Music at St. Matthew's is one of the most respected music series in Los Angeles. With support from our subscribers and the entire Westside community, we offer first-rate programs by The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’sa critically acclaimed professional ensemble featuring many of the best orchestral and studio musicians in Los Angelesas well as some of the finest guest artists from around the world.
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 Tomasz Golka. Dwayne S. Milburn was named Music Director and Conductor beginning with the 2018 - 2019 season.
St. Matthew’s Music Guild Outreach
St. Matthew’s Music Guild has established two new outreach programs beginning in the Spring of 2019.
The Music Guild (MusicGuildOnline.org) will provide music during morning meal service at Bread and Roses Café once a quarter. The program launched on Valentine’s Day when a trio of musicians from the Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s (Nancy Marfisi, flute, Lisa Gregory, violin, Robin Guyett-Neenan, cello) performed popular favorites from the classical music world as well as Scott Joplin rags, ballet numbers and folksongs during three meal services. About 150 clients enjoyed the music and a special Valentine’s Day menu prepared by Chef James Cunningham and served by numerous volunteers, including St. Matthew’s friends and parishioners.
The Guild has also entered into a partnership with Children’s Music Workshop (ChildrensMusicWorkshop.org) to present concerts at four area schools for elementary-age children in instrumental programs. This March, a quartet of musicians from the Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s will present concerts at Marquez, Palisades, Canyon and Kenter Canyon schools as well as a concert for the All Elementary All Star UCLA Lab Orchestra. The concert at the UCLA Lab school will include mentoring of more than 120 children by Chamber Orchestra musicians in preparation for the All Star Orchestra’s May concert at UCLA’s Schoenberg Auditorium.
Experience World-Class Music Close to Home
All concerts take place Fridays at 8 p.m. at St. Matthew's Church, 1031 Bienveneda Ave. in Pacific Palisades an easy drive from anywhere on the Westside.
- No freeway traffic
- Ample free parking
- Nearby restaurants and cafes for pre-concert dining
- Complimentary coffee and light dessert at intermission
- Casual inviting atmosphere at a remarkable price
Forget the hassle of getting crosstown on a Friday night for a concert. Come to Pacific Palisades. Have a light supper in Brentwood, Malibu, Santa Monica, Topanga or the Palisades village and pop over to the St. Matthew's for an eight o'clock concert. (Find a nearby restaurant,)
Map and Directions
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Board of Directors
- Thomas Neenan, President
- Gordon Dressler, Treasurer
- John Graham, Secretary
- Catherine Carrick
- Mary Conley
- Anne Costin
- Patricia Massey
- John O’Reilly
- Cynthia Alden Smith
- Dorry Tooke