Program Books/Los Angeles Master Chorale

Los Angeles Master Chorale

The Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) is “the finest major chorus in America” (Los Angeles Times) that turns “precision into wonder” (The New Yorker). Hailed for its powerful performances, technical precision, and artistic daring, the ensemble is led by Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director; Associate Artistic Director Jenny Wong; and Interim President & CEO Terry Knowles. Its Swan Family Artist-in-Residence is Reena Esmail.

Created by legendary conductor Roger Wagner in 1964, the LAMC is a founding resident company of the Music Center and choir-in-residence at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The fully professional choir is a diverse and vocally dynamic group that reaches more than 175,000 people a year through its concert series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, its international touring of innovative works, and its performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and others.

In 2022, the LAMC won a Best Choral Performance Grammy for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Deutsche Grammophon recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (with the National Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Children’s Choir, and Pacific Chorale). Other recordings include The Sacred Veil by Eric Whitacre (Signum Records) and national anthems/the little match girl passion by David Lang (Cantaloupe Records). The LAMC is featured on the soundtracks of many major motion pictures, including Jungle Cruise and the Star Wars films The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.

Throughout 2018 and 2019, the LAMC toured its production of Lagrime di San Pietro; directed by Peter Sellars, it earned rave reviews across the globe. The Süddeutsche Zeitung called the 2019 Salzburg Festival performance “painfully beautiful,” while the Sydney Morning Herald praised Lagrime di San Pietro as “stunning… Their voices soared to the heavens.” After the ensemble performed in London, The Stage called Lagrime a “balm for the soul.”

Committed to increasing representation in the choral repertoire, the LAMC announced in 2020 that it will reserve at least 50% of each future season for works by composers from historically excluded groups. This commitment to inclusion runs through the entire organization, which recently ratified a five-year plan to improve representation at the staff and board levels, to build a more diverse roster of singers, and to reach a wider audience.

The group’s education programs include Voices Within residencies that encourage students to write and perform their own songs, and an expansive Oratorio Project for high school students. The LAMC also presents an annual High School Choir Festival, which brings teenagers from around the Southland to perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall. In April 2023, the High School Choir Festival celebrated 34 years as one of the longest-running and widest-reaching arts education programs in Southern California.

Music to Accompany a Departure is the second collaboration between the Los Angeles Master Chorale and director Peter Sellars.