With so much to look forward to at LACO in the New Year, I want to share some highlights from the last 12 months:
• LACO’s performances throughout 2015 received enthusiastic audience and critical acclaim, from The LA Times noting that “the ensemble is in excellent shape,” to Violinist.com’s rave, “this is why we go to live concerts.”
• LACO musicians traveled to the historic Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara on May 10 for a performance that culminated in a standing ovation. With music director Jeffrey Kahane play-conducting Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, the Orchestra’s performance was touted as “exhilarating” and “stunning” by CASA Magazine.
• LACO @ the Movies, in collaboration with Walt Disney Animation Studios, drew a sold-out house to the glamorous Theatre at Ace Hotel in June. The Orchestra synchronized live performance with short films featuring Mickey Mouse, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and a special tribute in honor of the 75th anniversary of Fantasia.
• Over 2,500 children from the greater Los Angeles area attended LACO’s Meet the Music concerts at Zipper Hall at The Colburn School, free of charge, this year. LACO education artists-in-residence wild Up, a ground-breaking experimental ensemble based in LA, joined LACO for the October performances for hundreds of LAUSD and PUSD students. wild Up’s recent performance in New York was recognized in The New York Times’ Best Classical 2015 list – wonderful recognition for our education partners.
• LACO delivered world-class orchestral music to a wider audience through a multitude of radio broadcasts, including 25 broadcasts nationally through “Performance Today” and a seven-week residency on Sunday evenings with Classical KUSC.
• In November, LACO partnered with the USC Thornton School of Music to provide current music students the opportunity to play assigned orchestral excerpts behind a screen for a panel of musicians. The two winners of the LACO-USC Thornton Strings Mentorship Program Mock Auditions, violinists Joanna Lee and Philip Marten, will perform in two LACO performances in May 2016. We continue to develop new partnerships across Los Angeles and nurture our ongoing strong partnerships with the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Glendale Arts at The Alex Theatre and The Colburn School.
• LACO performed five premieres in 2015, including three stunning world premieres and two West Coast premieres: Andrew Norman’s Frank’s House (world premiere), Joseph Hallman’s imagined landscapes (West Coast premiere), Ted Hearne’s Respirator (world premiere, LACO Sound Investment commission), Derrick Spiva’s Prisms, Cycles, Leaps (world premiere) and Timo Andres’ Word of Mouth (West Coast premiere).
• On December 10, LACO music director Jeffrey Kahane appeared with the New York Philharmonic as a piano soloist in the world premiere of LACO composer-in-residence Andrew Norman’s composition Split. Their collaboration has been nurtured at LACO, making the rave reviews from the media a point of pride for all of us. The New York Times called Split “audacious, exhilarating and, in a way, exhausting,” because of the amazing frenetic energy of the piece and Jeffrey’s spirited performance. Moreover, Andrew and two 2015-16 season guest artists, Cho-Liang Lin and Marc-André Hamelin, received well-deserved GRAMMY nominations in December.
With these exciting events of 2015 as our springboard, I am confident that 2016 will bring more thrilling performances, wide-reaching community engagement opportunities and so much more. Stay tuned!