The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) has announced that it will continue its all-digital 2020-2021 season, available On Demand at No Cost thanks to the generosity of donors. The CLOSE QUARTERS Episode 13 Premieres on Friday, May 21, 2021, 6:30 pm (PT), with a pre-broadcast discussion, 5:30 pm (PT).  Episode 13 of CLOSE QUARTERS will feature the LACO-commissioned world premiere of HYO by sound investment composer Peter S. Shin, the debut of acclaimed soprano Nicole Cabell, performing in residence Ellen Reid’s “Lumee’s Aria” from her Pulitzer prize-winning opera p r i s m, and Benjamin Britten’s Les Illuminations, a song cycle set to the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, led by guest conductor Grant Gershon. Episode 13 also includes collaborations with Visual Artist/Animator Jian Lee, Stage Director George Miller, Choreographer Rebecca Steinberg and Dancers Joe David and Layne Paradis Willis with Visual Curation by LACO Creative Director of Digital Content James Darrah.

CLOSE QUARTERS’ “digitally native” programs have drawn more than one million views to date since debuting in November 2020.  Filmed safely at either FOX studios or The Colburn School’s Olive Rehearsal Hall, each episode runs between 30 and 40 minutes long.  During this time of shutdown, James Darrah also established a creative hub for developing artistic media content with L.A.-based artists and filmmakers at the first-of-its-kind LACO digital studio at Wilhardt & Naud: a film studio and multidisciplinary arts campus located in Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles.

“The artists, inspired by the Orchestra’s musical programming, create new visual works in a variety of mediums that will factor into the broadcasts and endure long after the season concludes. CLOSE QUARTERS builds upon the highly successful LACO SummerFest series, the Orchestra’s first foray into streaming that concluded in September and featured five digital chamber music concerts that have attracted more than 250,000 views to date.”  LACO press release

Ellen Reid Benjamin Britten animator Jian Lee courtesy of Jian Lee soprano Nicole Cabell Episode 13 courtesy of Nicole Cabell
Soprano Nicole Cabell - Photo courtesy of the artist

Composed during the pandemic, Peter S. Shin describes Hyo, which is related to self and identity, as “a deeply personal and hopeful narrative about filial piety, an important and uniquely Korean virtue embracing dutiful respect, obedience and caring for one’s parents and elderly family members.” He also said that the time of shutdown brought on “a strong feelings of anxiety about my responsibility to protect the health and safety of my parents, which was heightened by the anti-Asian American sentiment inflamed by COVID-19.”

Hyo has incorporated animation and drawn portraiture by visual artist Jian Lee as part of this first time that she and Shin have worked together. Together they conjured up visuals as the work was being written during their multi-month collaboration process. “The Britten and Reid segments, cinematic in nature, spotlight collaborations with stage director George Miller, choreographer Rebecca Steinberg and dancers Layne Paradis Willis and Joe Davis. LACO Creative Director of Digital Content James Darrah provides visual curation.”  LACO press release

Regarding his “real time” virtual artistic collaboration with visual artist Jian Lee, Shin states, “What I like about Jian’s portraiture is that, upon first glance, it seems uncanny but also eerily innocent, whimsical, graceful and elegant, sort of how my music extends from a dark experience and transforms into a more hopeful tone. I immediately felt a kinship to her work.”

Originally from Danvers, Massachusetts, Rebecca Steinberg (choreographer and Educator), moved Israel after completing her education. She danced in Vertigo Dance Company’s International Training Program and worked as a freelance artist in New York before joining New Dialect in 2015. She has performed works by Banning Bouldin, Ohad Naharin, Hofesh Shechter, David Dorfman, Doug Varone, Roy Assaf, Bryan Arias, Joy Davis, Idan Sharabi, and Noa Zuk, among many others. Steinberg is a 2019 Jacob’s Pillow Choreography Fellow and has most recently been commissioned to create work for New Dialect, Nashville Ballet, OZ Arts Nashville, and Middle Tennessee State University. To read more about Rebecca Steinberg, click HERE.

Rebecca Steinberg - Photo courtesy of the artist

Rebecca Steinberg – Photo courtesy of the artist

As a performer, Joe Davis (dancer) has toured internationally to Russia, Holland, Poland, Indonesia, and Mexico, and has choreographed internationally in the cities of Jakarta and Hong Kong. In addition to performing and choreographing, he has also taught master classes at such institutions as Steps on Broadway, Loyola Marymount University, Chapman University, Santa Monica College UCLA and numerous dance studios across the country. Davis is currently a member of L.A.-based contemporary dance company, BODYTRAFFIC, performing pieces by renowned choreographers Hofesh Shechter, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Barak Marshall, Arthur Pita, Victor Quijada, Matthew Neenan, Sidra Bell and Richard Seigal.

Joe Davis - Photo courtesy of the artist

Joe Davis – Photo courtesy of the artist

Layne Paradis Willis (dancer) is a queer identifying artist who has been performing as a resident in the award winning off-Broadway show “Sleep No More” at the Mickittrick Hotel in Chelsea, NY since 2018. While performing in the show full time, she has maintained a role in Nadine Bommer Dance Company, working out of both New York City and Israel. As a creator, Willis has presented work in Boston, MA, where her choreography was adjudicated by the American College Dance Association. To read more about Layne Paradis Willis, click HERE.

Layne Paradis Willis - Photo courtesy of the artist

Layne Paradis Willis – Photo courtesy of the artist


Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
“Shin, Reid + Britten”
Grant Gershon, guest conductor
Nicole Cabell, soprano
Premieres Friday, May 21, 2021, 6:30 pm (PT) – subsequently available on demand


PETER S. SHIN Hyo (Sound Investment commission & world premiere)
BRITTEN Les illuminations
ELLEN REID “Lumee’s Aria” from p r i s m


Grant Gershon, conductor; Nicole Cabell, soprano; Tereza Stanislav, violin; Julie Gigante, violin; Tamara Hatwan, violin; Susan Rishik, violin; Jessica Guideri, violin; Sara Parkins, violin; Grace Oh, violin; Josefina Vergara, violin; Sarah Thornblade, violin; Cheryl Norman-Brick, violin; Jason Issokson, violin; Carrie Kennedy, violin; Joel Pargman, violin; Erik Rynearson, viola; Robert Brophy, viola; Andrew Duckles, viola; Colleen Sugata, viola; Andrew Shulman, cello; Armen Ksajikian, cello; Trevor Handy, cello; Giovanna Moraga Clayton, cello; David Grossman, bass; David Moore, bass; Rose Lombardo, flute; Claire Brazeau, oboe; Chris Stoutenborough, clarinet; Damian Montano, bassoon; Dylan Hart, horn; Erick Jovel, trumpet; Elizabeth Zosseder, harp; and Wade Culbreath, timpani.

James Darrah, Creative Director; George Miller, Stage Director; Rebecca Steinberg, Choreographer; Layne Paradis Willis, Dancer; Joe Davis, Dancer; and Jian Lee, Visual Artist.

COST:   There is no cost to stream the programs – Donations requested:

WHERE TO STREAM: LACO/Close Quarters   –  On YouTub  or  on Facebook live

CLOSE QUARTERS episode 13, “Shin, Reid + Britten,” is sponsored by Peggy and Jack Falcon. The final CLOSE QUARTERS episode premieres on June 4, 2021, at 6:30 pm (PT).


To learn more about Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and its artists, click HERE.

Written and compiled from Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra press release by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: LACO Sound Investment composer Peter S. Shin – Photo courtesy of the artist