The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew's was formed in 1985 as a resident professional ensemble at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades, California. The 35 member ensemble has received critical acclaim for its stylish performances of music from all periods, and has been referred to as "a jewell in Westside [L.A.] musical life".
Since 1985, Music at St. Matthew's has presented more than 200 concerts, featuring solo performances by outstanding international artists, and by members of the orchestra itself.
The orchestra and St. Matthew's Music Guild are particularly proud of the more than 25 world premieres that have taken place over the years many of which were of works commissioned by or for the Music Guild. Recently, the Guild has received support from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the MacTon Foundation and many individual donors to continue its mission of commissioning and performing new music.
In June, 2013, the Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew's recorded its second CD, "Music from the Left Coast", featuring works commissioned by the Music Guild and premiered by the orchestra. Works to be recorded include Christopher Tin's "Beber," Ola Gjeilo's "O Solitude," Ross Wright's "Concerto for Tenor Sax and Chamber Orchestra," and Dwayne S. Milburn's "Four Water Scenes."
In 2017, long-time music director and conductor Thomas Neenan retired and was elected President of the Board. For the 2017-2018 season, the orchestra was led by an interim conductor, Tomasz Golka. Starting with the 2018-2019 season, the orchestra's new music director and conductor, Dwayne S. Milburn, takes up the baton.