Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra announces appointments of David Grossman as principal bass and Michael Thornton as principal horn
Grossman Remains with New York Philharmonic as Bass, and
Thornton Keeps Principal Horn Role with Colorado Symphony
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), one of the nation’s premier orchestras as well as a leader in presenting wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissions, appoints David Grossman as Principal Bass and Michael Thornton as Principal Horn, announces LACO’s Executive Director Scott Harrison. Both begin their new posts immediately and will also continue in their current positions. Grossman is Bass with the New York Philharmonic, which he joined as its youngest member in 2000, and Thornton is Principal Horn of the Colorado Symphony.
“Both musicians are exceptional talents who bring artistic depth and an enthusiasm for community in equal doses,” says Harrison. “David’s bass playing combines sensitivity and precision, the perfect recipe for the foundation of the orchestra. Michael’s horn playing is pristine and resounding, and his experiences sitting principal with top symphony and chamber orchestras nationwide gives him a versatility that will shine through a range of programs. The two have also communicated to me their eagerness to get to know our audiences and become active members of the LACO family.”
Grossman was introduced to LACO last fall while on sabbatical from the New York Philharmonic. “I was eager to play as a guest with LACO,” he explains, “but I wasn’t anticipating falling in love with such a fine ensemble. After such a richly artistically rewarding week, I learned there was an upcoming audition for principal bass. I thought of a dozen reasons why it was crazy to even consider a bi-coastal existence: maintaining my musical life in New York with the possibility of joining LACO. However, the singular immortal message of Joseph Campbell – ‘follow your bliss’ – rang true. So I am very excited to embark on what I hope will be the first of many deeply rewarding seasons making music with my wonderful LACO colleagues, as well as being part of the West Coast musical fabric in general.”
Thornton says, “In March, I had the opportunity to play a concert series with LACO, and I knew then that I wanted to be a part of this wonderful group. Every musician was so committed and so excellent, and the concerts were stellar. I am thrilled to join this vibrant organization and look forward to many exciting performances in the future,”
Grossman, also a composer, enjoys a multi-faceted classical and jazz career on both the East and West Coasts. A passionate chamber musician, he performs in the New York Philharmonic Ensembles Concerts at Merkin Hall, and has performed at the 92nd Street Y and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, to name a few collaborative partners. In the field of jazz, Grossman was a member of the Marcus Roberts Trio and has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Lew Tabackin, Toshiko Akiyoshi and Donald Vega, among many others. As a soloist and clinician, Grossman, who was born and educated in New York City, has given recitals and master classes across the country at The Boston Conservatory, Yale School of Music, the Hartt School of Music, Penn State University and the New York Summer Music Festival, as well as faculty recitals at the Manhattan School of Music, among others venues. He has released two albums (one classical and one jazz) entitled “The Bass of Both Worlds,” available from his website, www.davidjgrossman.com. Grossman’s compositions include Mood Swings for trombone and double bass, written for New York Philharmonic Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi, Fantasy on “Shall We Gather at the River?”, available on former New York Philharmonic English Horn Thomas Stacy’s recording, Plaintive Melody; and two early compositions: Swing Quartet and String Quintet No. 1, which were premiered by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Grossman is an ardent educator as well, and a member of the double bass faculty of Manhattan School of Music. Beginning in fall 2017, he will also join the Mannes School of Music Faculty.
Thornton, recognized for his “sureness of technique, pitch, breath control and articulation across the entire range of the instrument” (Fanfare Magazine), enjoys a distinguished and varied career as an orchestral performer, chamber musician, soloist and pedagogue. He has performed on six continents with acclaimed ensembles and presented master classes at the world’s most prestigious musical institutions. As an orchestral musician, Thornton has worked with artists ranging from Yo-Yo Ma to Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, and has performed, toured and recorded as a guest with the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, KBS Symphony and Toronto Symphony, among others. Prior to being named Principal Horn of the Colorado Symphony, Thornton left his studies at The Juilliard School to become Principal Horn of the Honolulu Symphony. An avid chamber musician, Thornton has been featured at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Mainly Mozart, Spoleto, Moab Music Festival, Campos do Jordao International Winter Festival, Medellin Festicamara and Reno Chamber Music Festival. An internationally recognized soloist as well, Thornton has performed with Canada’s National Arts Center Orchestra, Cape Town Philharmonic, Melbourne Musician’s Chamber Orchestra and the New Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria, as well as numerous orchestras in the US. He appears regularly as a master clinician and performer at conferences and horn symposia worldwide. Appointed to the faculty of the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1999, Thornton is currently Associate Professor of Horn. He also serves as a Faculty Artist at the Colorado College Music Festival each June. Thornton holds certification in Mental Toughness Training from the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida, and implements this training in his teaching. His students hold positions in orchestras throughout the United States and abroad, and have won numerous awards and competitions. Thornton has twice received the Marinus Smith Award, bestowed upon teachers at CU Boulder who have made significant contributions to their students’ development.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” by Public Radio International, has established itself among the world’s top musical ensembles. The Orchestra maintains its status as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and a champion of contemporary composers. During its 50-year history, LACO has made 31 recordings, toured Europe, South America and Japan, performed across North America, earning adulation from audiences and critics alike, and garnered eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming.
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