In L.A., investors clamor to fund new music

Posted on: June 22, 2016

On Saturday (6/18) at, Stacy Perman writes that the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Sound Investment commissioning program “and other programs devoted to contemporary classical music have turned Los Angeles into one of the most vibrant cities for musical creativity [with] individual aficionados … bankrolling new commissions…. Four years ago, on a whim, Justus Schlichting commissioned a new work from composer James Matheson, after listening to his work at a Los Angeles Philharmonic rehearsal.… Since that first string-quartet commission, which debuted in 2014, Schlichting and his wife, Elizabeth, have … committed to 135 commissions, costing $1,250 to $50,000 each and ranging from violin solos to operas [including underwriting] last year’s wildly inventive Hopscotch, Yuval Sharon’s rolling opera staged inside a fleet of 24 limousines…. Jeff Kahane, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s music director, notes, ‘There is a willingness here to recognize how critical it is to the health of an orchestra to be in the business of fostering new works.’ … The [L.A.] Philharmonic announced an astonishing 21 new works for the 2016-17 season…. Composers are flocking to the City of Angels.” Says composer Matthew Aucoin, L.A. Opera’s artist-in-residence, “In L.A., donors gravitate toward the funky and the new.” Click here to read Symphony magazine’s Fall 2015 cover story about orchestras and new-music commissions.

Posted June 22, 2016

Pictured: Composer Matthew Aucoin conducts the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in the world premiere of his “Evidence,” May 2016. Photo by Gina Ferazzi