Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra gears up for local performance

Music enthusiasts and fans of "big canvas" performances should expect nothing less from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's opening night performance this September.

Audience members will hear four arrangements from LACO as it ushers in the start of a new season at the Alex Theatre in Glendale Saturday, Sept. 20. Music director Jeffrey Kahane will lead the orchestra in both performances of four pieces including Beethoven's Symphony No. 5.

LACO General Manager Andrea Laguni called Symphony No. 5 "the main dish" of the evening's performance. "It's a piece that everyone knows, even if you don't know it by name," he said. "It's great to present with a new, fresh approach."

And although the piece lineup seems varied, all have in common an overarching theme of a large production.

"They're all sonic representations of landscape, both geographically and historically," said Laguni. "From the passion of the middle eastern world to the Australian landscape, we're in for a treat."

The performance includes LACO's first collaboration with Australian-born composer Cameron Patrick. He also works as a motion picture orchestrator and arranger, having lent his talents to popular films such as "Super 8," "Star Trek: Into Darkness" and "Up."

The orchestra will perform the world premiere of his piece titled "Lines of the Southern Cross," a musical exploration from wonder to pain of the Australian landscape. The piece has been called an "oral map," describing geographical features while praising the connection between the continent's indigenous people and the land, according to a news release.

Forty-eight musicians will comprise the orchestra and include instruments bringing to life the sound of the Aborigines. Laguni said Kahane and Patrick have worked together for the last few months finalizing the piece's performance.

"Kahane was intrigued by the piece, and the language of the piece," Laguni said of "Lines of the Southern Cross."

In addition to Patrick's work, Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen — who music critics dubbed an emerging artist who is dazzling, yet fierce — will lead LACO in French composer Camille Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 5 also known as "Egyptian."

Pohjonen studied at the Sibelius Academy and graduated with a Master's Degree in 2008. His repertoire includes classic composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach to Esa-Pekka Salonen, the current conductor laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

"He's a very important pianist," Laguni said. "This is his debut with us."

A second performance is slated for that following Sunday at UCLA's Royce Hall at 7 p.m. Each concert will host a "Concert Prelude" an hour before the performances. The talks, free for ticket holders, will give attendees insight into the program's music and artists with discussions from Kahane and Patrick about "Lines of the Southern Crossing."


What: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

When: 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20, 1014

Where: Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale

Tickets: Start at $26

More info: (213)622-7001; http://www.laco.org

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