Yesterday’s news that Jeffrey Kahane was stepping down in 2017 as Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra not only began a long goodbye three years in the making, it caused a little bit of consternation among fans of the pianist/conductor regarding what he’d do after his tenure was done.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Kahane said in an email “that he will continue his career as a soloist and chamber musician, and that he no plans to take on another music director position.” But neither the Times nor LACO’s press release was clear about whether or not he’d continue to conduct. Some people started to worry: would Mr. Kahane stop conducting all together?
Turns out, there was nothing to worry about.
Earlier today, LACO confirmed that Mr. Kahane will continue to conduct after 2017, as Conductor Laureate of the LA Chamber Orchestra and as a guest conductor with other orchestras. Below is Mr. Kahane’s complete statement on his decision to step down as Music Director and his eventual post-LACO life (emphases about future conducting plans mine):
“Twenty years is a very long tenure for any music director. I will be by far the longest serving music director in Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s history. I really felt it was time to pass the torch, as difficult as it is to move on, and 20 years seemed like a good round number. It’s been an extraordinarily wonderful time. My relationship with LACO is not coming to an end since I’ll be Music Director Laureate. I’m only in LA eight weeks or so a year. In addition to my work with LACO, I have an extremely busy schedule as a soloist and chamber musician. I also have ongoing guest conductor relationships with numerous orchestras. So I’ll continue to enjoy that as well as my ongoing relationship with LACO. I do not have any plans for another music director position at this time.”
Photo credit: photo by Lee Salem