Andrea Laguni
Executive Director
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Alan Rich was a very important and influential friend to music in Los Angeles. He enlightened music lovers with his knowledge and his wonderful way with words, encouraged and demanded that musicians be the very best they could be and promoted the creation and performance of new music in our city.

At the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra we always held him in the highest regard, beaming when we earned his praise and resolving to try harder next time when we did not live up to his expectations. What Alan thought about our Orchestra mattered. He mattered.

His insatiable curiosity about music was remarkable. I can see him now, in my mind’s eye, impatiently stomping around at Royce Hall, waiting for the doors to open for Concert Preludes. It always impressed me that he would be so keen to attend these pre-concert talks when, with his knowledge, he was just as likely to be the presenter as a member of the audience.

On his blog, Alan had this to say about himself: “I discovered writing about music, finding the words to translate the experience of hearing music and reacting to it, soon after I discovered music itself…I go to concerts and operas and try to share the experience of the people around me in the hall; that is still the best way to experience music…At 83, almost 84, I still keep some space free in my head to get excited by a new experience…even for something not necessarily all that new.”

An excerpt from Alan’s review of the last LACO concert he attended (Chris Thile’s Mandolin Concerto and two Copland works were on the program) speaks to this musical curiosity and passion: “It might have happened; I mean, I might have rounded off my allotted span without once having heard a concerto for mandolin in a live performance…[Thile’s] Concerto, which had its first-ever hearing at Royce at an exhilarating concert by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (lovable bunch, they) is a small masterwork, instantly lovable, out of which he himself did play the veritable Hades…”

LACO was always happy to add to Alan’s musical delights and to bear stoically his criticism when we did not meet his exacting standards. We will miss him.