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Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: Shaham Plays Dvořák

Published on Dec 9, 2022

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), conducted by Music Director Jaime Martín, presents violinist Gil Shaham on Sunday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m. at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena.

Gil Shaham is one “among the most inspired violinists of his generation,” according to the Guardian. He will be performing Dvořák’s dazzling “Violin Concerto in A minor,” colored with the folk music of the composer’s Czech roots.

The concert opens with the world premiere of Juan Pablo Contreras’ “Lucha Libre!,” a LACO Sound Investment commission that pays tribute to Mexican masked wrestling, the unique cultural phenomenon watched by the composer while growing up in Guadalajara.

Subtitled “Sinfonia Concertante” for Chamber Orchestra, the piece, which LACO initially slated to premiere in March 2020 but was postponed due to the global pandemic, focuses on a “battle” among LACO’s master musicians, whose instruments represent Contreras’ favorites of the iconic Lucha Libre characters.

Contreras, who served as LACO’s 2019-2020 Sound Investment composer and received a Latin Grammy Best Arrangement nomination for the title track of his debut orchestral album, Mariachitlán, is “one of the most prominent young composers of Latin America,” says Milenio. His music “masterfully portrays the Mexican identity” and is “colorfully orchestrated, emotionally intense and rhythmically vibrant” (El Informador).

LACO also performs includes Kodály’s “Dances of Galánta,” reflecting the music of the composer’s childhood in Slovakia, and two distinctive works shaped by Romanian folk music: Ligeti’s “Concert Românesc” and Bartók’s “Romanian Folk Dances for Winds.”

To purchase tickets, visit

For more information, call (213) 622-7001.

Ambassador Auditorium is at 131 S. St. John Ave. in Pasadena. 

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