Jeffrey Kahane has extended his contract as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra through the 2011-12 season and will appear as the soloist Sept. 27 in the 40th anniversary season opening gala with the orchestra's first music director, Neville Marriner, on the podium.
That first 2008-09 concert, to be held at Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, will feature Kahane in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1. The program also will include Schumann's Overture, Scherzo and Finale, which closed Kahane's first season in 1998; the Suite from Stravinsky's "Pulcinella"; and Kodaly's "Dances of Galanta."
Marriner led the orchestra from 1969 to 1978 and oversaw the commissioning of 10 works by composers who included Grant Beglarian, Paul Chihara, Samuel Gerhard and Henri Lazarof. Kahane became music director in 1997.
Another highlight of the new season, which will run through May 30, 2009, at the orchestra's traditional homes at the Alex Theatre in Glendale and at Royce Hall, UCLA, will be cellist Yo-Yo Ma performing the West Coast premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's "Azul" on Jan. 11 at Royce Hall.
Guest artists making LACO debuts will include pianists Ingrid Fliter, Jonathan Biss and David Fung; violinist Cho-Liang Lin; and Los Angeles Philharmonic assistant conductor Joana Carneiro.
The orchestra will also premiere works by two of its members, principal horn Richard Todd and bassoonist Damian Montano. Todd's new work, not yet titled, will be played Oct. 4 and 5. Montano's Overture will be presented Jan. 24 and 25.
A third world premiere, by Christopher Theofanidis, commissioned through the orchestra's "Sound Investment" program and also still untitled, will be played May 16 and 17.
In addition, the orchestra will present the U.S. premieres of Pierre Jalbert's Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra, Dec. 13 and 14, and Lalo Schifrin's "Tangos Concertantes," Feb. 21 and 22.
A new three-concert chamber music series, curated by concertmaster Margaret Batjer, will take place at the Broad Stage at the new Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center. Poet and National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia will help launch the series Feb. 12 with a discussion of the connections between music and poetry.
The "Baroque Conversations" series, beginning Jan. 22, will continue with an added fourth concert at Zipper Concert Hall at the downtown Colburn School.