March 5, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

New West Symphony Appoints New Orchestra Principals, Section Leaders:

The New West Symphony has announced the appointment of new principals and section leaders within the orchestra.

They are assistant concertmaster Marisa Sorajja; principal viola Lauren Chipman; principal oboe Lara Wickes; principal clarinet Joshua Ranz; second clarinet Ran Kampel, principal bassoon Duncan Massey, and principal tuba P. Blake Cooper.

Music director Marcelo Lehninger said he was thrilled to welcome these leading musicians to key positions within our orchestra family.

“All of them are magnificent players whose talents will strengthen and raise our performance level even higher,” Lehninger said. “I look forward to working with them in the coming years.”

New West Symphony executive director Natalia Staneva said the Symphony was growing artistically every year and filling all principal positions was our priority last season.

“We are very fortunate to attract the most accomplished musicians in Los Angeles to audition for us,” Staneva. “With all key players in place, I’m looking forward to this season as we present high-caliber guest artists, virtuoso principals and our versatile orchestra. The audience will witness a palpable chemistry on stage between music director Marcelo Lehninger and the orchestra.It’s a season that our community cannot miss.”

About the Musicians

NWS associate concertmaster Marisa Sorajja also serves as principal first violinist of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and with the Long Beach and Santa Barbara symphonies. She has performed with various orchestras and music festivals throughout the United States and abroad, and was a participant in the prestigious Premio Paganini International Violin Competition. A versatile performer, Ms. Sorajja has also performed with many major non-classical recording artists and has appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, American Music Awards, and the BET Awards.

Principal Viola Lauren Chipman of Los Angeles performs and records with a host of artists and has appeared on the GRAMMYs, American Music Awards, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and more. She is a member of The Section Quartet as well as musician and songwriter with indie band The Rentals. Her chamber music appearances include performing with Midori at Zipper Hall as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Series. Ms. Chipman performs and records on an 1850 Italian Della Corte viola.

Principal Oboe Lara Wickes has been acting principal oboe with the New West Symphony since 2009. She is also the principal oboe of the Santa Barbara Symphony, and performs regularly with many top orchestras throughout Southern California. Ms. Wickes works frequently as a recording musician, and can be heard playing oboe and English horn on many motion picture soundtracks. In addition to oboe, she also plays theremin.

Principal Clarinet Joshua Ranz is also principal clarinet of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, a member of the Pacific Symphony, and has filled in as principal for the LA Opera and Hollywood Bowl orchestras, among others. He also performs regularly with the LA Philharmonic. In addition to his performances, Mr. Ranz is active in the television and motion picture industry.

Second Clarinet Ran Kampel is also a clarinetist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphony Napa Valley. A versatile chamber musician, he has collaborated with renowned musicians worldwide. Mr. Kampel has performed as principal clarinetist with the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra and on its tour to the Young Euro Classic and to the Salzburger Festspiele. An advocate of community engagement, he was closely involved with the Thornton Outreach Program and served as a teaching artist at high-risk, low-income public schools in downtown LA.

Principal Bassoon Duncan Massey also serves as principal bassoon of the Riverside County Philharmonic and Santa Barbara Grand Opera, and is a member of the Long Beach Opera Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay. He has also performed as the second bassoonist with the Houston Ballet Orchestra and as an extra bassoonist with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, and many other ensembles in the Los Angeles area.

Principal Tuba P. Blake Cooper is a busy freelance performer in the LA music scene, and has performed as principal tuba with the San Bernardino, Downey and the American Youth symphonies. He can also be seen regularly on the solo stage as a recitalist and guest soloist, and performs and records with the USC Scholarship Brass, USC Bass Tuba Quartet and many other ensembles and artists throughout Southern California. Mr. Cooper serves as a teaching artist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel’s signature program, Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA).

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