Thursday, May 24, 2018, 9 pm, Angel City Brewery’s Beer Hall
in Downtown LA’s Arts District
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) announces its inaugural SESSION, an innovative new classical music experience designed to explore classical music’s cutting-edge sounds and challenge traditional concert-going expectations, in collaboration with Four Larks and curated by LACO Creative Advisor Andrew Norman on Thursday, May 24, 2018, 9 pm (doors open at 8:30 pm), at Angel City Brewery’s Beer Hall in Downtown LA’s Arts District.
The eclectic program performed by LACO musicians and others is a provocative blend of past and present, with Norman’s arrangement of Dufay’s Nuper Rosarum Flores, composed for the consecration of Florence’s famed Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in 1436; Entr’acte by New York-based composer, vocalist, violinist and producer Caroline Shaw, who cites the music of Franz Joseph Haydn as her inspiration for the work; and Nina C. Young’s Momento Mori, a meditation on life and the perception of time, with musical material drawn from Bach’s The Art of the Fugue. Also featured are Sky Macklay’s adrenaline-infused Many Many Cadences, composed for Spektrail Quartet and featured on the group’s Grammy-nominated album Serious Business, and Norman’s string trio The Companion Guide to Rome, which is expanded to 12 strings.
Each movement of the work, a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music, is a character study of a particular Roman church informed by the proportions of the buildings, the qualities of the surfaces, the patterns in their floors, the artwork on their walls and the lives and legends of the saints whose names they bear. The event includes a “Hang” with the artists, and ticketholders receive a brew ticket. A food truck will be on site.
SESSION continues in fall 2018 with Los Angeles composer Derrick Spiva Jr., known for integrating into his work music practices from different cultural traditions around the world; in Winter 2019 with conductor/composer Matthias Pintscher; and in spring 2019 with conductor/composer and wild Up director Christopher Rountree, whose work stands at the intersection of classical music, new music, performance art and pop. Programs fit the unique properties of unconventional spaces and test ideas about the relationship between performers and audience. (Dates and details to be announced.)
“LACO’s Creative Advisor Andrew Norman is working closely with us to help ensure LACO’s artistry evolves in exciting new ways and that the Orchestra further expands its role of championing composers working today,” says LACO Executive Director Scott Harrison. “As the curator of LACO’s first SESSION, we’re seeing Andrew offer compelling insights into his creative vision unhindered by the constraints of ‘traditional’ concert norms. LACO is also pleased to collaborate on this groundbreaking project with Four Larks, which is noted for blurring the lines between dance, theater and opera. SESSION is designed to appeal to those who may be unfamiliar with classical music as well as those curious about the ways in which the genre is shifting and progressing.”
Norman is a Los Angeles-based composer of orchestral, chamber and vocal music, whose work draws on an eclectic mix of sounds and notational practices from both the avant-garde and classical traditions. He is increasingly interested in story-telling in music, and specifically in the ways non-linear, narrative-scrambling techniques from other time-based media like movies and video games might intersect with traditional symphonic forms. His distinctive, often fragmented and highly energetic voice has been cited in the New York Times for its “daring juxtapositions and dazzling colors,” in the Boston Globe for its “staggering imagination,” and in the L.A. Times for its “audacious” spirit and “Chaplinesque” wit.
Norman’s symphonic works have been performed by leading ensembles worldwide, including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, the BBC, Saint Louis, Seattle, and Melbourne Symphonies, the Orpheus, Saint Paul, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras, the Tonhalle Orchester, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, and many others. In recent seasons, Andrew’s chamber music has been featured at the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Wordless Music Series, the CONTACT! series, the Ojai Festival, the MATA Festival, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the Green Umbrella series, the Monday Evening Concerts, and the Aspen Music Festival. In May of 2010, the Berlin Philharmonic’s Scharoun Ensemble presented a portrait concert of Andrew’s music entitled “Melting Architecture.” Norman was named Musical America’s 2017 Composer of the Year and is the recipient of the 2004 Jacob Druckman Prize, the 2005 ASCAP Nissim and Leo Kaplan Prizes, the 2006 Rome Prize, the 2009 Berlin Prize and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. He joined the roster of Young Concert Artists as Composer in Residence in 2008 and held the title “Komponist für Heidelberg” for the 2010-2011 season. Norman has served as Composer in Residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Opera Philadelphia, and he currently holds that post with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. His large-scale orchestral work Play was named one of NPR’s top 50 albums of 2015, nominated for a 2016 Grammy in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category, and recently won the Grawemeyer Award of Music Composition. Norman joined the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in 2013, and serves as the new director of the L.A. Phil’s Composer Fellowship Program for high school composers.
Four Larks’ award-winning “junkyard operas” combine large-scale immersive design with innovative orchestration and dynamic physical theatre. Composer/Director Mat Sweeney and Creative Producer Sebastian Peters-Lazaro have been creating original work as Four Larks since 2008. Alongside an international collective of collaborators, Four Larks works variously as chamber-pop band, physical theatre ensemble, and immersive space-makers. The organization currently operates in the back of a flower shop in downtown LA.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), ranked among the world’s top musical ensembles, marks its 50th anniversary in the 2017-18 season. 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. Headquartered in the heart of the country’s cultural capital, LACO 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). LACO, which performs throughout greater Los Angeles, has garnered eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. Jaime Martín, praised as “a visionary conductor, discerning and meticulous” (Platea Magazine), is LACO’s Music Director Designate and takes the podium as Music Director in the 2019-20 season.
Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
Tickets are $35 (includes drink ticket) and may be purchased online at laco.org or by calling LACO at 213 622 7001 x 1.