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Press Releases

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Presents “Strings for the Ages”

December 15, 2021 | By Libby Huebner
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Westside Chamber Series opens with “Strings for the Ages,” a genre-spanning program highlighting quintessential works from each classical music period, from the Baroque era to the 20th Century, on Saturday, January 8, 2022, 8 pm, at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Led by Director of Chamber Music and Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, the program features five works, including Britten’s Simple Symphony Op.4, which premiered in 1934 and is based on material the composer wrote between the ages of nine and twelve; and Corelli’s joyful Concerto Grosso in D Major Op. 6, No. 4, composed circa 1712 and considered a key work in the baroque instrumental music canon. LACO also performs Arvo Pärt’s Summa for String Orchestra, originally written in 1978 as an a cappella vocal work inspired by Medieval chant and Renaissance polyphony in a style the Estonian composer calls “tintinnabulation.” The program concludes with Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso in D Major Op.5, No 1 (after Corelli’s Sonata Op.5, No.1), a work inspired by Corelli, Geminiani’s teacher; and Grieg’s beloved Holberg Suite for String Orchestra, a five-movement French baroque dance suite composed for piano in 1884 and re-orchestrated for string orchestra in 1885 that blends traditional baroque structure with the lush romantic sound of the era.


Batjer, lauded for her “gleaming warmth” (Los Angeles Times), “high-flying” performances and ability to make “her instrument purr and soar…with an engrossing combination of intensity and technical fluency” (San Francisco Classical Voice), is “downright exciting to watch and hear” (Violinist.com). She has served as concertmaster of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998, which has featured her on numerous world premieres and CDs, including a Deutsche Grammophon recording of Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins with violinist Hilary Hahn.


LACO recognizes the generous support of the Colburn Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The Orchestra also receives public funding via grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Tickets are $58 and may be purchased online at laco.org or by calling LACO at 213 622 7001 x1. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for seniors 65 years of age and older and for students.


Margaret Batjer, throughout her successful career as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and concertmaster, has established herself as a versatile and respected artist worldwide. Since her solo debut at age 15 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with which she has subsequently performed numerous times, Batjer has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, New York String Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (of Ireland), among others. The esteemed chamber artist was a long-time participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and Italy’s Naples and Cremona festivals, and has played with such leading artists as cellists Yo-Yo Ma and David Finckel, pianists Peter Serkin, Maurizio Pollini, Radu Lupu and Jeffrey Kahane and mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile. As a member of the Quartetto Accardo from 1984 to 2000, Batjer recorded and toured extensively, appearing at La Scala, Carnegie Hall, the Salzburg Festival and elsewhere. She serves on the violin faculty at both USC Thornton School of Music and Colburn Music Academy.


LOS ANGELES CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (LACO) ranks among the world’s top musical ensembles. Beloved by audiences and praised by critics, the Orchestra is a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and, with eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, a champion of contemporary composers. Headquartered in the heart of the country's cultural capital, LACO has been proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” (Public Radio International), “LA’s most unintimidating chamber music experience” (Los Angeles magazine), “resplendent” (Los Angeles Times), and “one of the world's great chamber orchestras"(KUSC Classical FM). Performing throughout greater Los Angeles, the Orchestra has made 32 recordings, including, most recently, a 2019 BIS Records release of works for violin and chamber orchestra that features Concertmaster Margaret Batjer and the world premiere recording of Pierre Jalbert’s Violin Concerto (a LACO co-commission). In 2020, due to the global pandemic, LACO pivoted from presenting live performances to producing the groundbreaking CLOSE QUARTERS interdisciplinary digital series melding musical and visual arts, which has garnered more than 1.8 million views across social media platforms since its debut in November 2020. The “digitally native” programs, created specifically for streaming and applauded as “musically and artistically compelling” (Los Angeles Times) have “redefined how classical music can be presented in the 21st century (Cultural Attaché). LACO, with offices located in downtown Los Angeles, has toured Europe, South America and Japan, and performed across North America. www.laco.org.



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