Jeffrey Kahane, acclaimed pianist and music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, to join Keyboard Studies faculty next fall
By Evan Calbi
Officials from USC Thornton and LACO made the joint Dec. 10 announcement that Kahane will join the keyboard studies department to teach piano as well as other classes.
“Jeffrey is an important addition to the USC Thornton faculty as we continue to assemble what we believe to be the strongest music faculty in the world,” said Robert Cutietta, dean of USC Thornton. “He has such a strong humanities background that he will be a diverse and strong addition to our school. The sky is the limit on what might evolve.”
Kahane will step down as music director at LACO in 2017 after a 20-year run — the longest of any music director in the
ensemble’s history — transitioning to the role of music director
Committed to education
Kahane said he was “deeply honored to join the immensely distinguished faculty” of USC Thornton and said he is “profoundly grateful for their warm and enthusiastic welcome and support.” He said that a commitment to education has been a central part of his musical life for more than two decades.
“I am thrilled to have an opportunity to expand and deepen that commitment at this great institution with its extraordinarily rich history,” he said. “I look forward especially to being able to share with young musicians as well as students from other disciplines my passion for the pursuit of the study of music in the broadest possible intellectual, ethical and spiritual context.”
LACO Executive Director Rachel Fine, who also serves as an adjunct instructor in USC’s Arts Leadership program, said, “The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is delighted that Jeffrey has been appointed to the USC Thornton School of Music faculty and is pleased that his appointment will further expand the orchestra’s partnerships with this great music school.”
Kahane’s appointment grew out of the increasingly active partnership between LACO and USC Thornton. Many LACO musicians, including concertmaster Margaret Batjer, principal cellist Andrew Shulman and principal oboe Allan Vogel, among others, are professors at USC Thornton. The school’s premier choral ensemble, the USC Thornton Chamber Singers, regularly partners with LACO to perform works for the orchestra’s regular subscription series.
LACO is also a collaborator in producing the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival every four years and together with USC Thornton has created The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra–Thornton Strings Mentorship Program, a mock-orchestral audition that provides the hands-on experience of an audition with a professional orchestra. The program has provided USC Thornton students the opportunity to perform in the string section of the orchestra for a LACO concert set.
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