Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra receives historic gift of $1.5 million

Conductor Jeffery Kahane speaks to the audience in front of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at Royce Hall on April 24, 2017.
(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is one of the city’s most respected ensembles, and the sound of its principal oboe just got a little bit richer.

The orchestra has received the largest gift in its 50-year history — $1.5 million from philanthropists Carol and Warner Henry — Executive Director Scott Harrison announced Thursday. The gift, called the “Allan Vogel Chair, endowed by the Henry Family,” supports the principal oboe chair. It honors former LACO principal oboist Allan Vogel, who retired in 2016 after 44 years with the orchestra.

The gift is significant for LACO, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary season. The orchestra’s annual budget is $4.5 million, and before the new gift its endowment was $2.3 million, a spokeswoman said.


“Their unending generosity provides inspiration for countless others, so it is fitting that they are the first donors in our orchestra’s history to name a chair,” Harrison said of the Henrys in the announcement. Had it not been for the Henrys, Harrison added, “LACO would not be the world-class musical institution that it is today.”

The Henrys are among LACO’s leading donors and have gifted the orchestra with more than $3 million since the early 1970s.

“Chamber music stirs very deep passions,” Warner Henry said. “We also have a deep love for Baroque music and know so many others do as well. Both are core to the LACO experience, and nobody exemplified the vitality and resonance of Baroque and chamber music better than our friend Allan Vogel.”

Follow me on Twitter: @debvankin



While you’re ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ at the Hollywood Bowl, he’s keeping the musicians in sync

The musical minds behind ‘Serial’ and ‘Radiolab’ push a new art form: the podcast score

Voices of the City: Bedouine’s nomadic spirit finds songs, acclaim and conviction in L.A.