Jeffrey Kahane conductor laureate
Andrew Norman creative advisor & composer-in-residence
Mahan Esfahani baroque artistic partner
Margaret Batjer concertmaster
Dana Newman board president
Scott Harrison executive director
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 seeks to be a cultural force in Los Angeles and recognized as a premier orchestra worldwide.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), ranked among the world’s top musical ensembles, marks its 50th anniversary season with more artistic energy and creative impulse coursing through its musical veins than at any time in its history. Beloved by audiences and praised by critics, the Orchestra is known as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks as well as a champion of contemporary composers. LACO, headquartered in the heart of the country’s cultural capital, has been proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” (Public Radio International), “LA’s most unintimidating chamber music experience” (Los Angeles Magazine), “resplendent” (Los Angeles Times), and “one of the world’s great chamber orchestras”(KUSC Classical FM).read more →
In 2017-18, acclaimed American composer Andrew Norman expands his position with the Orchestra as Creative Advisor and continues as LACO’s composer-in-residence. Mahan Esfahani continues a three-year residency as Baroque Artistic Partner and further fosters increased artistic excellence and reach for LACO’s community and education presentations. Spotlighting its rich legacy, LACO highlights the ensemble’s depth and range with favorite works, including Bach’s supreme Brandenburg Concertos and three late Mozart symphonies. Explored, too, is the intimate side of the last century, with works by Bernstein, Stravinsky and Britten. As part of its signature MusicLAb; which celebrates innovative composers, vital new music and creative exploration; LACO premieres works by four composers with deep connections to LA – Andrew Norman, Ellen Reid, Pierre Jalbert and Derrick Spiva.
Performing throughout greater LA, the Orchestra presents eight Orchestral Series concerts in collaboration with Glendale Arts and CAP UCLA; five Baroque Conversations concerts at downtown LA’s Zipper Hall; and three In Focus chamber music concerts in partnership with The Huntington Library and Santa Monica’s New Roads School. Long committed to the power of partnership, LACO continues a multi-faceted collaboration with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. As a key aspect of the Orchestra’s mission to nurture future musicians and composers as well as inspire a love of classical music, LACO presents an array of education and community programs, such as Meet the Music, Community Partners, Campus to Concert Hall and the LACO/USC Thornton Strings Mentorship Program.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1968 as an artistic outlet for the recording industry’s most gifted musicians. 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. LACO presented its first performances with the financial backing of philanthropist Richard Colburn and managerial expertise from attorney Joseph Troy, who also became the Orchestra’s first president. Sir Neville Marriner, Gerard Schwarz, Iona Brown, Christof Perick and Jeffrey Kahane, LACO’s illustrious Music Directors, each built upon a tradition of joyous music-making performed by exceptional artists as adept in the Baroque as in the music of today. The Orchestra has made 31 recordings, toured Europe, South America and Japan, performed across North America, and garnered eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. LACO’s offices are located in downtown Los Angeles.
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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 →
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.read more →
Comprised of three walls of the parking structure adjacent to open-air shopping mall FIGat7th, 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. LACO thanks Brookfield Properties, the home of Harbor Freeway Overture for over two decades.
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 current LACO violinist Julie Gigante. The middle panel features former orchestra members, including oboist Allan Vogel and cellist Margaret Moores in the foreground. 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.
Julie Gigante, violin
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
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Browse the Orchestra’s past seasons to find your favorite concert! read more →