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Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Launches Season with Beethoven’s Ninth and West Coast Premiere by Shelley Washington

Published on Sep 14, 2022

Photo credit: Jamie Pham

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra launches its 2022-23 with Music Director Jaime Martín conducting the West Coast premiere of Shelley Washington’s Both, a LACO Sound Investment commission, with back-to-back programs Saturday, October 15, 8 pm, at UCLA’s Royce Hall, and Sunday, October 16, 2022, 7 pm, at Glendale’s Alex Theatre.

Describing her new work, Shelley says, “It is inspired by the many dualities I have and carry in my life, the ones I see, and the ones I hope to someday achieve. As someone who often lives between both coasts, is attracted to both men and women, is a contributor in both classical music and D.I.Y. post-rock, is both black and white, experiences both extreme mental highs and extreme mental lows, is both a composer and performer, is both a student and a teacher…  We both can be and possess so many seemingly opposing qualities at the same time, which does not diminish any aspect of who we are, but, instead, adds to our cumulative.”

The opening concert concludes with one of the world’s most beloved masterworks, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, “Choral,” which will feature soloists Tiffany Townsend, soprano; Sarah Saturnino, mezzo-soprano; Anthony León, tenor; and Ryan Wolfe, bass baritone, who appear courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera’s Colburn-Stein Young Artist program.

The final movement’s uplifting anthem of hope and humanity, “Ode to Joy”, will be sung by a constellation of voices representing many facets of our city’s rich chorale scene: Los Angeles Master Chorale, Gay Man’s Chorus, USC Chamber Singers, Vox Femina, Angel City Chorale, and the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, among others.

About Shelley Washington
Washington’s music, “turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (The Washington Post), interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, and social justice. As LACO’s  was LACO’s 2021-22 Sound Investment Composer. Sound Investment is a groundbreaking program LACO established in 2001 that engages audience members in developing new orchestral works.

Sound Investment sponsors for Shelley Washington’s Both are: Barry + Nancy Sanders, Anne-Marie Spataru, Elizabeth + Justus Schlichting, Ned & Dana Newman, and Gregory J. Soukup + Mary Jo Carr.

Additional support for Shelley Washington’s commission is New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices, a new program that fosters collaboration and collective action toward equitable representation of composers in classical music.

Five partnering orchestras are secondary commissioners to Both: Aspen Music Festival and School, which premiered Both in July 2022, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Kansas City Symphony, each of which will subsequently present regional premieres of the work.

Shelley Washington was supported by New Music USA’s Organizational Development Fund with support in part from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, with support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Howard Gilman Foundation, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Support for the Organization Development Fund is also provided by contributions from the New Music USA endowment.

LACO recognizes the generous support of the Colburn Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. The Orchestra also receives public funding via grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. LACO gratefully acknowledges Hogan Lovells US LLP for generous pro bono support.

Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Tickets start at $29 and may be purchased online at or by calling LACO at 213 622 7001 x1. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for seniors 65 years of age and older and for students.

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