Los Angeles Master Chorale Board Chair Philip A. Swan and Interim President & CEO Terry Knowles today announced the contract extension for Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director, through the 2027-28 season, which will be Gershon’s 26th season with the ensemble.
“With this contract extension, the Master Chorale expresses our profound gratitude for Grant’s exemplary leadership and unwavering dedication,” said Swan. “Grant’s pure love for choral music, combined with his strategic vision and natural ability to inspire us all, has propelled the Master Chorale to unprecedented success. We are excited to continue working alongside Grant as he leads us towards a future filled with limitless possibilities.”
“Grant Gershon’s extraordinary artistic leadership has brought the Los Angeles Master Chorale to an artistic level of accomplishment of which our founders could only have dreamed,” said Knowles. “All of us—musicians, staff, board, donors, patrons—have experienced many unforgettable and transformative musical moments. Now, as we look forward to the next several years of Grant’s leadership, the Chorale’s future looks brighter than ever as we anticipate exciting and innovative artistry and deeper community engagement.”
“The L.A. Master Chorale has become my second family over the years,” said Gershon. “Working with our phenomenal singers is one of the great joys of my life, and they keep pushing themselves and me to greater heights of achievement. I firmly believe that these next five years will be our most impactful yet. There’s no other choral ensemble in the world that enjoys such a vibrant and dedicated Board of Directors, administrative team, audience and army of supporters. I am truly the luckiest person I know, and I’m beyond grateful for this vote of confidence in the direction and the aspirations of this organization.”
Gershon has been hailed for his adventurous and bold artistic leadership, and for eliciting technically precise and expressive performances from musicians. The Los Angeles Times said the Chorale is “the most exciting chorus in the country” under Gershon, a reflection on both his programming and performances. In April 2022, Chorus America honored Gershon with the Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art in recognition of his career’s work.
Gershon has led more than 250 Master Chorale performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall in programs encompassing choral music from the earliest writings and pillars of the repertoire through to contemporary compositions. He has led world premiere performances of major works by Michael Abels, John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Eve Beglarian, Daniel Catán, Billy Childs, Reena Esmail, Gabriela Lena Frank, Ricky Ian Gordon, Shawn Kirchner, David Lang, Morten Lauridsen, Tania Léon, James Newton, Steve Reich, Ellen Reid, Christopher Rouse, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Chinary Ung, among many others. Gershon is committed to increasing representation in the choral repertoire, and in 2020 he announced that the Chorale will reserve at least 50% of each future season for works by composers from historically excluded groups in classical music.
Gershon and the Master Chorale will open the famed Salzburg Festival in July 2023 with performances of Music to Accompany a Departure, set to the music of Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien (Funeral Music), directed by longtime Master Chorale collaborator Peter Sellars. In July 2019, Gershon and the Master Chorale opened the Salzburg Festival with Lagrime di San Pietro, also directed by Peter Sellars, which received standing ovations and rave reviews throughout its three-year international tour. In its review of the 2016 premiere of Lagrime at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Los Angeles Times noted that the production “is a major accomplishment for the Master Chorale, which sang and acted brilliantly. It is also a major accomplishment for music history.”
Gershon also founded the Master Chorale’s Swan Family Artist-in-Residence position, currently held by composer Reena Esmail, and the first ever Associate Artistic Director position, held by Jenny Wong.