LA AT LARGE:
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC IN LOS ANGELES
LA is home to a thriving new music scene, with many opportunities to hear and participate.
This historic contemporary music scene has long been a bastion of modernism in the city, year after year hosting some of the world's best ensembles and presenting American premieres of new works by composer luminaries. Now in their 77th season, the MEC has just undergone a radical facelift with their new artistic director, (percussionist and UCSD alum) Jonathan Hepfer.
The LA Philharmonic's flagship contemporary music series brings a wide variety of commissions and premieres to Disney Hall every season. The 2015 season includes works from Agata Zubel, Clara Iannotta, Jacob Cooper and Chaya Czernowin, as well as a full performance of Messaien's des Canyons aux étoiles... Student rush tickets are nearly always available.
This series of experimental and avant-garde music, run by composers Nicholas Deyoe, Scott Worthington and Brian Griffeath-Loeb and performers Elise Roy and Matt Barbier, maintains an active calendar of performances around LA. Their programming features plenty of premieres and under-performed gems of the contemporary notated repertoire. Current season here.
This music series presented by The Broad Museum and curated by Ted Hearne, pairs hybrid-minded artists hailing from different corners of the pop landscape for intimate performances at RedCat. Musicians on the current season include Helado Negro, Daniel Wohl, Tyondai Braxton and the NYC-based hip hop trio RatKing.
This composer-driven performance series, combining new works performed live with visual art and integrated theatrical lighting, takes place about twice a year. It's run by a group of composers and production designers who are seeking to bridge the gap between concert music and music for film. Concerts are invite-only but it's easy to join the mailing list.
This performance series blends a healthy dose of contemporary music and world premieres with classical music that's rarely heard or a bit off the beaten path. Innovative programming that showcases some of LA's finest freelance musicians.
The LA Opera produces a growing number of contemporary works and experimental productions as part of their "Off Grand" series. The 2015-16 season includes operas by Missy Mazzoli, David T. Little and David Lang, as well as a Halloween presentation of Philip Glass's Dracula at the ACE Hotel.
Longtime LA composer Hugh Levick runs this yearly music festival, featuring marathon performances bringing together West Coast composers of many stripes. More info about the 2016 season here.
Conductor Christopher Rountree leads this network of LA-based musicians specializing in conceptual programming, often blending off-beat arrangements of classic music with world premieres and performance-art-inspired theatricalism to create larger evening-length narratives. Their recent albums and performances have been acclaimed by the LA and NY Times alike. Upcoming events here.
Led by Eric km Clark and Christine Tavolacci, this collective of performer/composers presents a series of committed portrait concerts that focus on a particular period of a composer's work. Recent performances have included music of Alvin Curran, James Tenney, Pauline Oliveros, Frederic Rzewski and Earle Brown.
This enigmatic conductorless ensemble has a deep bench including some of LA's best young orchestral talent, and often programs new works by LA-based composers alongside staples of the classical repertoire. Season info here.