The Eastside is known widely as a musical enclave – Los Angeles’ little incubator of musical creativity. One of the genres not widely associated with the area, however, is choral or orchestral music; the very music that Echo Park resident Christian Campos has made his life’s passion. An acclaimed conductor of choirs and orchestras, Christian and his ardent work ethic are breathing new life into an ancient musical styling. He has performed with musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and recently completed his coursework toward a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from USC Thornton School of Music. At just 31 years old, this Echo Park resident is bringing a ‘Coachella’ sensibility to the world of Bach.
How long have you lived in Echo Park?
I’ve lived in Echo Park for a few years now and I love it.
How does living in a place like Echo Park help inspire your artistic endeavors?
Running in Echo Park is one of my favorite things to do. There is such vibrancy and diversity in our neighborhood: Echo Park Lake and Elysian Park are gorgeous [..] the music scene is fantastic. One cannot help but be inspired by our great neighborhood and the ones surround it […] .
Is conducting a hobby for you or a full time position?
I always feel trite saying that music is my life, but it is. I find it hard to describe myself as anything other than a musician. So, no, music is not a hobby. Along with conducting, I am a contractor of orchestras and choirs; I also work as an IT consultant.
Were you ever discouraged from making a living in music or the arts?
I’m not certain if I was ever discouraged from making music. I went to school to study business and I thought for certain that’s what I would do for a living. In a sense it is. The business background along with the generosity some fellow musicians and a group of kind lawyers helped me found the Horizon Music Group. The nonprofit takes up a great deal of my time professionally and personally.
You have a background in Indian Carnatic Music – please tell us what that is exactly. What of the style might resonate with those of us here in Echo Park and the rest of the Eastside?
Carnatic music is the classical music of Southern India. The general style lends itself to melodic material being repetitive. As a result, the music is often perfect for mediation. I feel that many of my Eastside peers would benefit from taking a listen while on a long walk … and for that matter, a little Bach would not hurt.
Click here for information about upcoming performances by Campos and the Horizon Chamber Choir.
Five Questions poses the questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Want to know more about people in your neighborhood? Send suggestions to hello@TheEastsiderLA.com
Marni Epstein Epstein is an entertainment, music, and lifestyle Journalist and resident of Echo Park. She has previously worked in the film and digital media industries with FOX and Sony Pictures Entertainment. She is currently also pursuing a Masters in Historic Preservation.