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Pasadena Philanthropist Couple Donate $5 Million to Bolster LA Opera

Published on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 | 6:03 pm
Terri and Jerry Kohl. (Photo courtesy LA Opera)

Pasadena residents Terri and Jerry Kohl have donated $5 million to the LA Opera Orchestra and pledged a challenge grant in support of the company’s post-COVID recovery.

Part of the money will go to funding an upcoming production of “Oedipus Rex” by Igor Stravinsky, LA Opera said in a post on their website.

“Their gift will assist the 62 core members and additional players of the orchestra who have been sidelined due to COVD-19 closures,” the statement said. “While we’ve been able to offer some limited employment and other forms of financial support to players during the shutdown of the theater, we’re anxious to welcome our amazing musicians back into the pit. Due to the Kohls’ incredible gift, we’ll be able to do just that in the coming months.”

Broadway World reports that the donation is the largest pandemic-era gift the company has received to date, and makes the Kohls among the largest donors in LA Opera history.

“We are extremely touched by and grateful for the generous, heartfelt and meaningful support from Terri and Jerry, which comes at a critical moment for the company,” LA Opera President and CEO Christopher Koelsch told Broadway World. “Our stage has been regretfully dark for a year, and while we have been able to provide our orchestra some level of financial support as well as performance opportunities through our On Now digital programming, this gift will help to ensure that we are able to return to pre-COVID levels of employment and artistic strength as soon as it is safe to do so.”

“Terri and I are passionate about live music performances, but we care even more about the individual musicians who make those treasured experiences possible,” Jerry Kohl said.

Terri and Jerry Kohl own Brighton Collectibles, which has been selling handcrafted accessories around the country for over 40 years. The Kohls opened their first store in Alhambra in 1969 and launched their first Brighton-branded store in 1998.

Brighton now has 180 stores throughout the country; sixteen of them are in the Los Angeles area.

The couple has been generously donating to various national and local charities, and have been raising money to fight breast cancer through the company’s Power of Pink program. They’ve also supported The Music Center, where Terri currently serves as president of The Blue Ribbon, the Center’s women’s support organization.

In Pasadena, they’ve been consistent donors to Pasadena Symphony and Pops and MUSE/IQUE, and have supported other musical organizations including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Colburn School, and Los Angeles Master Chorale.

In August 2019, Huntington Hospital in Pasadena said Terri and Jerry Kohl gave $7 million to support the expansion of its new Huntington Heart and Vascular Center.

To learn more about the Kohls’ business, visit

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