Juan Pablo Contreras + Gerónimo Giménez

Virtual Event


Juan Pablo ContrerasMariachitlán for chamber orchestra was commissioned and premiered by LACO at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall on June 26, 2021. Contreras wrote the original version of Mariachitlán for symphony orchestra in 2016, which was nominated for a Latin GRAMMY.

Watch Executive Director Ben Cadwallader and Juan Pablo as they talk about the inspiration behind Mariachitlán.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Juan Pablo Contreras (@jpcomposer)


Sponsorship for composer Juan Pablo Contreras on this episode was provided by Raulee Marcus
The appearance of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall was made possible by a leadership gift from Terri + Jerry Kohl.


Juan Pablo Contreras

Juan Pablo Contreras


10 minutes

Gerónimo Giménez

Intermedio de La Boda de Luis Alonso (encore)

5 minutes


Margaret Batjer


Tereza Stanislav

assistant concertmaster

Josefina Vergara

principal second violin

Cheryl Norman-Brick

acting associate second violin

Hana Kim

violin II

Andrew Shulman

Principal Cello

Armen Ksajikian

associate Principal Cello

David Grossman

Principal Bass

Sandy Hughes

Acting Principal Flute

Diana Morgan


Claire Brazeau

Principal Oboe, Allan Vogel Chair, Endowed by the Henry Family

Joshua Ranz

Principal Clarinet

Michael Thornton

Principal Horn

David Washburn

Principal Trumpet

Elisabeth Zosseder

acting principal harp

Ted Atkatz


Ryan Sweeney

personnel manager


LACO’s 2019-20 Sound Investment Composer, Juan Pablo Contreras, is a Los Angeles-based composer known for combining Western classical and Mexican folk music in a single soundscape. He wrote the original version of Mariachitlán for symphony orchestra in 2016. It is a dynamic and award-winning work, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy. This new version is a commission from LACO, an arrangement of Mariachitlán for chamber orchestra. As the composer explains, “Mariachitlán (Mariachiland) is an orchestral homage to my birthplace, the Mexican state of Jalisco, where mariachi music originated.” In particular, the work reflects the experience of hearing multiple mariachi bands vie for listeners’ attention in the Plaza de los Mariachis in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco. To create a sense of this sonic experience, Contreras weaves into the piece several strands: the traditional rhythm of canción ranchera (ranchera song), the vals romántico—a romantic waltz in triple time, and the son jalisciense, a traditional song from Jalisco that alternates between a swinging compound meter and a simple triple meter. To further evoke the Mariachi sound, we will hear soloists on the trumpet, harp, and violin. Contreras also translates the strumming vihuelas into the string section and the lower-sounding guitarrones to the contrabasses. A whistle near the end represents the police calling for order, only to be shouted down by the rowdy crowd. Mariachitlán ends with brilliant flourishes, celebrating the vibrancy of mariachi music in Jalisco.

-Christine Lee Gengaro, Ph.D.

About LACO SummerFest 2021

LACO SummerFest began as a response to the lack of in-person concerts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting July 2020, LACO released five special musician-curated programs bi-weekly, utilizing COVID-19 safety guidelines for film and television production in Los Angeles County. These 30-minute broadcasts allowed LACO to connect and engage with supporters while also building an online audience.

We are continuing SummerFest in 2021, featuring performances from our first in-person concerts in 15 months since the pandemic at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Huntington Library.


How to Support

Viewers who wish to support LACO and the artists on screen are encouraged to visit or call (213) 622-7001, EXT. 4.