It has been a big season for the Orchestra, and we want to thank all who supported our April 14, 2018 Golden Gala and 50th Anniversary Concert.

Because of your support and generosity, more than $750,000 was raised for the Orchestra’s Community and Education programs including Meet the Music, a free concert series that reaches approximately 3,200 children from more than 40 schools across greater Los Angeles County.

The Golden Gala leadership team included gala co-chairs Pat & Sandy Gage, LACO Board Chair Dana Newman, president-elect Leslie Lassiter, our ever-nimble gala committee, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s founding families James and Salome Arkatov, Richard D. Colburn, Sir Neville Marriner and Lady Molly Marriner, Joseph and Brigitta B. Troy.

Jim Arkatov
LACO founder cellist James Arkatov addressing the crowd at the Golden Gala. Photo by Jamie Pham
Pat & Sandy Gage
Gala co-chairs Pat & Sandy Gage at “The Golden Gala.” Photo by Jamie Pham

Nearly 500 guests, musicians and Los Angeles arts representatives came together at The Mark Taper Forum, located at The Music Center, to celebrate the founding families and 50 years of LACO. It was delightful to re-engage with the past and honor the history of the organization. On-hand to share the moment were many LACO luminaries including former music director Gerard Schwarz and founder James Arkatov.

LACO’s founding families were represented in person by James and Salome Arkatov, Carol Colburn Grigor, daughter of Richard D. Colburn, and Brigitta B Troy, widow of Joseph Troy.  Honorary co-chair Lady Molly Marriner, widow of late music director Sir Neville Marriner, greeted attendees via video, while Andrew and Douglas Marriner, Neville’s son and grandson, were in attendance in person. Several members of the Arkatov, Colburn and Troy family were also in attendance.

“As gala chairs it is has been a thrill for us to honor our founders and celebrate 50 years of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra right back where it all began,” said Gala co-Chair Sandy Gage while addressing the crowd at the Forum. “Tonight’s event is the most successful event in the Orchestra’s 50 year history, and for that, we want to thank each and everyone of you.”

Andrew Marriner
London Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinet Andrew Marriner, son of Sir Neville Marriner, performing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A major. Photo by Jamie Pham
Rumer Willis
Starlet Rumer Willis performing songs from the golden age of Hollywood. Photo by Jamie Pham

LACO’s 50th anniversary concert was a festive event that harkened back to the origins of the Orchestra. London symphony Orchestra principal clarinetist Andrew Marriner and starlet Rumer Willis joined the Orchestra for the historic program of Mozart, Prokofiev and Hollywood songs from the Golden Age.

“The 50th anniversary is a huge landmark for the Orchestra and for all of my colleagues,” said LACO concertmaster Margaret Batjer. “And now to pave the way for the next 50 years ahead. And, who knows, some of our incredible youngest members onstage today may just still be here for our centennial.”

Scott & Margaret
Executive Director Scott Harrison and concertmaster Margaret Batjer at the 50th anniversary concert and Golden Gala. Photo by Jamie Pham
History of LACO vid
The concert featured a film on the history of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Photo by Jamie Pham

Margaret’s sly nod to the youth and prowess of principal flute Joachim Becerra Thomsen was recieved with good-natured laughter. Joachim, currently 22 years old, is the youngest musician ever appointed to a LACO principal chair. Joachim would be approximately 72 years of age should he attend or perform at a hypothetical centennial event.

The evening’s program also included two videos which were screened above the Orchestra. The first explored the history of LACO and the second was a commitment to the future of LACO and focused on the Orchestra’s community and education programs.

The spectacular evening raised money to benefit several 2018 key priorities:

If you would like to support the Orchestra’s education and community programs, text LACO to 71760.