Colburn School Honors James Conlon and Merle Mullin at the Sold-Out Celebrate Colburn Gala on April 7, 2024

Maestro Conlon Leads All-Mozart Program with the Colburn Orchestra

(Tuesday, April 2, 2024, Los Angeles) – At its annual gala, Celebrate Colburn, the Colburn School will honor James Conlon, an internationally recognized conductor and Music Director of the LA Opera, and Merle Mullin, a noted philanthropist and arts enthusiast. They will receive the Richard D. Colburn Award for their exemplary contributions to the world of classical music and the arts. As part of the celebration, Maestro Conlon will also lead an all-Mozart program featuring the Colburn Conservatory’s flagship ensemble, the Colburn Orchestra, and soloists from the Conservatory. Celebrate Colburn takes place at the Colburn School on Sunday, April 7, 2024, and thanks to the strong response from Colburn’s philanthropic community, the event is sold out.

One of today’s most versatile and respected conductors, James Conlon has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic, and choral repertoire. Since his 1974 debut with the New York Philharmonic, he has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra, and at many of the world’s leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera. Through worldwide touring, an extensive discography and filmography, numerous writings, television appearances, and guest speaking engagements, Conlon is one of classical music’s most recognized and prolific figures, and the founder of the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School. Since 2006, Maestro Conlon has been Music Director of LA Opera, where he has led more performances than any other conductor in the company’s history. He continues in this role until his 20th season in 2026, at which time he will become Conductor Laureate.

Merle Mullin is a global philanthropist whose boundless energy and love for travel, food and wine, the visual and performing arts, design, and vintage French cars has inspired her deep influence on the arts and culture, education, transportation design, healthcare, and literacy sectors. Mullin has co-curated a world-renowned vintage car collection that she both oversees as Director of the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, and that she drives in competitions. Dozens of organizations around the world are proud to celebrate Mullin and her late husband Peter’s profound generosity, including through the Music Center’s Mullin Wine Bar, the Mullin Transportation Design Center at the Art Center College of Design, The Mullin Commons at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the Mullin Automotive Park and Museum in the Cotswolds (England), and the future Mullin Family Garden of Thoughts and Dreams at the Colburn School’s new Colburn Center.

The honorees will receive their awards as part a midday celebration centered around the music of Mozart, including performances of the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in E-flat Major, K. 449 with Conservatory soloist Ryota Yamazaki; Sinfonia Concertante with Conservatory soloists Fiona Shea, violin, and Charlotte Stickel, viola; and Symphony in D Major, K. 385 (“Haffner”), led by Maestro Conlon. Also featured is Pride and Purity, a work created by Dance Academy student choreographer Natalia Reszka to music by Mozart, and performances by Hot Pink Brass Quintet, Fiddles on Fire, Choirs at Colburn, and a Colburn Jazz ensemble.

Proceeds from Celebrate Colburn will benefit Colburn School’s artistic and youth education programs that bring arts education to 8,500 students annually.

SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2024 
Event Information

10 am Opening Reception
11 am Remarks & Performance
1 pm Lunch on the Plaza

Jennifer Kallend
VP of Communications
The Colburn School

Thanks to an overwhelming response from Colburn’s philanthropic community, the 2024 Celebrate Colburn gala is at capacity. Please contact Alyssa Solis at 213-621-4535 to be placed on the waitlist.

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