The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra have honoured Danny Elfman at its 2023 Gala Celebration on 4 February. Elfman was introduced as 2023 Honoree by fellow Hollywood composer, James Newton Howard, who was last year’s recipient. The event also saw the orchestra announce its participation in jointly commissioning Elfman’s latest classical work, the forthcoming Suite for Chamber Orchestra.

The four-movement work has been co-commissioned by the Library of Congress, The Andre Kostelanetz Royalty Pool, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. The 19-minute piece receives its world premiere performance on 4 May 2023, at Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, in Washington DC from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

The commission is a bow to the legacy of conductor Andre Kostelanetz, a champion for a remarkable range of American composers that included Aaron Copland, William Schuman and Jerome Kern - and whose hugely influential programs juxtaposed both popular and classical music.

The LACO’s fundraising gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel featured new chamber orchestra versions of Elfman’s music especially created by Peter Michael Davison. The orchestra’s concertmaster, Margaret Batjer, was soloist in the third movement ‘Fantasma’ of Elfman’s 2017 Concerto for Violin and Orchestra ‘Eleven Eleven’. The concerto was originally premiered by Sandy Cameron, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, and John Mauceri, and has been performed over 20 times at the Elbphilharmonie, Usher Hall, the Philharmonie de Paris, Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, and throughout the United States.

The LACO also performed movements three and five of a new chamber orchestra version of Elfman’s Piano Quartet, a piece which has received over 60 performances since its premiere in 2018, and has been recorded by the Philharmonic Piano Quartet Berlin. Both new chamber arrangements are now available for general performance.