly onto the walls of the structures, it is actually painted on a non-woven media, a blend of polyester and cellulous. The 11,000 square foot, eight-story-high LACO monument consumed more than 500 gallons of paint and took nearly 2,000 hours to complete.

The first panel, to the far left and closest to the freeway, portrays violinist Julie Gigante. The two figures in the foreground of the middle panel are oboist Allan Vogel and cellist Margaret Moores. In the background of the middle panel, former and current orchestra members can be seen, including violist Roland Kato. Near the center of the group is Tachi Kiuchi, the Mitsubishi executive who arranged for funding of the mural project. The third panel, to the far right, portrays LACO’s concertmaster from 1988 to 1996, Ralph Morrison.

left panel

Julie Gigante, violin

middle panel

First row: Allan Vogel, oboe; Rene Mandel, violin; Margaret Moores, cello
Second row: Tachi Kiuchi, former board member; Lisa Sutton, violin; Roy Poper, trumpet
Third row: Rowena Hammill,cello; Richard Altenbach, violin; Roland Kato, viola
Fourth row: Laura Kuennen-Poper, viola

right panel

Ralph Morrison, violin

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performance archive

Browse the Orchestra’s past seasons to find your favorite concert! read more →