Los Angeles Master Chorale Receives Challenge Grant from Abbott L. Brown Foundation to Establish Leadership Circle

The Los Angeles Master Chorale is pleased to announce that the Abbott L. Brown Foundation (ALBF) has awarded a challenge grant to support the organization’s mission and programs. The ALBF will match up to a total of $100,000 funded contributions to the newly formed Leadership Circle, founded by Abbott L. Brown and Jerrie Paula Ortega-Brown.

“I was proud to serve on the Board of Directors and as Chairman in the late 1980s when the Los Angeles Master Chorale was actively building upon its reputation as the leading choral ensemble in the country,” said Brown. “The establishment of the Leadership Circle will help enable the Master Chorale to share its groundbreaking programs and the joy of choral music more broadly in our local communities and throughout the world.
Los Angeles Master Chorale President & CEO Jean Davidson said, “On behalf of the Master Chorale, we are extremely grateful for Abbott’s support and generosity. This gift to establish the Master Chorale’s first ever Leadership Circle is a wonderful recognition of our current efforts and successes and helps secure the foundation for our broader aspirations for the future."
The Leadership Circle honors and celebrates the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s most distinguished donor community. Members enable transformative projects, from commissioning, recording, and artistic innovation, to ambitious community engagement programming and touring productions, and receive exclusive recognition and event experiences throughout the year. The minimum membership commitment is $100,000 and may be fulfilled over a three-year period.
The Los Angeles Master Chorale, the country’s preeminent professional choir and resident company at Walt Disney Concert Hall, has increased its budget by 46% in the last four years. The Master Chorale’s recent growth is matched by its ambitious initiatives, designed to present and perform choral music in fresh and engaging ways for today’s audiences, and to encourage all to practice the art of singing through its community education programs.  
The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s signature touring production, Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro, directed by Peter Sellars, opened the Salzburg Festival on July 20 and 21, 2019, and continues with additional tour dates throughout the 2019–2020 season, which kicks off on October 19 and 20, 2019, with the Master Chorale’s first ever performance of Bruckner’s Great Mass, paired with Golijov’s Oceana. The 2019–2020 season also features Master Chorale-commissioned works by composers Gabriel Kahane and Derrick Spiva Jr., and the world premiere of a new score by Jeff Beal for F.W. Murnau’s 1927 Academy Award-winning film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.
During this year’s GALA 2019, held on March 23, 2019, Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director, unveiled the first phase of a visionary Los Angeles Master Chorale commission from acclaimed artist and filmmaker Doug Aitken. Aitken and Gershon have been collaborating on this new large-scale work over the past year. Conceived in multiple movements, the fully realized work, to be presented during the 2021–2022 season, will place 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.
For information about how to join the Leadership Circle, please contact Elizabeth Greenway, Chief Advancement Officer, at 213-972-3114 or egreenway@lamasterchorale.org.

Abbott L. Brown started his professional career upon graduating from Lehigh University in 1965 in Los Angeles with the international accounting firm of Price Waterhouse. During Mr. Brown’s 25-year career with Price Waterhouse, he was Managing Partner for the Southern California region of seven offices and served a broad range of companies. From 1990-1994, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment, the parent company of Columbia Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Merv Griffin Enterprises and Loews Theatres. From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Brown was Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Pacific Capital Group, a Beverly Hills-based merchant banking firm. Mr. Brown served in various capacities related to Pacific Capital Group investments, including serving on various boards and management roles. Pacific Capital Group founded Global Crossing in 1997 where Mr. Brown was an executive officer and member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Brown left Global Crossing in early 2000. Mr. Brown founded Ridgestone Corporation in 1997, a family-controlled investment firm based in Los Angeles that invests directly in publicly traded equity securities, private equity transactions, venture capital transactions and real estate. He has served on the Board of Directors of both public and private companies and is active in community activities, currently serving on the Board of Trustees of Claremont McKenna College as a Life Trustee, Co-Chairman of the Claremont Investment Management Company and Saint John's Health Center Foundation where he is a past Chairman. He is also a past Chairman of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, serving on the Board from 1984-1989. Mr. Brown has three sons and lives in Brentwood with his wife, Jerrie, and enjoys golf and sailing.
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