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Kent Twitchell's L.A. Chamber Orchestra mural turns 20

December 8, 2011 | 11:03 am

Kent Twitchell, an artist known for thinking big, got the chance to think really big two decades ago when the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra asked him to paint a mega-mural to help raise its profile.

His 11,000-square-foot “Harbor Freeway Overture,” which overlooks the northbound 110 Freeway downtown, fills three parking-structure walls with a dozen figures in concert dress standing beneath a cloudy sky.

The eight-story "Overture" is the largest installed work by a man famous for his super-sized portraits, which has made it a cultural point of interest as well as a roadside landmark.

"The mural is an icon," says LACO's general manager Andrea Laguni, one that, he notes, has survived the years in good shape, having outlasted graffiti vandals, encroaching eucalyptus trees and attempts to replace it with billboards.

As LACO prepares to mark the artwork's 20th anniversary with a brief program at this weekend’s concerts, the three current ensemble members seen in the mural posed for a photograph (above) near their larger-than-life likenesses.

Julie Gigante, a first violin, is featured on the left wall. Principal oboe Allan Vogel and principal viola Roland Kato are part of the group in the middle. (On the right wall is Ralph Morrison, who was concertmaster from 1988 to 1996.)

"Kent did more than create a pretty picture," says Gigante. "It's an intriguing piece of art that makes people stop and look and think."

Click here to read the full story about “Harbor Freeway Overture.”


Jeffrey Kahane brings team spirit to L.A. Chamber Orchestra

-- Karen Wada

Photo: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra musicians Julie Gigante, left, Allan Vogel and Roland Kato in front of Kent Twitchell's mural "Harbor Freeway Overture." Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times.