Samohi Chamber Orchestra launches a new performance series at Monica Film Center

The Samohi Chamber Orchestra melds community and culture

From the pioneering early 20th-century film work of Carl Laemmle to the family-run arthouse theaters that bear founders Max and Kurt Laemmle’s name, the Laemmle family has left an indelible mark on the history of cinema and Greater Los Angeles.

Now that legacy continues with classical music.

On Sunday, the nonprofit Laemmle Foundation launches a new salon-style performing arts series at the Monica Film Center with a free concert by the Samohi Chamber Orchestra. KUSC radio personality Rich Capparela hosts.

The series continues one Sunday a month, with future performances featuring Street Symphony (classical musicians who play on Skid Row), SOL-LA Music Academy and McCabe’s Guitar Shop. All shows are free.

Laemmle Live Program Director Sheryl Myerson’s idea to focus on chamber music resonated with family history, said Laemmle Theaters co-owner Greg Laemmle.

“I spent many hours attending concerts with my grandfather [and company co-founder] Max Laemmle,” he said. “As much as he loved movies, I believe classical music was his real love. And within the world of classical music, he had a special passion for chamber music. With Laemmle Live, we hope to help introduce chamber music to a new generation of music lovers as something that is intimate, less formal and more interactive.”

— Joe Piasecki

The inaugural Laemmle Live concert featuring the Samohi Chamber Orchestra happens at 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, at the Laemmle Monica Film Center, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica. Visit for more information.