The Los Angeles Master Chorale is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading professional choirs and one of Southern California’s most vibrant cultural treasures. Hailed for its powerful performances, technical precision, and artistic daring, the Master Chorale is led by Artistic Director Grant Gershon and President and CEO Jean Davidson. It is a founding resident company of The Music Center and the choir-in-residence at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Chorister positions are highly sought-after and the professional choir is a diverse and vocally dynamic group showcasing the many voices of L.A.
Presenting its own concert series each season, the Master Chorale performs choral music from the earliest writings to contemporary compositions striking a balance between innovation and tradition. To date, the choir has commissioned 50 and premiered 99 new works, of which 69 were world premieres. It has been awarded three ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming as well as Chorus America’s prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence.
During its 53rd season, eight programs will be presented in Walt Disney Concert Hall. The season reiterates the long-term creative partnerships between Gershon and composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars, opening with the Sellars-directed staging of Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro in October and featuring the premiere performances of piano transcriptions of John Adams’ most popular opera choruses as part of the composer’s 70th birthday celebrations in March. The choir’s versatility is showcased throughout the season with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, a pillar of the choral repertoire, and the riotous Les Noces by Stravinsky along with a cappella programs that span the Renaissance to today. The season culminates in June 2017 with a 20th anniversary celebration of Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna on a concert program that includes world premieres by Eric Whitacre, Moira Smiley, and Billy Childs. The Master Chorale will also host the 2017 Chorus America Conference, the country’s most prestigious choral gathering, from June 21 to 24. The Master Chorale’s inaugural artist-in-residence, Eric Whitacre and newly appointed Assistant Conductor, Jenny Wong, will also perform during the 2016/17 season.
The Los Angeles Master Chorale has performed in more than 500 concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at both Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and has toured with the orchestra to Europe and New York City. Performances in the orchestra’s 2016/17 season include John Adams’ El Niño, conducted by Gershon in December and JanáÄek’s Glagolitic Mass with Gustavo Dudamel in May. The Master Chorale has also appeared at the Ojai Music Festival, the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival, and the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
Praised for its definitive performances, the choir is also committed to recording the choral repertoire. Its esteemed discography includes seven recordings under Gershon, the most recent being the national anthems/the little match girl passion by David Lang on Cantaloupe Records. Albums released under former Music Director Paul Salamunovich on RCM include the Grammy-nominated Lauridsen-Lux Aeterna, a recording that helped to secure the work’s place as a modern masterpiece. The Master Chorale is also featured with Gershon on the soundtracks of many major motion pictures and is heard beyond the concert hall via broadcasts by Southern California’s Classical KUSC.
Committed to community engagement and fostering music education in schools, the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s education programs include Voices Within that encourages young people to write and perform their own songs, an oratorio project for high school students, and the annual High School Choir Festival, which brings teenagers from around the Southland to perform in Walt Disney Concert Hall.