Jennifer Frautschi to perform ESO premiere of Tributes Concerto Nov. 4-5

  • Violinist Jennifer Frautschi will perform the Elgin Symphony Orchestra premiere of Chicago-area composer James M. Stephenson's Violin Concerto for Violin and Orchestra on Nov. 4-5.

    Violinist Jennifer Frautschi will perform the Elgin Symphony Orchestra premiere of Chicago-area composer James M. Stephenson's Violin Concerto for Violin and Orchestra on Nov. 4-5. Courtesy of Lisa Marie Mazzucco

 
D Handler
Updated 10/18/2017 6:25 PM

Violinist Jennifer Frautschi returns to the Elgin Symphony Orchestra on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4-5, to perform the ESO premiere of Chicago-area composer James M. Stephenson's Tributes Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.

Frautschi last appeared with the ESO in January 2013 in a program featuring Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Music director Andrew Grams will lead the orchestra in these concerts that also feature Beethoven's 7th symphony, an instant hit when first performed in 1813, and the ESO premiere of Aaron Copland's "Our Town," composed for the 1940 film of the same name. Learn more about the upcoming concert program at the free ESO Listeners Clubs on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Led by music lecturer, composer and radio personality Jim Kendros, Listeners Clubs are discussions that take place the Wednesday before ESO Classics Series concert weekends at 10:30 a.m. at Greenfields of Geneva, 0N801 Friendship Way, and 1 p.m. in the Meadows Community Rooms at Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave. in Elgin.

Frautschi will lead a free master class, open to the public, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at Gail Borden Public Library. All part of the ESO's goal to enrich, enlighten and entertain. Saturday concertgoers are invited after the performance to "Mingle with the Musicians" at Bennigan's Elgin. "Beethoven 7" concert tickets start at $30. Student tickets are $12. Valet or free parking. For information, visit ElginSymphony.org or (847) 888-4000.

Two-time Grammy nominee and Avery Fisher career grant recipient Jennifer Frautschi has garnered worldwide acclaim as an adventurous musician with a remarkably wide-ranging repertoire. As the Chicago Tribune noted, "violinist Jennifer Frautschi is molding a career with smart interpretations of both warhorses and rarities." Equally at home in the classic and contemporary repertoire, her recent seasons have featured innumerable performances and recordings of works ranging from Brahms and Schumann to Berg and Schoenberg. She also has had the privilege of premiering several new works composed for her by prominent composers of today.

Frautschi has appeared as soloist with Pierre Boulez and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, and at Wigmore Hall and Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. Selected by Carnegie Hall for its Distinctive Debuts series, she made her New York recital debut in 2004.

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As part of the European Concert Hall Organization's Rising Stars series, Frautschi also made debuts that year at ten of Europe's most celebrated concert venues, including the Salzburg Mozarteum, Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, La Cité de la Musique in Paris, and Brussels' Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. She has also been heard in recital at the Ravinia Festival, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, Washington's Phillips Collection, Boston's Gardner Museum, Beijing's Imperial Garden, Monnaie Opera in Brussels, La Chaux des Fonds in Switzerland, and San Miguel de Allende Festival in Mexico.

Frautschi performs regularly at the Caramoor Center for the Arts, where she has appeared annually since she was first invited by André Previn to play there as a "Rising Star" at the age of 18, during her freshman year at Harvard. As a chamber artist she appears frequently at the Boston Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Northwest (in Portland, Ore.), and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Formerly a member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two, she has also appeared at the Charlottesville, La Jolla Summerfest, La Musica (Sarasota), Moab, Music@Menlo, Newport, Seattle, and Spoleto USA Chamber Music Festivals, as well as at New York's Metropolitan and Guggenheim Museums of Art, the 92nd Street Y, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Mainly Mozart in San Diego. Internationally, she has performed at the Cartagena International Music Festival in Columbia, the Spoleto Festival of the Two Worlds and Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy, Pharo's Trust in Cyprus, Kutna Hora Festival in the Czech Republic, St. Barth's Music Festival in the French West Indies, and toured England with musicians from Prussia Cove, culminating in a concert in London's Wigmore Hall. She has premiered important new works by Barbara White, Mason Bates, Oliver Knussen, Krzysztof Penderecki, Michael Hersch, and others, and has appeared at New York's George Crumb Festival and Stefan Wolpe Centenary Concerts.

Born in Pasadena, California, Frautschi began the violin at age 3. She was a student of Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. She also attended Harvard, the New England Conservatory of Music, and The Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Mann. She performs on a 1722 Antonio Stradivarius violin known as the "ex-Cadiz," on generous loan to her from a private American foundation.

Leading American orchestras, instrumentalists and wind ensembles around the world have performed the music of Chicago-based composer James M. Stephenson, both to critical acclaim and the delight of audiences. Stephenson came late to his full-time composing career, having performed 17 seasons as a trumpeter in the Naples Philharmonic in Florida. As such, the composer is largely self-taught, making his voice truly individual and his life's work all the more remarkable. Recent and upcoming premieres include the St. Louis and Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and Cabrillo Festival, as well as the U.S. "President's Own" Marine Band. Over 150 orchestras and bands play his music annually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

With a unique combination of intensity, enthusiasm and technical clarity, American conductor Andrew Grams has steadily built a reputation for his dynamic concerts and long-term orchestra building. He is the winner of 2015 Conductor of the Year from the Illinois Council of Orchestras and has led orchestras throughout the United States including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Symphony, and the Houston Symphony. Grams served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra from 2004-2007 where he worked under the guidance of Franz Welser-Möst, and has since returned for several engagements.

Andrew Grams, now in his 5th ESO season, became music director after an international search. His charismatic conducting and easy accessibility have made him a favorite of Elgin Symphony audiences. He has extended his contract with the ESO through 2021. With a unique combination of intensity, enthusiasm and technical clarity, Grams has steadily built a reputation for his dynamic concerts and long-term orchestra building. He has led orchestras throughout the United States including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Symphony, and the Houston Symphony. A frequent traveler, Grams has worked extensively with orchestras abroad, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, BBC Symphony Orchestra London, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. In 2015-16, Grams led a Gershwin festival with the Orquestra Simfoica de Barcelona before returning to Australia to work with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Western Australia Symphony Orchestra. This season, Grams is conducting the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Philharmonic, the Tulsa, Santa Rosa, Kalamazoo, and Omaha Symphony Orchestras, and Residentie Orchestra in The Hague, Netherlands.

Born in Severn, Maryland, Grams began studying the violin when he was 8 years old. In 1999, he received a bachelor of music in violin performance from The Juilliard School, and in 2003 he received a conducting degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller. He was selected to spend the summer of 2003 studying with David Zinman, Murry Sidlin and Michael Stern at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and returned to that program again in 2004. Grams served as assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra from 2004-2007 where he worked under the guidance of Franz Welser-Möst, and has since returned for several engagements.

As an accomplished violinist, Grams was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra from 1998-2004, serving as acting associate principal second violin in 2002 and 2004. Additionally, he has performed with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony. To learn more about Andrew Grams, visit andrewgrams.com and www.instagram.com/andrewhgrams/

Now in its 67th season, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra offers programming unmatched for an entertaining, informative and relaxing cultural experience. The ESO has won Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year an unprecedented four times -- in 1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016. The ESO strives to create an enjoyable entertainment experience that goes beyond the magnificent music performed by some of the best musicians in the region. Before concerts, area musicians often perform in the lobby, and patrons can buy drinks at the bar and purchase gifts at the Elgin Symphony League Boutique. Pre-concert chats are given by Andrew Grams, guest artists and others one hour before most performances, and Saturday night patrons are invited after concerts to Mingle with the Musicians at area restaurants. In addition, free Listeners Club discussions presented by music historian Jim Kendros are offered in Geneva and Elgin on Wednesdays before ESO Classics Series concert weekends. Flex passes are available for purchase so that you can choose your concerts at a later date based on your own schedule. And if a patron can't make a concert, the ESO offers free exchanges to subscribers and to single ticket buyers for a small fee. There is accessible, free parking around the Hemmens Cultural Center and valet service available.

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra is a world-class orchestra providing quality musical explorations that are entertaining, hassle-free and conveniently located close to home in the western suburbs. The ESO-Transforming the Symphony Experience.

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