Colburn School Honors Stéphane Denève and Austin Beutner at Annual Gala Event Celebrate Colburn


Stéphane Denève will lead the Colburn Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall in a program of works by Gabriela Lena Frank, Korngold, Strauss and Ravel

(Friday, April 7, 2023) Los Angeles – At its annual gala event, Celebrate Colburn, the Colburn School will honor Stéphane Denève, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, and Austin Beutner, Author of Proposition 28, with the Richard D. Colburn award for their exemplary contributions and devotion to the worlds of classical music, music education, and the performing arts. Celebrate Colburn takes place at the Colburn School and Walt Disney Concert Hall on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

Stéphane Denève, the artistic honoree for Celebrate Colburn, is recognized internationally for the exceptional quality of his performances and programming as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, and from 2023, as Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. He recently concluded terms as Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic, and previously served as Chief Conductor of Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR) and Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Austin Beutner, the civic honoree for Celebrate Colburn, is a visionary businessman, philanthropist, and educator. As the Author of Prop 28, Beutner built a nation-leading effort which will provide much-needed funding for arts education for all six million children in California public schools. While Superintendent, he orchestrated LA Unified’s extraordinary response to COVID including providing 140 million meals to hungry children and adults, making sure every student had a computer and internet access at home and offering COVID testing and vaccinations for all in the school community. Beutner is the founder of Vision To Learn, which has provided vision screenings to more than two million school children and glasses to almost 400,000 in low-income communities across the country, all at no cost to the child or their family. These are only a few examples of his extraordinary commitment to helping children, in particular those most in need.

“The Colburn School is proud to honor renowned conductor Stéphane Denève and civic leader Austin Beutner,” said Colburn School President and CEO Sel Kardan. “In addition to his inspiring presence on the podium, Stéphane is a gifted educator and passionate advocate committed to uplifting today’s aspiring musicians and composers. Among Austin’s many accomplishments, the passing of Proposition 28 provides funding in our public schools that ensures every child can participate in and benefit from arts and music at school. Thanks to their combined contributions, the future of the performing arts is stronger than ever.”

Honorees will receive their awards at a special gala dinner on the Colburn Plaza, which is followed by a Colburn Orchestra concert led by Stéphane Denève in Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The Colburn Orchestra program opens with Gabriela Lena Frank’s Apu: Tone Poem for Orchestra, followed by Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto, and Richard Strauss’ Don Juan. The program concludes with Maurice Ravel’s La valse. Korngold, who fled the Nazis and became one of the most important and influential composers in Hollywood, is a composer whose works are studied and showcased as part of Colburn School’s Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices, a unique Colburn resource that encourages greater awareness and more frequent performances of music by composers whose careers and lives were destroyed by the Nazi regime in Europe.

The Colburn School gala concert performance is at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Sounds About Town series. Tickets for the concert performance start at $16 and are available at the Colburn School website.

Colburn is grateful to the Honorary Host Committee for their dedication to the School’s mission of providing an exemplary performing arts education by renowned faculty to students from all over the world.

Honorary Host Committee:

  • Anthony DiResta
  • Darren Edwards
  • Frank Gehry
  • Michael Giacchino
  • Max H. Gluck Foundation
  • Carol Colburn Grigor
  • Carol Henry
  • Molly Kirk
  • Toby Mayman
  • Benjamin Millepied
  • Diane Naegele
  • Mahnaz Newman
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Harry Suh
  • Jean-Yves Thibaudet
  • Michael Tilson Thomas
  • Yasuhisa Toyota
  • Eric Whitacre
  • Alyce de Roulet Williamson
  • Marilyn Ziering

Proceeds from Celebrate Colburn will benefit Colburn School’s artistic and youth education programs that bring arts education to 6,755 students annually.

Event Information
Sunday, April 23, 2023
Celebrate Colburn
4 pm Welcome Reception at the Colburn School South Plaza
5 pm Dinner on the Colburn Plaza
7 pm Performance in Walt Disney Concert Hall
9:30 pm After-Party with the Artists and Colburn School Trustees

Stéphane Denève, Guest Conductor

GABRIELA LENA FRANK  Apu: Tone Poem for Orchestra
KORNGOLD  Violin Concerto in D Major
RAVEL  La valse

Cocktail Attire

This concert is part of the LA Phil’s Sounds About Town series. Tickets start at $16.
Please click here for table and ticket information.

Gala concert and dinner tickets start at $1,500.
For more information contact Tara Grand,, 310-279-6430.

About the Colburn School

  • A performing arts institution located in the heart of Los Angeles, the Colburn School trains students from beginners to those about to embark on professional careers. The academic units of the School provide a complete spectrum of music and dance education united by a single philosophy: that all who desire to study music or dance should have access to top-level instruction.
  • The diploma- and degree-granting Conservatory of Music is distinguished by a unique all-scholarship model, renowned faculty, and outstanding performance opportunities. It prepares the very highest level of collegiate musicians for professional careers.
  • The Music Academy is a highly selective training program for gifted young pre-collegiate musicians, designed to prepare students for conservatory study and performing careers at the highest levels of achievement. This program offers residential options and balances performance, musical instruction, and academics.
  • The Community School of Performing Arts welcomes students of all ages, from seven months old to adults. It offers over 120 classes each year in orchestral instruments, piano, guitar, voice, jazz, music theory, drama, and ensembles including orchestra, choir, and chamber music.
  • The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute develops performers of all levels, from aspiring professionals in the Dance Academy to beginners starting in Youth Dance. Students of all levels receive training in ballet, tap, musical theater, and modern genres as part of a comprehensive dance education.
  • Created to serve all units of the School, the Center for Innovation and Community Impact empowers the musical and dance leaders of tomorrow by nurturing students’ passion and ability to serve their communities, preparing them for sustainable careers, and embracing the development of new ideas. The Center embodies Colburn’s commitment to developing young artists with the curiosity, skills, and commitment to make a difference in their field.

Each year, more than 2,000 students from around the world come to Colburn to benefit from the renowned faculty, exceptional facilities, and focus on excellence that unites the community.

The Colburn Center, designed by Frank Gehry, is a multi-faceted campus expansion expected to break ground in late 2023 and to open in the fall of 2026. Located across the street from the School’s existing campus at the intersection of Olive and Second Streets, the Colburn Center will enable the School to expand its mission of presenting programs for the public. Gehry’s design includes Terri and Jerry Kohl Hall, a 1,000-seat in-the-round concert hall, four professional-sized dance studios, a 100-seat flexible studio theater, and gardens that bring fresh air and green spaces to the downtown landscape.

Learn more at

Social Media
Instagram and Twitter: @ColburnSchool

Press Contacts:
Jennifer Kallend

Lisa Bellamore