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Rachel Fine named executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

September 28, 2010 | 12:09 pm

Rachelfine-photoThe Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra has appointed Rachel Fine as its new executive director, the orchestra's board of directors announced Tuesday.

A trained classical pianist and veteran arts administrator, Fine has been executive director of the Los Angeles Children's Chorus since January 2007. She will assume her duties with LACO on Nov. 29.

Fine will succeed Andrea Laguni, who will return to the position of general manager, which he held before he was named executive director in 2006.

(Fine is married to Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne.)

Fine tells Culture Monster that she was drawn to the L.A. Chamber Orchestra by "the artistry and vision" of conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, the ensemble's music director, and "the fact I have a penchant for this size orchestra and the personal experience one has in a more intimate concert hall."

These days, she says, "every orchestra faces the same challenges of maintaining vibrancy, relevancy and fiscal health. I'm fortunate that I'm inheriting a healthy organization, but you have to be keenly aware of how to position yourself. Artistic leadership and programming are key in that, as are infrastructure, marketing and the awareness an administrator and a board need to have. You have to be receptive to change and willing to take responsible risks."

At the Children's Chorus, she says, "I was proud of the fact we were able to balance our budgets during difficult times because we didn't cut back on our core artistic product. On the contrary, we increased our programs."

Fine joined the Los Angeles Children's Chorus -- which consists of 350 singers ages 6 to 18 -- just as it was producing the largest project in its history, its first commissioned opera, Peter Ash and Donald Sturrock's "Keepers of the Night." 

Previously, she served as director of development for the San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and  held leadership positions with the Juilliard School in New York, the Santa Fe Opera and the Aspen Music Festival.

The 40-member Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1968. Its repertoire ranges from Baroque masterpieces to works by contemporary composers such as Osvaldo Golijov and Derek Bermel, its current composer-in-residence.

LACO performs around L.A. and holds its orchestral series concerts at the Alex Theatre in Glendale and Royce Hall at UCLA.

-- Karen Wada

Photo: Rachel Fine. Credit: Stephanie Wiley.