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Our Orchestra's Biggest Supporters

Posted on: April 7, 2021

Even though our doors have been shut for a year, our supporters keep turning out for us in extraordinary ways.  

Terri and Jerry Kohl have made an incredibly generous donation to the companyan immediate $5 million gift and challenge grant in support of the LA Opera Orchestra and our post-COVID recovery.  

They’re going down in LA Opera history for the largest pandemic-era donation to date. But who are they? You might know more than you realize. 


Terri and Jerry Kohl

The Kohls company, Brighton Collectibles, has been selling handcrafted accessories around the city (and country) for the last 40 years. The Los Angeles-based, family-owned business was founded by the two high school sweethearts. They opened their first small boutique in Alhambra, a mere 20 minutes away from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilionin 1969 and launched their first Brighton-branded store in 1998. Fast-forward to now and there are 180 Brighton stores (16 of which are in the Los Angeles-area) and their products are sold in other boutiques all over the country.  

Since giving back is part of who the Kohls are, their company generously donates to a variety of national and local charities, including the company’s Power of Pink program which raises money to fight breast cancer.  

But donating to the arts isn’t new to them. The Kohls have been contributors to LA Opera since 2008 and are also recognized as civic and cultural benefactors across Los Angeles and nationwide. Some of the region's most prominent musical organizations like the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Colburn School, Pasadena Symphony, MUSE/IQUE, Pasadena Pops, and Los Angeles Master Chorale have all been recipients of the Kohls’ extreme generosity.  

On top of all of that, Terri Kohl works closely with The Music Center, currently serving as president of their premier women’s support organization, the Blue Ribbon 

And now, Terri and her husband can add another title to their philanthropic belts: the sole underwriters of the LA Opera Orchestra. 

Their gift will assist the 62 core members and additional players of the orchestra who have been sidelined due to COVD-19 closures. While we've been able to offer some limited employment and other forms of financial support to players during the shutdown of the theater, we're anxious to welcome our amazing musicians back into the pit.  

Due to the Kohls’ incredible gift, we’ll be able to do just that in the coming months.  

You’ll be able to hear our orchestra in the upcoming company premiere of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, a work chosen both for the complexity of its orchestral scoring and for its thematic resonance. Conducted by James Conlon and directed by Matthew Diamond in creative collaboration with Manual Cinema, the opera is currently being planned for outdoor performances in the early summer of 2021. More details on the production will come soon as we work with the evolving Los Angeles County Department of Public Health regulations. But when the curtain rises on this show, it will mark the first in-person performance for the full orchestra since March 8, 2020. 

"Terri and I are passionate about live music performances, but we care even more about the individual musicians who make those treasured experiences possible,” said Jerry Kohl.  

“For more than a year, the lives and careers of classical musicians have been completely upended by the pandemic. We want to do everything in our power to ensure that the organizations that employ them, giving them the opportunities to share their talents with our communities, have the resources they need for returning to live performances as soon as possible. The LA Opera Orchestra is comprised of dozens of the nation’s top players, many of whom have become friends. It is a true honor for Terri and me to be associated with this orchestra, LA Opera, and the outstanding service they provide to our community.”