Colburn School creating Recovered Voices program with James Conlon

The Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles is launching a new Recovered Voices series with conductor James Conlon that will present performances, seminars and other events focused on composers whose careers were cut short during the Holocaust.

Conlon launched Recovered Voices in 2006 at Los Angeles Opera, but the company put the series on indefinite hiatus in 2010 because of budgetary reasons.

The new Recovered Voices at the Colburn is being funded by a $1-million grant from Marilyn Ziering, the philanthropist and L.A. Opera board member. She provided the initial funding of $3.3 million for Recovered Voices at the opera company.

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Conlon is the music director of L.A. Opera and has led Recovered Voices performances of operas by such composers as Alexander Zemlinsky, Viktor Ullmann and Franz Schreker at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. 

A spokeswoman for the Colburn said that the new Recovered Voices isn't intended to replace the series at L.A. Opera, and that the new program will "build upon" the previous incarnation.

Colburn said the new series will be called the the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices. The series' first scheduled event will be a seminar that begins Jan. 13 and continues weekly through April 28. The seminar is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Other planned events include an academic conference and national chamber music competitions for young musicians. The Colburn spokeswoman said that future performances could take a variety of forms and that they will be announced later. 

Since L.A. Opera put Recovered Voices on hiatus, Conlon has kept the series alive with occasional performances featuring Colburn students and other musicians.

Christopher Koelsch, president and chief executive of L.A. Opera, said in a statement:

“We are delighted by the Colburn School’s plans to draw attention to the works of composers affected by the Holocaust. When L.A. Opera began the Recovered Voices series, it was always our hope that other companies would recognize the extraordinary artistic value of these works.  We are encouraged that the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices will elevate the profile of this musical legacy even further, and I hope that other opera companies and music conservatories will also join us in our ongoing efforts to perform, promote, and preserve these important works.”


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