For nearly 20 years, Jeffrey Kahane was music director of L.A. Chamber Orchestra, and he returns this evening as conductor laureate to lead the band again. He plays piano on W.A. Mozart's lovely and lilting Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat major, K. 449, and leads the way through the Austrian composer's Symphony No. 36 in C major, K. 425. LACO marimba stylist Wade Culbreath spins the circular, hypnotic patterns of modern composer Gabriella Smith's 2013 percussive fusion of sound and space, Riprap. But the centerpiece of the concert is the world premiere of James Newton Howard's Concerto for Cello & Orchestra, the local film composer's first cello concerto, which was written for LACO principal cellist Andrew Shulman.
Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., March 23, 8 p.m.; $28-$130. (818) 243-2539. Also at Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Sun., March 24, 7 p.m.; $31-$143. (310) 825-4401, laco.org.