The mission of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (= LACO) is to perform high-quality concerts of the chamber orchestra repertoire, from Baroque and early Classical works to the compositions from the 19th and 20th century specifically written for small orchestra, including works by living composers; to make those performances available to a wide and diverse audience in Southern California and beyond; and to participate in and contribute to the dynamic growth of the chamber orchestra archive.
Led by Music Director Jeffrey Kahane, the LACO marks its 33rd season in 2001-2002 with Coast to Coast: from LA to Carnegie Hall. The LACO is acclaimed nationally and internationally for music-making of the highest artistic caliber. The 40-member ensemble has grown and flourished under the batons of its four previous music directors: Sir Neville Marriner (1969-1978), Gerard Schwarz (1978-1986), Iona Brown (1987-1992), and Christof Perick (1992-1995). Los Angeles native Jeffrey Kahane was named as the fifth Music Director of the Orchestra in June, 1996. The LACO maintains its international reputation through its annual home season, touring, radio broadcasts, 28 recordings, and professional collaborations with other arts and community organizations. In addition, the LACO is committed to the commissioning and performance of new works as an essential component to its mission under the leadership of its Composer-in-Residence, Kenneth Frazelle.
Education and community outreach are crucial components of the LACO's mission. Meet the Music, the Orchestra's music education program for elementary school students, is going strong in its thirteenth year. Produced in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District, the program facilitates in-school visits by Chamber Orchestra musicians and trained docents and will offer six (three paired) live concert performances especially for student audiences. Neighborhood Concerts, launched in the 1994-95 season, reaches families in inner city areas of Greater Los Angeles when the LACO brings live performances into local venues in ethnically defined and/or economically disadvantaged communities.
The LACO is committed to increasing the accessibility of live classical music performances to both dedicated patrons and non-traditional audiences and provides discounted and free tickets to students, seniors, and physically challenged and disadvantaged persons.