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L.A. Chamber Orchestra’s Digital ‘Close Quarters’ Episode 6

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra L.A. Chamber Orchestra’s Digital ‘Close Quarters’ Episode 6

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra continues its all-digital 2020-21 Season, CLOSE QUARTERS, with two varied visual episodes curated musically by Latin GRAMMY®-nominated composer Juan Pablo Contreras, premiering Fridays, January 1 and January 15, 2021, 6:30 pm (PT). The broadcasts, celebrating the diversity of composers from around the Americas, feature the World Premiere of Contreras’ 2020 Mariachitlán for Piano Four-Hands, works by Jimmy López, Jessie Montgomery, Miguel Del Águila and J.P. Jofre, and visual elements directed by James Darrah. Thanks to the generosity of individual donors, both programs are available to the public at no cost and can be streamed on demand following their premieres at, LACO’s YouTube channel and LACO’s Facebook live.

Contreras received a 2019 Latin GRAMMY® nomination in Best Arrangement for Mariachitlán, the title track of his debut orchestral album. Although it was originally written for and performed by a full orchestra, Contreras was influenced by guidelines necessitated by 2020’s pandemic to rewrite it for two pianists.

LACO’s world premiere of Mariachitlán for Piano Four-Hands was commissioned by nine piano duos, including the cutting-edge, Los Angeles-based HOCKET (Sarah Gibson and Thomas Kotcheff) piano duo, who perform it on the January 15 episode. Additional commissioning piano duos are Duo Sandi-Cullell (Costa Rica and Spain), 20 Digitus Duo (Portland), Chiu-Villafranca Duo (Boston), Duo Salmerón Cortés (Mexico City), Maria Sumareva and Andrew Rosenblum (Chicago), Kaitlin and Emily Webster Zuber (Los Angeles), Duo Powers-de la Torre (Washington) and Split Second (New York).

EPISODE 6: “Contreras, del Águila + Jofre”

Darrah’s direction for the sixth episode then pivots to place intimate focus on the orchestra. The world premiere of Juan Pablo Contreras’ Mariachitlán for Piano Four-Hands is featured on “Contreras, del Águila + Jofre,” set for Friday, January 15, 2021, 6:30 pm (PT). The program also includes Brazilian composer Miguel del Águila’s Seducción for flute, clarinet, and piano, and Argentinean composer J.P. Jofre’s Tangódromo. All three pieces take their inspiration from the composers’ musical influences and the flavors that originate in their native countries. Mariachitlán for Piano Four-Hands, performed by piano duo HOCKET (Sarah Gibson and Thomas Kotcheff), pays homage to Mariachi music from Jalisco, where Contreras was born. Seducción was inspired by Choro and Samba, the Brazilian folk music of del Águila’s native Brazil. Jofre’s Tangódromo is a modern take on the Argentinian tango inspired by the country’s bandoneon accordion played by the legendary Astor Piazzolla. In addition to HOCKET, the program’s performers are LACO Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, violin; Carrie Kennedy, violin; LACO Principal Viola Erik Rynearson, viola; Trevor Handy, cello; Ben Smolen, flute; Chris Stoutenborough, clarinet; and Alin Melik-Adamyan, piano.

CLOSE QUARTERS’ “digitally native” programs, created specifically for streaming, are each between 30 and 40 minutes in length and are safely filmed at The Colburn School’s Olive Rehearsal Hall. Additionally, Darrah has established a creative hub for developing artistic media content with L.A.-based artists and filmmakers at a first-of-its-kind LACO digital studio at Wilhardt & Naud: a film studio and multidisciplinary arts campus located in Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles. The artists, inspired by the Orchestra’s musical programming, will create new visual works in a variety of mediums that will factor into the broadcasts and endure long after the season concludes. LACO: Close Quarters builds upon the highly successful LACO SummerFest series, the Orchestra’s first foray into streaming that concluded in September and featured five digital chamber music concerts that have attracted nearly 140,000 views to date.

Subsequent CLOSE QUARTERS episodes premiere on Fridays, January 29, February 12 and 26, March 12 and 26, April 9 and 23, May 7 and 21, and June 4, 2021, at 6:30 pm (PT).

  • Venue: Online
  • Date: Fri January 15, 2021 6:30pm
  • City:
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Price Range: Free
  • Tickets: 213-622-7001

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Juan Pablo Contreras

Mariachitlán for Piano Four-Hands (World Premiere)


Seducción for flute, clarinet, and piano