Chamber Music LA (CMLA), a unique Los Angeles-based collective of six leading presenters reflecting LA’s vibrant chamber music landscape, announces Music Box 2022, a historic concert marking the first-ever live concert presentation by CMLA, showcasing all six music organizations, on Sunday, August 28, 2022, 3 pm, at Zipper Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. The collective, established in 2017, includes Camerata Pacifica, Colburn School, Jacaranda Music, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), Pittance Chamber Music, and Salastina. The concert, a celebration of chamber music in LA carefully curated to show the diversity of this passionate and intimate form of classical music, offers a journey through the centuries with chamber music that spans Baroque to the modern era performed by celebrated artists and award-winning young musicians, giving the flavor of each organization’s individual approach to chamber music.
Salastina’s Resident Flutist Benjamin Smolen opens the program with Debussy’s Syrinx, an invocation to nature. In homage to Warner Henry, who founded Chamber Music LA, and his love for both Baroque music and playful mischief in general, violinist and Salastina Co-Artistic Director Maia Jasper White joins Smolen in Max Reger’s Duos in the Old Style and Telemann’s ingenious Canonic Sonata No. 3.
Colburn School showcases the Olive Trio – winner of the 2022 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (Junior Division) and Grand Prize Winner of the 2022 Chicago International Music Competition (Rising Star Category) – on Shostakovich’s first chamber work, Piano Trio No. 1 in C minor Op. 8. Formed in 2021, the Olive Trio is comprised of violinist Anaïs Feller, cellist Mira Kardan, and pianist Daniel Wang, all students in the Colburn School’s Music Academy, which brings exceptional pre-college students from around the world to Colburn. The rising chamber ensemble is coached by Colburn School faculty Martin Beaver, Fabio Bidini, and Clive Greensmith.
Jacaranda Music, which produces classical music adventures designed to awaken curiosity, passion, and discovery with a spirit of inclusion, brings to the Music Box stage eminent pianist Steven Vanhauwaert, a native of Belgium. He performs the solo piano version of The Messenger by Valentin Silvestrov, widely considered Ukraine’s most famous living composer, who fled to Berlin at the outset of the Russian invasion. About the Messenger is among Silvestrov’s most popular works owing to its nostalgia for Mozart. This performance repeats a highlight of Jacaranda’s May 1 program, “Concert in Solidarity with Ukraine.” Jacaranda gave Vanhauwaert his Los Angeles debut in 2007, a performance for which Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed hailed him for his “impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique.”
Music Box 2022 continues with two musical offerings from Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, one of the nation’s leading chamber orchestras renowned for its wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissioning initiatives. A string quartet comprised of LACO artists presents “The Cutting Garden,” the second movement of Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw’s Plan & Elevation: The Grounds of Dumbarton Oaks. The LACO artists also perform “Allegro moderato – Très doux,” the lyrical first movement of Ravel’s String Quartet in F major, which the composer dedicated to his teacher, Gabriel Fauré. Featured artists include LACO Concertmaster and Director of Chamber Music Margaret Batjer, Violin Susan Rishik, Principal Viola Yura Lee, and Cello Trevor Handy.
Camerata Pacifica, committed to programming highly personable virtuosi on its concert series, illuminates its mission with the presentation of celebrated Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, first prize winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition and the 2004 Concert Artist Guild International Competition. The illustrious artist interprets Ravel’s La Valse, an alluring, frightening, and exciting tour de force for the piano that depicts a unique moment in European history. Lee, a Naxos artist whose discography spans the works of Scarlatti, Liszt, Sciabin and Clementi, joined the Juilliard faculty in July 2022.
Chamber Music LA’s historic Music Box 2022 “sampler” concludes with Pittance Chamber Music, known for connecting audiences with local artists who are the heart and soul of the Los Angeles Opera. The ensemble presents Franz Schubert’s beloved lieder, The Shepherd on the Rock, performed by internationally-acclaimed soprano Liv Redpath, with LA Opera Principal Clarinet Stuart Clark and LA Opera Chorus Director Jeremy Frank at the piano. Redpath and Clark reprise their performance of this work from Pittance Chamber Music’s January 2020 program, “Liv a Little.”
Chamber Music LA owes its vision and existence to Warner Wheeler Henry (1938-2020), a chamber music lover, who, near the end of his life, aspired to realize a decades-long vision for Los Angeles’ classical music scene. He marveled at the caliber of Los Angeles musicians and was passionate about making chamber music more visible and widely available. Ultimately, in 2017, he founded Chamber Music LA, an association of chamber music organizations brought together for the purpose of promoting the tremendous variety of exceptional chamber music offered in Los Angeles. Since its inception, CMLA has followed Warner’s core directives – that all efforts serve the art form of chamber music, and that CMLA functions to support the participating organizations – not replace them. Chamber Music LA gratefully acknowledges Warner Henry and the Henry family for their continued leadership and vital financial support. Major financial support for Chamber Music LA has been provided by Terri + Jerry Kohl.
Tickets for Music Box 2022 are $45 and may be purchased online at https://chambermusic.la. Zipper Hall is located at Colburn School, 200 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012.