Jaime Martín conducts West Coast Premiere of composer Bryce Dessner’s Voy A Dormir

Dessner spotlights Grammy Award-Winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, concert also Features Mozart’s Requiem

Saturday, April 27, 2019, 8 pm, Glendale’s Alex Theatre, and
Sunday, April 28, 2019, 7 pm, UCLA’s Royce Hall

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) Music Director Designate Jaime Martín makes his only appearance this season on LACO’s Orchestral Series when he conducts the West Coast premiere of the LACO-co-commissioned song cycle Voy a Dormir by Bryce Dessner, known to many as a guitarist with Grammy Award-winning alternative rock band The National and one of the most sought-after composers of his generation, on Saturday, April 27, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre, and Sunday, April 28, 2019, 7 pm, at Royce Hall. Dessner’s work was written for and features Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, who is also spotlighted in Mozart’s Requiem with soprano Sarah Shafer, tenor Thomas Cooley, bass Dashon Burton and the USC Thornton Chamber Singers. Martín begins his tenure with LACO in the 2019-20 season.

Dessner’s rapidly expanding catalog of works has been commissioned by leading orchestras and ensembles. Voy a Dormir is a LACO co-commission with Carnegie Hall and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, which premiered the work on February 15, at Carnegie Hall. It is set to the poetry of Alfonsina Storni (1892-1938), one of the foremost poets in Latin American literature. Says Dessner, “I was fortunate to hear Kelley sing the stunning Neruda Songs by the great late composer Peter Lieberson in Paris a few years ago and was inspired by her beautiful command of the Spanish language. I have long had an interest in Spanish and South American literature, which was my second major at Yale, yet this was my first experience setting Spanish text to music. Kelley and I worked collaboratively on choosing the poems and were both deeply moved by the beauty and power of Storni’s words as well as the story of her life in which she struggled through difficult economic circumstances as a single mother and, later, breast cancer. My work traces the arc of four of her later poems ‘Yo en el fondo del Mar’ (Me at the bottom of the Sea), ‘Dulce Tortura’ (Sweet Torture), ‘Faro en la Noche’ (Lighthouse in the Night) and her last written poem before her death by suicide in 1938, ‘Voy a Dormir’ (I am going to sleep).”

O’Connor, noted for her uncommon vocal allure and musical sophistication, has been hailed for a voice that is “elegantly focused” (New York Times) and “palpably charismatic” (Washington Post). She notes that she finds it “liberating” to sing lyrics from a woman’s perspective and that she “responds to Storni’s personal torment and the surrender in her poetry (with its) exquisite pain and yet stunning acceptance.”

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) ranks among the world’s top musical ensembles. Beloved by audiences and praised by critics, the Orchestra is known as a champion of contemporary composers, with eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, as well as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks. Headquartered in the heart of the country’s cultural capital, LACO 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). Performing throughout greater Los Angeles, the Orchestra presents orchestral, Baroque and chamber concerts, as well as salon evenings in private spaces and unique experiences that explore classical music’s cutting-edge sounds. LACO’s long history of educational outreach encompasses programs integral to its mission of nurturing future musicians and composers as well as inspiring a love of classical music. Jaime Martín, praised as “a visionary conductor, discerning and meticulous” (Platea Magazine), is LACO’s Music Director Designate and takes the podium as Music Director in the 2019-20 season.

Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Concert Preludes, pre-concert talks held one hour before curtain and free for ticket holders, provide insights into the program’s music and artists.

Tickets for concerts at Alex Theatre and Royce Hall start at $28 and may be purchased online at laco.org or by calling LACO at 213 622 7001 x1. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for seniors 65 years of age and older and groups of 12 or more. Students with valid student ID may purchase discounted tickets ($8), based on availability.

Jaime Martín, praised as “a visionary conductor, discerning and meticulous” (Platea Magazine), takes the podium as Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Music Director in the 2019-20 season. Following a prominent career on flute, he turned to conducting full time in 2013 and has since emerged not only as a talented technical conductor but also one with stylistic authenticity who is known for making deep connections to the musicians under his direction. In September 2019, he also becomes Principal Conductor of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra. He has been Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Gävle Symphony Orchestra since 2013, and his time there has brought the orchestra a new level of international recognition through highly acclaimed recordings and touring performances. Martín is also Artistic Director of the Santander Festival, where over the last five years, he has brought financial stability and created a platform for some of the most exciting artists in their fields, ranging from symphony orchestras and baroque ensembles to education workshops and ballet companies. As conductor, he has worked with an impressive list of orchestras that includes the London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, Swedish Radio Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Essen Philharmonic, Gulbenkian and Philharmonia Orchestras, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Autumn 2018 saw his highly successful debut performances with the London Symphony Orchestra and Christian Tetzlaff in Madrid and London, with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Joshua Bell, and with the Colorado Symphony and Pinchas Zukerman. In January 2019, he completed a nine-concert tour of Europe with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, including performances at the Gasteig in Munich and the Cologne Philharmonie. Martín made his conducting debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with the Gävle Symphony in September and, later this season, he will undertake an extensive tour of Switzerland and an appearance at the Prague Spring Festival with Orquestra de Cadaqués. Other future orchestral debuts include engagements with the Melbourne and West Australian Symphony orchestras, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Staatskapelle Halle and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Martín is recording a series for Ondine Records with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra, which includes the Brahms Serenades, Songs of Destiny, Brahms choral works with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, and a recording of the Brahms Piano Quartet, arranged by Schoenberg, which was released in February 2019. He has also recorded Schubert Symphony No. 9 and Beethoven Symphony No. 3, “Eroica” with Orquestra de Cadaqués and various discs with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra for Tritó Records. In 2015, he recorded James Horner’s last symphonic work “Collages” for four horns and orchestra with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Martín made his operatic debut conducting The Magic Flute at El Escorial Madrid and San Sebastian Festival in August 2012. His debut at the English National Opera in February 2013 conducting The Barber of Seville led to a return in autumn 2014 to conduct The Marriage of Figaro. As a flautist, Martín was principal flute of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, English National Opera, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and London Philharmonic Orchestra. A much sought-after soloist, he made a recording of Mozart flute concertos with Sir Neville Marriner, the premiere recording of Sinfonietta Concerto for Flute and Orchestra written for him by Xavier Montsalvatge and conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, and Bach works for flute, violin and piano with Murray Perahia and Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields for Sony. He was also a founding member of the Orquestra de Cadaqués, and while he has held the title of Chief Conductor with the orchestra since 2012, his association with them has spanned over 30 years. Martin is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music, London, where he was a flute professor. He now enjoys working with many of his former students in orchestras around the world.

Dashon Burton (bass), who has established a vibrant career in opera, recital and with orchestra, has been praised for his “nobility and rich tone” (New York Times) and his “enormous, thrilling voice seemingly capable … of raising the dead” (Wall Street Journal). He is a frequent guest with Philharmonia Baroque, the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque and the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Kansas City and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. He frequently appears with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst and recently toured Europe and Japan in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

Thomas Cooley (tenor) is a singer of great virtuosity, expressiveness and versatility. In demand internationally, he performs a wide range of repertoire with premiere orchestras, ensembles and conductors. Thomas has received exceptional acclaim for performing the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions and in the great oratorios of Handel. This season, Thomas performs with Music of the Baroque, Chicago and the Atlanta Symphony. He also performs with Houston Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Musica Angelica, and at New York’s St. Thomas Church. Thomas makes regular appearances with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, and the Carmel Bach Festival.

Bryce Dessner (composer), who with The National won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album for “Sleep Well Beast,” has been hailed for music that’s “gorgeous, full-hearted” (NPR) and “vibrant” (The New York Times). He is also active as a curator – a vital force in the flourishing realm of new creative music. His orchestral, chamber and vocal compositions have been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kronos Quartet, BAM Next Wave Festival, Barbican Centre, New York City Ballet and many others. He has worked with some of the most creative and respected musicians and visual artists, including Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Iroshi Sugimoto, among others. He earned the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for his work “Murder Ballads” with eighth blackbird and composed music for Oscar-winning director Alejandro Iñárritu’s film, The Revenant, which received a 2017 Grammy Awards nomination in the Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media category.

Kelley O’Connor (mezzo-soprano), possessing a voice of uncommon allure and intuitive and innate dramatic artistry, has emerged as one of the most compelling performers of her generation. During the 2018-19 season, her impressive symphonic calendar features appearances with the Houston Symphony, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Sought after by many of the most heralded composers of the modern day, O’Connor gives the world premiere of Joby Talbot’s A Sheen of Dew on Flowers with the Britten Sinfonia at the Victoria & Albert Museum to celebrate the opening of the institution’s new jewelry wing, debuts with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Ceciliain the title role of John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary under the baton of the composer, and brings Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs to life in performances with the St. Louis Symphony and the Colorado Symphony. She makes her Boston Symphony Orchestra debut under the baton of Bramwell Tovey, and she is heard in performances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as well.

Sarah Shafer (soprano) is praised for her “crystalline sound, perfectly true intonation, glowing warmth, and total presence” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and named “remarkable, artistically mature … a singer to watch” (Opera News). The 2018-19 season will see Shafer make her house and role debut as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with San Diego Opera as well as appearances with the Harrisburg Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic and the Chamber Orchestra of New York. An avid recitalist and chamber musician, Shafer enjoys an active collaboration with legendary pianist Richard Goode, having recently performed Schumann and Brahms lieder at Carnegie Hall and Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen with clarinetist Anthony McGill at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. She has also collaborated with such musicians as guitarist Jason Vieaux and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. Shafer was a resident artist at the Marlboro Music Festival for five summers and has also appeared with Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra’s chamber music series, the Mozart and Handel Académie européenne de musique in Aix-en-Provence, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival France, the Bard Summer Music Festival and the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary, and was named a winner of the 2014 Astral Artists National Auditions.

The USC Thornton Chamber Singers, one of the longest-running performance ensembles at the USC Thornton School of Music, has been hailed as a model of excellence since its inception in 1939. The group previously performed with LACO Bach’s Wachet Auf with Jeffrey Kahane and Mozart’s Requiem with conductor Helmuth Rilling. Recipient of the 2015 American Prize in Choral Music, the Chamber Singers have appeared at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Segerstrom Hall, sang with Elton John at the 2013 Emmy Awards and backed up the Rolling Stones. Performance highlights during Scheibe’s tenure include: choir-in-residence for the New Zealand Choral Federation “Choral Connect” in Wellington; My Christmas with Andrea Bocelli on PBS; the West Coast premiere of Heinz Werner Henze’s Muses of Sicily with conductor Robert Reynolds; Bach’s Mass in B Minor with Rilling; USC Visions and Voices with conductor Dale Warland; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; and with Jennifer Hudson at a Shoah Foundation Gala.


Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
“Mozart’s Requiem”
Jaime Martín, conductor
Sarah Shafer, soprano
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano
Thomas Cooley, tenor
Dashon Burton, bass
USC Thornton Chamber Singers, Jo-Michael Scheibe, conductor

Saturday, April 27, 2019, 8 pm, Alex Theatre, 216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale CA 91203
Sunday, April 28, 2019, 7 pm, Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095

MOZART Requiem

7 pm (Alex Theatre)
6 pm (Royce Hall)
One hour before curtain, pre-concert talks provide insights into the music and artists. Free for all ticket holders

Tickets start at $28. For information about the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s 2018-19 season or to order tickets, please call 213 622 7001, or visit www.laco.org

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Program, artists and ticket prices subject to change.


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Press Release: Jaime Martín conducts West Coast Premiere of Voy A Dormir