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MARGARET BATJER has served as concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998. She made her first solo appearance at the age of 15 with the Chicago Symphony in Gian Carlo Menotti’s Violin Concerto. Since then, she has been re-engaged by the Chicago Symphony, as well as a succession of other major orchestras, including the Philadelphia and New York String orchestras and the St. Louis, Seattle, San Jose, and Dallas symphonies. Batjer has also appeared as a soloist throughout Europe with orchestras including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Claus Peter Flor.
Equally respected as a chamber musician, Batjer has performed regularly at the Marlboro Music Festival and on tour with Music from Marlboro. She has performed at the Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest, the La Jolla Summerfest, the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, the Sarasota Festival, and the Naples and Cremona festivals in Italy. Maurizio Pollini invited the Accardo Quartet, of which she was a member, to perform at the Salzburg Festival in 1995 and 1999, at Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2001, and in Tokyo during the 2002 season. She has recorded the Bach Concerto for Two Violins for Philips with Salvatore Accardo and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and more recently with Hilary Hahn and LACO, directed by Jeffrey Kahane, for Deutsche Grammophon. She has also made numerous chamber music recordings on the EMI, Nuova Era, BMG, and Dynamic labels.
Batjer and Jeffrey Kahane inaugurated LACO’s Conversations series by performing the complete cycle of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano at Zipper Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In 2003, they performed Brahms’ complete sonatas for violin and piano in the LACO Bravo Brahms! recital. Drawing upon her affinity for chamber music, Batjer developed LACO’s acclaimed Westside Connections chamber music series, which enters its fourth season in spring 2012.
Batjer graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Ivan Galamian and David Cerone. Throughout her career, she has won numerous prizes, including the G.B. Dealey Award in Dallas.
In 2005, Batjer joined the faculty of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, composer Joel McNeely; their two children, Joshua and Claire; and their dog, Bailey.