A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

The chamber music scene in Los Angeles is truly world class, and this week there is music for every preference from the very old to the very new.  Start the week this Tuesday, May 10, at Walt Disney Concert Hall with HESPÈRION XXI and their musical celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence that traces Old World roots from Spain through the Mexican Baroque into the living Husteca and Jarocho traditions of today.  Then catch one of the local performances of flutist Adrian Spence with Camerata Pacifica on Thursday, May 12, at Zipper Hall or later the following week at the Huntington (May 17).  On Saturday, May 14, find a way to experience the new music of Los Angeles with the fantastic two-part series titled HEAR NOW in Venice, and you will understand why our musicians and composers are among the most brilliant artists in the world right now.  LACO presents a world premiere by Derek Bermel, written for and performed by Grammy®-winning Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, on Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15. Finally, round out the week with two-piano compositions by Mozart and Rachmaninoff in this final installment from Le Salon de Musiques on Sunday, May 15.  Read on for additional details.

HESPÈRION XXI: From the Old World to the New

The Los Angele Philharmonic Baroque Variations with Director JORDI SAVALL bring a special program to Walt Disney Concert Hall to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence Tuesday evening.  HESPÈRION XXI is known for its eclectic approach to music of the 10th to the 18th century.  They offer an informed and dynamic combination of expression, style and historical research, and are internationally recognized for their recordings and tours.


• Selections from Old Spain, the Mexican Baroque, and the living Husteca and Jarocho traditions.

Tuesday, May 10, 8 p.m.

Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

Tickets: $45 – $107. Complete concert and ticket info here, or call (323) 850-2000.

Camerata Pacifica

Santa Barbara’s Camerata Pacifica will be cruising through San Marino and downtown Los Angeles on their monthly tour of fine chamber music. Flutist Adrian Spence is featured, and I recommend that you hear him at Zipper Hall — it will be superb.


• Rota: Trio for flute, violin, and piano

• Gaubert: Sonata No.2 in C Major for flute and piano

• Roussel: Trio for flute, viola, and cello, Op.40

• Brahms: Quintet in F Minor for piano and strings, Op.34


Thursday, May 12, 8 p.m.

Zipper Concert Hall, The Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

Tuesday, May 17, 8 p.m.
Huntington Library, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino

Tickets: Huntington Library, $42

Zipper Concert Hall, $42

HEAR NOW: A Festival of New Music by Contemporary Los Angeles Composers

Move over Berlin, Los Angeles is the center of the new music universe this week with our very special sound and visionary composers and musicians.  Experience this sound that the whole world is taking note of in the two-part series on Saturday, May 14, in Venice.

Programs: (note different programs at 2 and 8 p.m.)

2 p.m.

• Selections by Adès, Heim, Holmes, Naidoo, Huang, Hartke, Campo, and Schankler

8 p.m.

• Selections by Salonen, Levick, Steinberg, Wolfgang, LeBaron, DaSilva, and Kraft


String Ensembles:  LYRIS, ECLIPSE, and CALDER quartets


Singers: BRIAN ASAWA countertenor, SOPHIE WINGLAND soprano

Instrumentalists: TEREZA STANISLAV violin, JOHN WALZ cello, DAVID PARMETER bass, PAMELA MARTCHEV flute, STUART CLARK and ERIC JACOBS clarinets, LESLIE REED oboe, JUDITH FARMER bassoon, DOUG MASEK saxophone, TED ATKATZ percussion, and MARCIA DICKSTEIN harp.

Saturday, May 14, 2 & 8 p.m.

First Lutheran Church of Venice, 815 Venice Blvd, Venice

Tickets:  2 concerts: $30 / $18 students and seniors; 1 concert:  $20 / $12

Purchase tickets at the door, or order tickets online

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) concludes its 42nd season with a performance conducted by Music Director JEFFREY KAHANE featuring the world premiere of Composer-in-Residence DEREK BERMEL’s highly anticipated homage to LA’s Latin American community, Mar de Setembro (“September Sea”), written for and performed by Grammy®-winning Brazilian vocalist LUCIANA SOUZA on Saturday, May 14, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, and Sunday, May 15, at UCLA’s Royce Hall.  Musically bookending the program are two classics, Mendelssohn’s Concerto in D minor for Violin and Piano, led by Kahane from the piano and spotlighting Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 in D major, “Prague.”

Saturday, May 14, 8 p.m.

Alex Theatre in Glendale

Sunday, May 15, 7 p.m.

UCLA’s Royce Hall

Concert preludes:

One hour before curtain (7 p.m. at the Alex Theatre and 6 p.m. at Royce Hall), LACO composer-in-residence Derek Bermel discusses the intricacies of the new work that premieres at this concert.  Free for all ticket holders.

Tickets: $18, 50, 85, 100 (discounts for groups of 12 or more, seniors 65+ and college students, if available)

Tickets available online at laco.org, by phone (213) 622-7001, ext. 215, or by fax (213) 626-2157. Tickets also on sale at the theatre box office the night of the concert, if available.

Le Salon de Musiques

Pianists STEVEN VANHAUWAERT and MARK ROBSON (Francois Chouchan was originally scheduled to perform but is unable due to an unforeseen family emergency) play two-piano compositions by Mozart and Rachmaninoff in this final installment from Le Salon de Musiques.  The venue is the fifth-floor Impresario Room in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with a sweeping view of the mountains. After the performance, audience members mingle around a light buffet with Champagne.  Don’t miss this last concert of the season; Le Salon de Musiques has become one of Culture Spot LA’s favorite ensembles of the year.


• Mozart: Sonata in D Major for two pianos, K448

• Rachmaninoff: Suite No.1 for two pianos, Op.5, “Fantasy-Tableaux”

Sunday, May 15, 4 p.m.

Impresario Room (fifth floor), Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

Tickets: $65.

~Theodore Bell/Culture Spot LA

For information on more great chamber concerts, see Jim Eninger’s Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter, an extensive calendar of upcoming music events, large and small, happening all around Los Angeles.