Big Names Fill Unnamed Chairs in the Orchestra

The loyal support of philanthropic leaders has allowed the LA Phil to recruit and retain the most talented musicians from orchestras and conservatories around the world. Audiences have heard firsthand how the quality of the orchestra has grown with each new musician chosen to join its ranks. Collectively, donors have helped build the Los Angeles Philharmonic into one of the world’s preeminent ensembles.

One of the best ways a donor can support the future of the LA Phil is to make a Centennial Campaign contribution to endow an orchestra chair. A gift to the LA Phil’s endowment will ensure our continued ability to bring the world’s most sought-after musicians to Los Angeles, today and for generations to come.

Three musicians whose chairs have yet to be named are highlighted below. Each is a leader both within the orchestra and in our community. Please contact us at campaign@laphil.org to learn more about endowing a principal, titled, or section player position, helping to sustain the orchestra in the decades ahead.

Carolyn Hove, English Horn and Oboe

Carolyn Hove has been the English horn player in the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1988. As an oboist, she has premiered numerous works with the LA Phil including pieces written by Esa-Pekka Salonen, William Kraft, Gerhard Samuel, Paul Turok, and others. When not performing in Walt Disney Concert Hall, she is an active teacher, recording artist, sought-after soloist, and a clinician at numerous International Double Reed Society annual conferences.


Most recently, Hove was the soloist at the Japan Double-Reed 50th Anniversary Concert on March 2 at Toppan Hall in Tokyo (pictured above). The only American invited to participate in the celebration, Hove performed Chrysalis for English horn and piano by the American composer, Alyssa Morris, a work that Hove commissioned, premiered, and recorded. She also performed The Shepherds of Provence by Eugène Bozza for oboe and English horn with Hansjorg Schellenberger, former Principal oboist with the Berlin Philharmonic. As part of this 50th anniversary celebration, Hove taught an English Horn Master Class, as well as several private lessons.

John Lofton, Bass Trombone

A native of Philadelphia and a graduate of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, John Lofton was appointed bass trombonist of the LA Phil in 2008. In addition to roles as a touring musician, a recording artist, and a chamber music player, Lofton dedicates himself to the craft of teaching as a faculty member at Cal State Long Beach, the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute, and a mentor to private students from several L.A. colleges.

Lofton is currently helping to inaugurate the LA Phil Resident Fellows program. This paid LA Phil fellowship focuses on artistic excellence, career development, and immersive orchestra mentorship through a one-to-three-year appointment as a musician playing with the LA Phil for early-career symphony musicians representing or serving historically underrepresented populations.

Lofton said of the program, “This initiative is going to help usher extraordinarily talented musicians through doors that used to be closed to them.”

Whitney Crockett, Principal Bassoon

Whitney Crockett was appointed LA Phil Principal Bassoon in April 2009—one of Gustavo Dudamel's first appointments as music and artistic director. Previously, Crockett had been with the Metropolitan Opera in New York for 12 years.

"When the auditions [for LA Phil Principal Bassoon] came up, someone from the orchestra contacted me and asked, 'Would you be interested?' I hadn't thought about it, but I thought about it and decided, 'You know what? I do!' And then I thought, 'Wait a minute, this is scary.' I hadn't taken an audition in 12 years. Thankfully, it worked out."

Crockett stepped into auspicious shoes: his two immediate predecessors in the principal role—David Breidenthal and Frederick "Fritz" Moritz—each served more than four decades in the position, dating back to the orchestra's first seasons.

In the decade since joining the LA Phil, Crockett has witnessed many noteworthy appointments to principal and leadership positions within the orchestra. He said in a recent interview: "The orchestra standards continue to get higher, and that's primarily because it continues to hire amazing players. That's not meant to be an insult or a dig at people who've been here for a long time. On the contrary, the orchestra was full of fantastic players before I got here. Just one example: Carolyn Hove is one of the best English horn players on the planet, in my opinion."

 

From Crockett to Lofton to Hove, and everyone in-between, the LA Phil has grown to comprise many of the world's most virtuosic and versatile players. Their success has been made possible by the generosity of LA Phil donors. Email campaign@laphil.org to find out how you too can continue this great tradition by giving an LA Phil musician the great honor of a named orchestra chair.



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