Arts & Entertainment

Pittance Chamber Music Presents A Tale of Two Émigrés With James Conlon

James Conlon. – Courtesy photo / Pittance Chamber Music

Pittance Chamber Music, known for featuring the extraordinary resident artists of the Los Angeles Opera pit and stage, presents A Tale of Two Émigrés with James Conlon. LA Opera Music Director James Conlon curates and conducts a unique program that tells the tale of Jewish émigré composers Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Arnold Schoenberg, who left their homelands and ultimately settled in Los Angeles as a result of the Nazis’ rise to power. The program will include a talk by Maestro Conlon, who will also conduct works by Korngold and Schoenberg performed by a large ensemble from the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. The concert takes place at Zipper Hall, Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m.

This special program features E.W. Korngold’s Sextet, Op. 10 and Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony #1, Op. 9. According to Lisa Sutton, Pittance Chamber Music Artistic Director, “James and the musicians are very keen to do the Schoenberg work as there are not many opportunities to perform it, due to the unique instrumentation and size of the ensemble – 15 performers. The Korngold Sextet is also not often performed because it is an extremely demanding, complex work which requires many hours of rehearsals. Both pieces are extraordinary masterpieces of late romanticism, requiring a high level of virtuosity from the performers.”

James Conlon is one of the world’s most important and successful advocates for the music of composers suppressed during the Nazi regime. He is the founder of the OREL Foundation, an organization created to encourage interest in and, especially, the performance of works by composers suppressed as a result of Nazi policies from 1933 to 1945 in order to allow the greater musical community of today and tomorrow the opportunity to determine the place of these composers and their works in the history and canon of twentieth-century music.

James Conlon. – Courtesy photo / Pittance Chamber Music

An American conductor of opera, and symphonic and choral works, Conlon is Music Director of Los Angeles Opera and Principal Conductor of the Italian RAI National Symphony Orchestra. He was the long-serving director of the two-week Cincinnati May Festival from 1979 through 2016. From 2005 to 2015, he was music director at theRavinia Festival, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Conlon holds three honorary doctorates and was named Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, and in 2002 he received the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest distinction, from then President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac.

Among the most extraordinary musicians in the world are those you seldom see – the musicians of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. Founder and Artistic Director Lisa Sutton, who is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, formed Pittance Chamber Music in 2013 to shine the spotlight on these remarkable yet invisible artists, bringing them from the pit to the stage to perform in small ensembles, hence the name Pittance. Pittance Chamber Music showcases a roster of artists drawn from a large pool of talent including members of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra as well as Los Angeles Opera resident vocalists, resulting in a unique variety of repertoire not often heard together in one program.

Single tickets for A Tale of Two Émigrés with James Conlon are $10. Tickets are available online at PittanceChamberMusic.org or at the venue on the day of the concert if tickets remain. Zipper Hall is located at the Colburn School, 200 South Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles, 90012.

May 11, 2019

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