La Jolla Music Society carries forward a distinguished tradition reaching back to the Musical Arts Society of La Jolla founded in 1941 by Nikolai Sokoloff, former conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. Together with other musically-minded La Jolla residents including Ellen and Roger Revelle, Sokoloff and the Music Society commissioned twenty new works between 1949 and 1968, presenting the premières in the auditorium at La Jolla High School.
In 1968, the La Jolla Chamber Players was formally incorporated by a small group of local musicians with John Garvey conducting. Joan Brown was the new group’s first Board President.
Within three years, the group’s official name was changed to La Jolla Chamber Orchestra, which then presented a total of six concerts and recitals each year. The Board was active in all aspects of the Orchestra’s administration, from programming and publicity to fundraising and ticketing. In the Orchestra’s formative years, the only employees of the organization were orchestra members, and ticket prices for the original Sherwood Series (renamed the Revelle Series in 1998) ranged from $5.50 to $7.00 per concert. The Friends of the La Jolla Chamber Orchestra formed to coordinate volunteer participation in the group’s activities.
Pepperland marks La Jolla Music Society's first commission of a Mark Morris work.