Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts from 2003 to 2008, will join the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at its inaugural “Westside Connections” event on February 12 at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center. The concert is the first in a three-concert series exploring the connections between music and other art forms, curated by LACO concertmaster Margaret Batjer. At the February 12 event, Gioia, an award-winning poet, will participate in a question-and-answer session and a reading; LACO will perform Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 2, Schumann Märchenerzählungen (“Fairy Tales”), and Schumann’s Piano Trio No. 1. Gioia currently is director of the Aspen Institute’s Director of the Harman/Eisner Program in the Arts. Future “Westside Connections” concerts will include guest poets and speakers Robert Pinsky and Michael Steinberg, as well as the baritone Sanford Sylvan. The orchestra launched the “Westside Connections” series in Santa Monica to better serve the orchestra’s Westside supporters, following the success of its “Baroque Conversations” series in downtown Los Angeles.

Photo of Dana Gioia by Vance Jacobs