L.A. Chamber Orchestra presents “Mar De Setembro”

L.A. Chamber Orchestra presents “Mar De Setembro”

Derek Bermel - photo by Azzurra Primavera


This weekend the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Jeffrey Kahane, concludes the season with a World Premiere of Composer-In-Residence Derek Bermel”™s Mar De Setembro (“September Sea”), an homage to L.A.”™s Latin Community, written for and performed by renowned Brazilian Vocalist Luciana Souza.

Report by Pauline Adamek

Works by Mendelssohn and Mozart to bookend the program.

Saturday, May 14, 2011, 8 pm (Alex Theatre)

Sunday, May 15, 2011, 7 pm (Royce Hall – UCLA)

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), one of the nation”™s leading orchestras renowned for its wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissioning initiatives, 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, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, and Sunday, May 15, 2011, 7 pm, 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.”

The performance celebrates the 10th anniversary of LACO”™s Sound Investment.  The program gives members the rare opportunity to create a legacy in music and to observe first-hand the development of a new work from the composer”™s earliest ideas to the finished composition.  Investing members pay a minimum of $300 for a year-long membership and are invited to three salons throughout the season that feature in-depth discussion with the composer about his creative process and previews of the final work.

One hour before curtain, Bermel discusses the intricacies of his new composition at Concert Preludes, designed to illuminate the evening”™s program and free for all ticket holders.

Bermel, hailed by critics as “one of America’s finest young composers,” uses Brazilian themes and rhythms and the poetry of Portugal’s Eugénio de Andrade as the basis of Mar de Setembro, a vocal tone poem.  “My compositional style has been deeply enriched by studying and experiencing global music and cultures,” says Bermel.  “Music is inspiration but also an education, and what better tutor than the mesmerizing voice of Luciana Souza to express the Latin American heritage of Los Angeles.”

Both Bermel and Souza are celebrated for their originality in blending such musical genres as classical, jazz, pop, folk and gospel.  Billboard describes Souza as “the singer for a new generation of firebrands eager to push the boundaries,” New York Magazine calls her “phenomenal” and the Boston Herald proclaims she is “one of today”™s most inventive and stylistically far-reaching vocalists.”

Mendelssohn’s Concerto in D minor for Violin and Piano, written in 1823 when the composer was just 14, showcases the orchestra’s force as well as the virtuosity of the violin and piano.

Mozart”™s Symphony No. 38 in D major, debuting in Prague after the successful reception of his beloved opera The Marriage of Figaro, needed only three movements instead of the typical four to thrill audiences then and now with operatic flourishes and theatrical flair.

Tickets ($18 – $100) are on sale now and may be purchased online here, or by calling LACO at 213 622 7001, or at the venue box office on the night of the concert, if tickets remain.  Discounted tickets are also available by phone for seniors 65 years of age and older and groups of 12 or more.  College students may purchase rush tickets one hour before curtain.

For more specific information about the upcoming season of LACO, go here to see a PDF of the ORCHESTRAL SERIES “AT A GLANCE.”


Derek Bermel”™s residency is sponsored by Titus & Wendy Brenninkmeijer.  Luciana Souza at Royce Hall is sponsored by J. Robert & Barbara Bragonier.  The Royce Hall performance by Jeffrey Kahane and Margaret Batjer is sponsored by K. Eugene Shutler in memory of Dan Read.  This concert is also made possible in part by grants from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.  Guggenheim Partners, LLC is an official sponsor of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Equally at home at the keyboard or on the podium, Jeffrey Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov and John Adams. 2010-11 heralds Kahane”™s 14th season as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He completed his fifth and final season as music director of the Colorado Symphony in June 2010 and previously led the Santa Rosa Symphony for ten seasons. He has received much recognition for his innovative programming and commitment to education and community involvement with all three groups and received multiple ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming for his work in both Los Angeles and Denver. In addition to his programs and projects with LACO, recent and upcoming performance highlights include concerto appearances with the Toronto, Cincinnati and Houston symphonies; programs as pianist and conductor with the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco, National and Indianapolis symphonies; a US tour with Daniel Hope; an appearance with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and a European tour with the Camerata Salzburg as conductor and soloist.

Derek Bermel’s works draw from a rich variety of musical genres, including classical, jazz, pop, rock, blues, folk and gospel. Hands-on experience with music of cultures around the world has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language. Currently serving as artist-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Study, composer-in-residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and creative adviser to the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Bermel has received commissions from the Pittsburgh, National, Saint Louis, New Jersey, Albany, and Pacific symphonies, Los Angeles and Westchester philharmonics, the New York Youth Symphony, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, eighth blackbird, the Guarneri String Quartet, Music from China, De Ereprijs (Netherlands), Jazz Xchange (UK), Figura (Denmark), violinist Midori, electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans, cellist Fred Sherry, and pianists Christopher Taylor and Andy Russo, among others. Bermel has collaborated with artists in a wide variety of genres, including playwright Will Eno, filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson, installation artist Shimon Attie, landscape architect Andy Cao, choreographer Sheron Wray, performance artist Kim Jones, composer/sound designer David Reid, poets Wendy S. Walters, Mark Halliday and Naomi Shihab Nye, and Albert Bermel.

Margaret Batjer, who curates LACO”™s Westside Connections series, joined the Orchestra as concertmaster in 1998. She made her first solo appearance at the age of 15 with the Chicago Symphony in Gian Carlo Menotti”™s Violin Concerto. Since then, she has been re-engaged by the Chicago Symphony, as well as a succession of other major orchestras. Batjer has also appeared as a soloist throughout Europe with orchestras including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Equally respected as a chamber musician, Batjer has performed regularly at the Marlboro Music Festival, the Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest, the La Jolla Summerfest, the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, and the Naples and Cremona festivals in Italy. She has recorded the Bach Concerto for Two Violins in D minor for Philips with Salvatore Accardo and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and more recently for Deutsche Grammophon with Hilary Hahn and LACO. Batjer has won numerous prizes, including the G.B. Dealey Award in Dallas. She joined the faculty of the Thornton School of Music at USC in 2005.

Grammy® winner Luciana Souza is one of Jazz”™s leading singers and interpreters. Hailing from

São Paulo, Brazil, she grew up in a family of bossa nova innovators. Her work as a performer transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles, offering solid roots in jazz, sophisticated lineage in world music, and an enlightened approach to classical repertoire and new music. As a leader, Souza has eight acclaimed releases including her four Grammy® nominated records Brazilian Duos, 2002; North and South, 2003; and Duos II, 2005, and Tide, 2009. Her debut recording for Universal/Verve (produced by her husband, Larry Klein), The New Bossa Nova, (2007) was met with critical acclaim.  Souza has performed and recorded with greats like Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez, and many others. Her longstanding duo work with Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo has earned her accolades across the globe. Her complete discography contains more than 50 records as a side singer.  Souza has been a prominent soloist in two important works by composer Osvaldo Golijov – La Pasión según San Marco, and Oceana. She has performed with the Bach Akademie Stuttgart, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Other orchestral appearances include de Falla’s “El Amor Brujo” with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her work in chamber music includes a fruitful collaboration with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. In 2005, Souza was awarded Female Jazz Singer of the Year, by the Jazz Journalists Association.




Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra


Jeffrey Kahane, music director; conductor/piano

Margaret Batjer, violin

Luciana Souza, voice


Saturday, May 14, 2011, 8 pm

Alex Theatre

216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale CA 91203

Sunday, May 15, 2011, 7 pm

Royce Hall

340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095



Concerto in D minor for Violin and Piano


Mar de Setembro (“September Sea”) Sound Investment commission (world premiere)


Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504, “Prague”


$18, $50, $85, $100.00

(Discounts for groups of 12 or more, seniors 65+ and college students, if available)


Tickets available online or by phone 213 622 7001 x 215 or by fax 213 626 2157

Tickets also on sale at the theatre box office the night of the concert, if available.


7 pm (Alex Theatre)

6 pm (Royce Hall)

One hour before curtain, LACO composer-in-residence Derek Bermel discusses the intricacies of the new work that premieres at this concert.  Free for all ticket holders

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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