Exclusive Preview of New Commission from Doug Aitken Revealed at GALA 2019
GALA 2019 to be held at the Marciano Art Foundation
Artist Doug Aitken and Philanthropist Lillian Pierson Lovelace to be honored
Evening includes preview performance of new Aitken work by the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director
Event to be catered by Josef Centeno
The Los Angeles Master Chorale — the country’s preeminent professional choir and choir-in-residence at Walt Disney Concert Hall — will reveal a new collaboration with acclaimed artist and filmmaker Doug Aitken at GALA 2019 on Saturday, March 23. The Gala will be held at the Marciano Art Foundation at 4357 Wilshire Boulevard from 5:30PM – 10PM, providing guests with a rare opportunity to enjoy exclusive evening access to the contemporary art gallery’s collection and exhibitions in addition to a special preview performance of the commission from Doug Aitken performed by the Master Chorale conducted by Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director.
Aitken will be honored at the black tie event for his visionary work across multiple genres and media alongside fellow honoree, prominent California philanthropist Lillian Pierson Lovelace, who will be celebrated for her extraordinary support of the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
Aitken and Gershon have been collaborating on the new large-scale work over the past year. Conceived in multiple movements, the fully-realized work will place the Master Chorale singers in an outdoor environment for a performance that invites viewers to move around as they listen, experiencing the music as an interactive soundscape. GALA 2019 offers the organization’s supporters an exclusive preview of the project, which is expected to be presented at full scale during the 2020/21 season.
“It has been fantastic to collaborate with Grant and the singers of the Master Chorale,” says Aitken. “This project is enabling me to experiment with the human voice in a way that feels exciting and expeditionary.”
Doug Aitken's "Mirage," Palm Springs, 2017. Photo by Ryan Houchin.
This new installation project follows one of Aitken’s most ambitious projects to date, a trio of Underwater Pavilions tethered to the seabed off the coast of Catalina Island, which he presented in December 2016. The Catalina project was followed in 2017 by Mirage, a site-specific sculpture created for Desert X that takes the form of a home completely covered in mirrors and set in the heart of the Californian desert. It also builds on Aitken’s practice of making music and sound an integral part of his installation and film work.
The venue for GALA 2019 is the Marciano Art Foundation, which is generously donating its distinctive space, a former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple built by Millard Sheets in 1961. The art gallery founded by Maurice and Paul Marciano opened in 2017 and displays works from the Marciano Art Collection by well-established, mid-career and emerging artists, predominantly from the 1990s to present, including Aitken.
The Aitken commission and preview at GALA 2019 are part of the Master Chorale’s ongoing Immersive Concert Experiences initiative. Through collaborations with visual artists and the incorporation of theatrical elements such as staging, choreography, lighting, video design, and artwork, Immersive Concert Experiences aim to enhance audience engagement with choral performances. Other projects within this initiative have included Handel’s Israel in Egypt, a collaboration with visual artist Kevork Mourad (2018), and Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of St. Peter), directed by Peter Sellars and currently touring internationally.
Philanthropic honoree Lillian Lovelace has played a significant role in the creation and presentation of Lagrime di San Pietro as part of her decades-long support of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The acclaimed touring production is made possible with generous underwriting from the Lovelace Family Trust and is dedicated to the memory of Lillian Lovelace’s late husband, Jon Lovelace, in honor of the special friendship they shared with director Peter Sellars. To honor Lillian Lovelace, the musical program for GALA 2019 will feature a selection from Lagrime di San Pietro, as well as Spem in alium (Hope in Any Other) by Thomas Tallis: "When I first came to the Master Chorale Jon and Lillian Lovelace immediately became huge supporters of our artistic vision," says Gershon. "The very first piece that I then led as Music Director was Spem in alium so I will always think of them when I think of this piece.”
Lillian Pierson Lovelace.
Gershon continues: “The combination of honoring both Lillian Lovelace and Doug Aitken this year is a tremendous celebration of the vibrancy and scope of the arts in Los Angeles. Doug's vision of a major work for the Master Chorale is an utterly unclassifiable adventure. I’m beyond excited by the possibilities that he’s dreaming up for our singers! Projects on this scale can only happen when we have support from people such as Lillian Lovelace. I can honestly say that some of our most ambitious projects, such as Lagrime di San Pietro, would not have happened without her. GALA 2019 will be a wonderful evening of celebrating both the creative vision of a great artist and also the passion and commitment of a great art lover.”
“It is incredibly thrilling for the Los Angeles Master Chorale to expand its Gala this year into a larger venue that connects us in such a meaningful way to the wider arts community,” adds Jean Davidson, President & CEO. “Galas traditionally celebrate past achievements, but this year we wanted to herald the start of a new partnership with Doug Aitken to stimulate interest and engagement with this work as it is brought to fruition. We hope GALA 2019 sparks a lively celebration of taking choral music to new places, something that our philanthropic honoree Lillian Lovelace has so ardently enabled us to do. We also thank the Marciano Art Foundation for generously allowing us to hold this event in their beautiful gallery space, elevating our event to a whole new level.”
The Marciano Art Foundation at 4357 Wilshire Boulevard.
GALA 2019 will begin with cocktails in the impressive marble foyer of the gallery and open access to the Marciano Art Foundation’s fourth floor art galleries before moving into the first floor gallery space for entertainment and a three-course dinner followed by a charity auction. The event will include the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s signature “Surround Sing” when the full 100-member choir surrounds the Gala guests and performs, providing an intimate connection between the guests and the Voices of L.A.
The Los Angeles Master Chorale and Grant Gershon performing the "Surround Sing" at the 2018 event.
Further extending its reach into the broader Los Angeles community, the event will be catered by Josef Centeno, the celebrated chef-owner of five Los Angeles restaurants. Centeno has been called the “culinary mayor” of downtown L.A. and “a prime mover of what we’ve come to think of as Los Angeles cuisine.” He opened his first restaurant, Eastern Mediterranean-influenced Bäco Mercat, in 2011, one of the first restaurants to shift critical attention to the center of downtown. Others soon followed: Tex-Mex restaurant Bar Amá, Italian- and Japanese-influenced Orsa & Winston, American cafe and bar Ledlow, and vegetable-centered P.Y.T.—all on the same block. He recently ventured across town to Culver City, where he opened BäcoShop.
A limited number of table sponsorships are available from $10,000 to $50,000 for a table seating up to 12. Single tickets are available from $1,000 to $3,500. Table and ticket bookings can be made online at lamasterchorale.org or by calling 213-972-4355. The Gala is the choir’s largest fundraising event of the year with proceeds supporting the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s education and community engagement programs and Grant Gershon’s bold artistic vision.
The GALA 2019 Committee is chaired by Dr. Annette L. Ermshar. Committee members include: Raymundo Baltazar, Jennifer Cox, Cindy Frischling, Kiki Ramos Gindler, Martha Groves, Agnes Lew, Dan Monahan, Marian H. Niles, Marie Noorbergen, Sonia Randazzo, Mimi Techentin, Tracy Van Fleet, and Jann Williams.
The Honorary GALA 2019 Committee provides special support for the event and to the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Committee members include: Karla and William Ahmanson, Sarah Arison, The Honorable Kathryn Barger, Marciano Art Foundation, Ellen Reid, Peter Sellars, and John Williams.