The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), led by Music Director Jaime Martín, will spotlight retiring bassoonist Ken Munday, the Orchestra’s longest-serving current musician, during a showcase performance of works by award-winning contemporary composer Jessie Montgomery, Mozart and R. Strauss on Saturday, January 29, 8 p.m., at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium.
Although LACO has previously performed at the celebrated venue, this will be Martín’s first time conducting there.
The concert marks the final LACO performance by Munday, retiring after anchoring the bassoon section for 46 years.
“It is thrilling for LACO to return to Ambassador Auditorium with an eclectic and compelling program that spotlights the Orchestra itself,” Martin said. “It will also be a bittersweet evening as we celebrate the incredible musical legacy of Ken Munday, who has been an integral part of LACO helping to shape the distinctive sound of the woodwind section for more than four and a half decades. His impact on the orchestra is profound and will be felt for decades to come.”
Munday was appointed LACO Principal Bassoon by Sir Neville Marriner in 1976, becoming the Orchestra’s youngest principal player at the time.
“We salute Ken Munday for his historic contributions to LACO during his lengthy and fruitful tenure and wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement,” LACO Executive Director Ben Cadwallader said. “This will no doubt be an emotional evening for the orchestra and our patrons.”
The program opens with “Strum” by Jessie Montgomery, whose work skillfully weaves American folk idioms and elements of dance and movement. Martín also conducts R. Strauss’ orchestral suite “Le bourgeois gentilhomme” and Mozart’s “Sinfonia concertante for Four Winds in E-flat major,” showcasing four LACO principals – Claire Brazeau, oboe; Kenneth Munday, bassoon; Joshua Ranz, clarinet; and Michael Thornton, horn.
Tickets for Saturday’s event start at $29 and may be purchased online at www.laco.org or by calling LACO at (213) 622-7001 ext. 1. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for seniors 65 years of age and older and for students.
LACO will require proof of full vaccination for everyone attending their in-person events. Social distancing will be implemented and, under current Los Angeles County guidelines, masks will be required indoors at all times. For the most current information on LACO’s COVID safety protocols, visit www.LACO.org/covid-19.
Ambassador Auditorium is at 131 South St. John Ave. in Pasadena.