Masumi Per Rostad
Masumi Per Rostad

[NoHo Arts District, CA] – Celebrate Earth Day with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s on April 22 and 23.

Music Director Jaime Martín leads Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) in the West Coast premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s L.E.S. Characters, a LACO co-commissioned viola concerto written for and featuring her childhood friend, Grammy Award-winning violist Masumi Per Rostad, who has been praised for his “burnished sound” (The New York Times), on Saturday, April 22, 8 pm, at UCLA’s Royce Hall, and Sunday April 23, 2023, 7 pm, at Glendale’s Alex Theatre. The program, embracing Earth Day and the great outdoors, is bookended by Ives’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Symphony No. 3, “The Camp Meeting,” and Beethoven’s joyful Symphony No. 6 in F major, “Pastoral.”

L.E.S. Characters, described as “exploding with life” (The Washington Post), offers a different perspective on what it means to be outside, vividly recreating the gritty East Village of 1980s New York City, where Montgomery and Rostad both grew up and studied music together. “Conceived as a series of vignettes,” explains Montgomery, “each of the 5-movements depicts a different real-life street performance artist or character from the Lower East Side, recalled as a childhood memory shared between myself and Masumi Per Rostad. I thought a series of character pieces would be a fun frame in which to place the viola at the center as subject and storyteller, recounting the images and memories of these artist souls and their impact on our creativity. This piece is dedicated to the memory of Chris Pors, Mary Lou Francis, our violin teacher and Executive Director of the Third Street Music School Settlement when Masumi and I were studying there; and Robbie McCauley, my mom…all of whom we lost during the time of COVID Pandemic 2020-2021.” L.E.S. Characters was co-commissioned by the Grant Park Music Festival, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, CityMusic Cleveland, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and LACO.

Rostad, raised in an artist loft converted from a garage with a 1957 Chevy Belair as the remnant centerpiece in his family’s living room, began studying music at the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City, when he was three years old. He has gone on to become one of the world’s most in-demand soloists, chamber musicians, and teachers. In addition to maintaining an active performance and teaching schedule, the Japanese-Norwegian violist regularly tours internationally and performs at many of the most prominent festivals, including Marlboro, Spoleto USA, and the Aspen Music Festival. His guest violist collaborations include programs with the St Lawrence, Ying, Pavel Haas, Miró, Verona, and Emerson string quartets, as well as with the Horszowski Trio. Rostad toured and recorded extensively as a former member of the International Sejong Soloists and was a member of the Pacifica Quartet for nearly two decades, from 2001 to 2017. He can be heard on the Cedille Records, Naxos, Hyperion, Musical Observations, Bridge, and Tzadik record labels. Rostad serves on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music. 

LACO recognizes the generous support of the Colburn Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. The Orchestra also receives public funding via grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. LACO gratefully acknowledges Hogan Lovells US LLP for generous pro bono support. Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. 

Royce Hall is located at 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095. The Alex Theatre is located at 216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, CA 91203. For tickets ($32 – $142) and information, please visit www.laco.org or call 213 221 3920.


LACO ranks among the world’s top musical ensembles. Beloved by audiences and praised by critics, the Orchestra is a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and, with eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, a champion of contemporary composers. Headquartered in the heart of the country’s cultural capital, LACO has been proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” (Public Radio International), “LA’s most unintimidating chamber music experience” (Los Angeles magazine), “resplendent” (Los Angeles Times), and “one of the world’s great chamber orchestras”(KUSC Classical FM). Performing throughout greater Los Angeles, the Orchestra has made 32 recordings, including, most recently, a 2019 BIS Records release of works for violin and chamber orchestra that features Concertmaster Margaret Batjer and the world premiere recording of Pierre Jalbert’s Violin Concerto (a LACO co-commission). In 2020, due to the global pandemic, LACO pivoted from presenting live performances to producing the groundbreaking CLOSE QUARTERS interdisciplinary digital series melding musical and visual arts, which has garnered more than 1.8 million views across social media platforms since its debut in November 2020. The “digitally native” programs, created specifically for streaming and applauded as “musically and artistically compelling” (Los Angeles Times) have “redefined how classical music can be presented in the 21st century (Cultural Attaché). LACO, with offices located in downtown Los Angeles, has toured Europe, South America and Japan, and performed across North America. www.laco.org.

JAIME MARTÍN assumed his LACO post and also became Chief Conductor of Ireland’s RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in September 2019. In LACO concert reviews, the Los Angeles Times has hailed Martín’s “infectious music making,” noting “the musicians seem to be having a blast. The audience is invited to the party.” Overseas, he has been praised as “a visionary conductor, discerning and meticulous” (Platea Magazine), and London’s The Telegraph said, “his infectious enjoyment of the music communicated to the orchestra and audience alike.” He has been Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Gävle Symphony Orchestra since 2013 and is the Artistic Advisor of the Santander Festival.  He was also a founding member of the Orquestra de Cadaqués, where he was Chief Conductor from 2012 to 2019. Having spent many years as a highly regarded flautist, Martín turned to conducting full-time in 2013, and very quickly became sought after at the highest level.  Recent engagements include appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Antwerp Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony and Gulbenkian orchestras, as well as a nine-city European tour with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Martín has recorded a series of highly acclaimed Brahms discs for Ondine Records with the Gävle Symphony and various discs with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra for Tritó Records. He has also commissioned multiple world and regional premieres of works by composers including Ellen Reid, Andrew Norman, Missy Mazzoli, Derrick Spiva, Albert Schnelzer and Juan Pablo Contreras. As a flautist, Martín was principal flute of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, English National Opera, Academy of St Martin the Fields and London Philharmonic Orchestra. Jaime Martín is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music, London, where he was a flute professor.



Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Presents: Ives, Montgomery + Beethoven

Jaime Martín, conductor

Masumi Per Rostad, viola


IVES Symphony No. 3, “The Camp Meeting”

JESSIE MONTGOMERY L.E.S. Characters (West Coast Premiere; LACO co-commission)

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 in F major, “Pastoral”

When and Where:

Sat, Apr 22 at 8 P.M.

Royce Hall
10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Sun, Apr 23 at 7 P.M. 

Alex Theatre
216 North Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91203