A pitch for the wonderful Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: Read my latest L.A. story

You might ask: Hey, Donald, you must have so much free time on your hands! What do you do all day?

Well, besides teaching at Fresno State and running this website, I actually do manage to sneak in some freelance writing as well.

One of my very favorite organizations to write for is the wonderful (and jaw-droppingly good) Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. This brilliant ensemble is considered among the best in the world, and getting the chance to meet and talk with the folks who play for it and run it has been ear-opening. I’ve written previously about a pop-culture look at Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” (and quoted a Fresno State professor) and the orchestra’s big 50th anniversary gala last year.

I want to share my latest piece with you: a look at LACO’s Sound Investment program. It’s a pretty cool idea. If you’re a donor, you get to meet with that season’s composer-in-residence and follow the progress of his or her work at a series of intimate “salons.” It’s a chance to be there on the ground floor during the musical creation process.

Next season’s composer-in-residence is Juan Pablo Contreras (pictured above), a prominent, up-and-coming Mexican composer. He’s great. Much of this latest piece is about him.


If you’re in L.A. this weekend, you can hear a world premiere of his work “Muses Mexicanas” Saturday at the Huntington in San Marino.

And be sure to put this top-notch orchestra on your List of Things to Do in Southern California. It usually performs in Glendale and at UCLA, but the orchestra pops up at other venues as well.


Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (1)

  • So glad to have Juan-Pablo Contreras mentioned here. The Youth Orchestras of Fresno have performed his works in the past, and will be offering the Fresno premiere of his new work, Mariachitl├ín, at our Youth Music Extravaganza concert on May 26, 2019. He is a a young composer to watch, for sure. And also worth hearing. Everyone can come to this free concert!


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