When she took over the role of executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 2010, Rachel Fine had to learn the ropes of an established organization while also dealing with the recession that put a crimp in fundraising.
In those difficult months, the orchestra had to make a number of hard decisions, including suspending its family series and reducing the number of musicians at certain performances.
Now approaching her third year with the company, Fine appears to have fully settled into her job. She said that the orchestra's outlook appears stronger after months of turbulence thanks to a rise in individual giving and an adventurous artistic slate under conductor Jeffrey Kahane.
At the same time, she said in an interview that the orchestra "still has fiscal sustainability issues to address," especially in the realm of donations from large foundations. "Like many small to mid-size orchestras, that is still not an area of great strength," she said.
The orchestra's 2013-14 season, announced Thursday, will feature 10 concert series, with performances to be held in a variety of locations. Glendale's Alex Theatre, one of the orchestra's main venues, will be closed for renovations, so the group will perform at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena for a few concerts.
In addition to the group's standard repertory of baroque and classical music, it will present pieces by new-music composers Bruce Adolphe, Aaron Jay Kernis, Anna Clyne and Hannah Lash in the new season.
Fine was the head of the L.A. Children's Chorus before joining the orchestra. (She is married to Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne.)
Last year the L.A. Chamber Orchestra received a $1-million challenge gift from Terri and Jerry Kohl, the founders of Brighton Collectibles, the Southern California retailer of women's accessories. The orchestra matched the gift with an additional $1 million.
Fine said the orchestra spends approximately $4 million on an annual basis. It employs freelance musicians and has a full-time administrative staff of 11 individuals.
She said the orchestra is still working on strengthening its endowment, which stood at $2.5 million at the end of the fiscal 2012 year.
The orchestra was founded in 1968 as a place for Hollywood musicians who work primarily in studios to perform classical music for live audiences.
Fine said that L.A. has become the "most exciting place for classical music in the country. I can't imagine a more interesting place to live. The people in Brooklyn may argue with that."
Here is the orchestra's 2013-14 season lineup:
Beethoven, Mozart, Lutosawski & Kodály (Saturday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m., Ambassador Auditorium; Sunday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m., UCLA’s Royce Hall)
Britten, Haydn, Mozart & Bruce Adolphe (Saturday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m., Ambassador Auditorium; Sunday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m., UCLA’s Royce Hall)
Henri Dutilleux, Mozart & Beethoven (Saturday, Nov. 16, 8 p.m., Alex Theatre; Sunday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m., UCLA’s Royce Hall).
Mozart, Haydn, Aaron Jay Kernis & Beethoven (Saturday, Jan. 25, 8 p.m., Alex Theatre; Sunday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m., UCLA’s Royce Hall)
Mendelssohn, Anna Clyne, Bach & Schubert (Saturday, March 22, 8 p.m., Alex Theatre; Sunday, March 23, 7 p.m., UCLA’s Royce Hall)
Hannah Lash, Chopin, Haydn (Saturday, April 26, 8 p.m., Alex Theatre; Sunday, April 27, 7 p.m., UCLA’s Royce Hall)
Bach, Ligeti & Mozart (Saturday, May 17, 2014 8 p.m., Alex Theatre; Sunday, May 18, 7 p.m., 2014 UCLA’s Royce Hall)
Discover Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony (Saturday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m., Ambassador Auditorium)
Baroque Conversations (Thursdays, Dec. 5, 2013; Feb. 6, March 27, April 17, May 1, 2014, 7 p.m., Zipper Hall)
Westside Connections (Thursdays, Feb. 13, April 3, May 15, 2014 7:30 p.m., Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, Santa Monica)
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