colburn_logoandplayersOn October 5, 2014 we start our second season of collaborations with the Colburn Conservatory whenthe Alma Quartet plays a program of Haydn and Beethoven. All our Sunday evening performances begin at 7:00 p.m. Ticket prices vary, but the Colburn Concerts are $20 for adults and $15 for Seniors and Students.

For a long time, I have been struck by the number of music conservatories producing world-class

professional musicians in Los Angeles. We have The Colburn School, The Thornton School at USC, the Herb Alpert School at UCLA, and CalArts – each producing amazingly talented musicians. In 2013, I started working on establishing a Series at the Playhouse which I am calling Emerging Artists in Concert at the Playhouse and my first call was to the Colburn Conservatory.

Founded in 2003, the Colburn Conservatory has quickly established itself as one of the nation’s leading conservatories. I got a wonderful reception from Nate Zeisler, Director of Community Engagement and Continuing Education at the School who saw potential in working with SMP to create a venue for young artists to gain experience creating programs meaningful to themselves while working in collaboration with a producing organization. I have enjoyed working with Nate and his colleague Susannah Ramshaw to work out the execution of the collaboration – they have been terrific partners.

The Series has been a resounding success. We’ve had some of the most remarkable early-career musicians play on our stage. All of them have been taken with the quality of the sound in our theater –they’ve told me how easy the room is. Anyone who has heard music performances in our jewel box of a theater knows how remarkable a space it is for music. The Sunday Series is an important part of our programming and has been for a long time and I have made it a key part of my new mission at SMP. I have some remarkable performers joining us this year.

This Emerging Artists Series intends to present and celebrate the emerging talent coming out of these conservatories as well as programming new approaches to accepted notions of classical music. Eventually, we hope to program a wide range of music from jazz to opera – and I am negotiating with a dance troupe to join the series – more on that as it develops. We hope that patrons will begin to think of the Sierra Madre Playhouse not only as a place to see great theater and but also as a place to hear wonderful music.

I hope this is the start of something big. As I’ve been saying for a while to anyone who will listen: “Hear them at the Playhouse before you hear them at the Phil.”

By Artistic Director, Christian Lebano