Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), ranked among the world’s top musical ensembles, marks its 50th anniversary season with more artistic energy and creative impulse coursing through its musical veins than at any time in its history. Beloved by audiences and praised by critics, the Orchestra is known as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks as well as a champion of contemporary composers. LACO, headquartered in the heart of the country’s cultural capital, 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).
In 2017-18, acclaimed American composer Andrew Norman expands his position with the Orchestra as Creative Advisor and continues as LACO’s composer-in-residence. Mahan Esfahani continues a three-year residency as Baroque Artistic Partner and further fosters increased artistic excellence and reach for LACO’s community and education presentations. Spotlighting its rich legacy, LACO highlights the ensemble’s depth and range with favorite works, including Bach’s supreme Brandenburg Concertos and three late Mozart symphonies. Explored, too, is the intimate side of the last century, with works by Bernstein, Stravinsky and Britten. As part of its signature MusicLAb; which celebrates innovative composers, vital new music and creative exploration; LACO premieres works by four composers with deep connections to LA – Andrew Norman, Ellen Reid, Pierre Jalbert and Derrick Spiva.
Performing throughout greater LA, the Orchestra presents eight Orchestral Series concerts in collaboration with Glendale Arts and CAP UCLA; five Baroque Conversations concerts at downtown LA’s Zipper Hall; and three In Focus chamber music concerts in partnership with The Huntington Library and Santa Monica’s New Roads School. Long committed to the power of partnership, LACO continues a multi-faceted collaboration with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. As a key aspect of the Orchestra’s mission to nurture future musicians and composers as well as inspire a love of classical music, LACO presents an array of education and community programs, such as Meet the Music, Community Partners, Campus to Concert Hall and the LACO/USC Thornton Strings Mentorship Program.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1968 as an artistic outlet for the recording industry’s most gifted musicians. Founder, cellist James Arkatov, envisioned an ensemble that would allow these conservatory-trained players to balance studio work and teaching with pure artistic collaboration at the highest level. LACO presented its first performances with the financial backing of philanthropist Richard Colburn and managerial expertise from attorney Joseph Troy, who also became the Orchestra’s first president. Sir Neville Marriner, Gerard Schwarz, Iona Brown, Christof Perick and Jeffrey Kahane, LACO’s illustrious Music Directors, each built upon a tradition of joyous music-making performed by exceptional artists as adept in the Baroque as in the music of today. The Orchestra has made 31 recordings, toured Europe, South America and Japan, performed across North America, and garnered eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. LACO’s offices are located in downtown Los Angeles.