“Diversity” is the watchword of many arts organizations today. Perhaps the best description of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s 2023–2024 season is simply an expansive definition of that term.
It’s diverse in terms of offerings, containing both orchestral and chamber music concerts. It’s diverse geographically, with performances at no fewer than seven venues around Southern California. And it’s diverse in terms of repertory, ranging from works by Antonio Vivaldi and Domenico Scarlatti to two world premieres — both of which are by female composers. So there’s gender diversity as well.
“This season, LACO explores connections between new and timeless music,” Music Director Jaime Martín said in announcing the season. He promised programs that reveal “musical lineages, divergent perspectives, and unexplored realms.”
The first of the world premieres is Traces by Nina C. Young, which will be performed Nov. 11 and 12 as part of the statewide California Festival of new music. Young, an assistant professor at the USC Thornton School of Music, is known for works that intermingle instrumental and electroacoustic music. She is writing this concerto for violinist Jennifer Koh, who will be the soloist.
“When The Philadelphia Orchestra approached LACO seeking a co-commissioner for this project, we gave it an immediate and enthusiastic green light,” said LACO Executive Director Ben Cadwallader. “Our artistic team has long admired Jennifer Koh, and we were thrilled for the opportunity to pair Koh’s artistry with the brilliant and vibrant compositional voice of Nina C. Young.”
The other world premiere, a still-untitled work by Nina Shekhar, comes at the end of the season, on May 24 and 25, 2024. It’s a commission through LACO’s Sound Investment initiative.
The season’s West Coast premieres are Dai Wei’s Invisible Portals, Oct. 21 and 22; Danny Elfman’s Suite for Chamber Orchestra, Dec. 9 and 10; and Derrick Skye’s Prisms, Cycles, Leaps, April 20 and 21, 2024. All were co-commissioned by the orchestra.
The season will kick off Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 with music by a father and daughter: the Clarinet Quintet by well-known American composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and the Idylle for Flute and Pianoforte by his daughter, Avril Coleridge-Taylor. This chamber performance will also feature the Concert for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet by Ernest Chausson.
An all-Bach concert, featuring concertmaster Margaret Batjer and bass-baritone Thomas Bauer, will take place Feb. 3 and 4, 2024.
Other season highlights include Augustin Hadelich performing Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto (Oct. 21 and 22), Christian Tetzlaff soloing in the Brahms Violin Concerto (Dec. 9 and 10), Gabriela Montero playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 (May 24 and 25, 2024), and pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin joining in for a French chamber music program (March 2 and 3, 2024).
LACO’s primary venues for orchestral concerts are the Alex Theatre in Glendale and Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. Other performances will be held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, The Huntington in San Marino, Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles, The Soraya in Northridge, and the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa. For more information, call (213) 221-3920, or go to LACO’s website.