Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, led by Music Director Jaime Martín, showcases works by award-winning contemporary composer Jessie Montgomery, Mozart and R. Strauss on Saturday, January 29, 2022, 8 pm, at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium. Although LACO has previously performed at the celebrated venue acclaimed for its stellar acoustics, this will be Martín’s first time conducting there. The program opens with Strum by Jessie Montgomery, whose work, described as “exploding with life” (The Washington Post), skillfully weaves American folk idioms and elements of dance and movement. Martín also conducts R. Strauss’ orchestral suite Le bourgeois gentilhomme and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for Four Winds in E-flat major, showcasing four LACO principals – Claire Brazeau, oboe, Kenneth Munday, bassoon, Joshua Ranz, clarinet, and Michael Thornton, horn. The concert marks the final LACO performance by Munday, the Orchestra’s longest serving current musician, who joined the Orchestra at age 23 and will be retiring after anchoring the bassoon section for 46 years.
“It is thrilling for LACO to return to Ambassador Auditorium with an eclectic and compelling program that spotlights the Orchestra itself,” says Martín. “It will also be a bittersweet evening as we celebrate the incredible musical legacy of Ken Munday, who has been an integral part of LACO helping to shape the distinctive sound of the woodwind section for more than four and a half decades. His impact on the orchestra is profound and will be felt for decades to come.”
Adds Executive Director Ben Cadwallader, “We salute Ken Munday for his historic contributions to LACO during his lengthy and fruitful tenure and wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement. This will no doubt be an emotional evening for the orchestra and our patrons.”
Munday was appointed LACO Principal Bassoon by Sir Neville Marriner in 1976, becoming the Orchestra’s youngest principal player at the time. Marriner encouraged Munday and other principals in the orchestra to form a baroque ensemble, Musical Offering, which subsequently performed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, and made three recordings for Nonesuch featuring music by Vivaldi, Telemann and JS Bach and his sons. Munday was also a founding member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Winds, which recorded Mozart wind serenades and Janáček’s Mládí for Nonesuch and the Mozart and Beethoven Piano and Wind quintets for Delos. Additionally, he was featured on the solo bassoon part in a recording of Richard Strauss’s Duet Concertina with clarinetist David Shifren for Nonesuch. Munday has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Oregon Bach Festival, recording Bach’s Brandenburg concertos, orchestral suites and many other works, including the Grammy Award-winning Credo by Krzysztof Pendereki. Munday also recorded for Naxos Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XII, a solo bassoon piece featuring extended techniques, such as double circular breathing, keeping the sound uninterrupted by breathing for 19 minutes. An active studio musician, Munday has played on over 950 film and TV projects, including Titanic, Toy Story, Cars, Back to the Future, Jumanji, Wreck-It Ralph, and Star Wars. He has recorded with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Neil Young and many others. In addition, he has performed on baroque and classical bassoons with Music Angelica, Philharmonia Baroque, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.
Tickets start at $29 and may be purchased online at laco.org or by calling LACO at 213 622 7001 x1. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for seniors 65 years of age and older and for students.
For the most current information on LACO’s COVID safety protocols, visit LACO.org/covid-19. Effective the performance on January 29, LACO’s vaccine requirement for all eligible audience members includes a COVID-19 booster obtained no later than January 29, 2022.