New music has long been a facet of LACO programming – the Orchestra’s Sound Investment program has commissioned and premiered new works for 18 consecutive seasons – but last month’s inaugural SESSION event took it to whole new level.

“SESSION is designed to appeal to those culturally curious souls who may be unfamiliar with classical music as well as concertgoers intrigued by the ways in which the genre can defy expectations,” says LACO Executive Director Scott Harrison.

Immersive, interdisciplinary and set in a beer hall, SESSION proved a unique experience where LACO musicians joined forces with Creative Advisor Andrew Norman and art collective Four Larks. Interactive sound design and site-specific visual concepts provided a unique backdrop for the cutting-edge compositions on the program.

the reviews

Hub blogger, Vernoica An, got to the heart of what made the SESSION event so engaging in her post Baroque and brews: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra shakes up expectations with new casual concert series:

“The highlight of the evening was Norman’s string trio, The Companion Guide to Rome. Each movement of the work is a character study of a Roman church, the music is informed by the proportions of the buildings, the qualities of the surfaces, the patterns in their floors, the artwork on the walls and the lives and legends of the saints whose names they bear. 4Larks actors performed theatrical projections during the piece, adding to the multimedia experience.”
Vernoica An

the musicians

LACO Violinist Maia Jasper White, also co-artistic director of the Salastina Music Society, and Cellist Giovanna M. Clayton, embraced the face painting and wall-to-wall art as something #creative:


Painted faces, silliness, and wall-to-wall music at @lachamberorchestra last night. #chambermusic

A post shared by Salastina (@salastinamusicsociety) on

the concertgoers

Patrons described the “beautiful, architectural, modular concert” as #breathtaking:


@lachambamusic great job enjoyed the event looking forward to next years season

A post shared by Johanna Arias-Bhatia (@ariasbhatia) on

behind the scenes

Collaborators and provocateurs, Four Larks, kept up a steady stream of site study posts during the run up to the event. LACO Special Events Associate Beverly Wu also caught some of the staging action on the day of the event.

S E S S I O N spiva

Produced in collaboration with Four Larks, SESSION featured the world premiere of The Body Overcome by Derrick Spiva Jr, hindustani vocalist Saili Oak, a US premiere by composer Juan Pablo Contreras and works by Conor Brown, Salina Fisher and Reena Esmail.

join us:
Sound Investment

Have you ever listened to a favorite symphony and wondered what shaped the composer’s ideas? How the orchestra players reacted upon first reading the new score? How the composer felt as musicians finally gave sonic life to notes on paper?

You can get answers when you commission a new work of music through Sound Investment.

LA Orchestra Fellowship

The LA Orchestra Fellowship is a two-year orchestra intensive for musicians on violin, viola, and cello.

Fellows are mentored in chamber and orchestral performance and gain invaluable experience while training and playing alongside Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra musicians, faculty at USC Thornton and mentor members of the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.