Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Strad Fest, showcasing master violins

Posted on: March 28, 2014

“The violins of Antonio Stradivari are revered for being not only superb instruments but works of art. ‘They combine this magical quality of sound with spectacular craftsmanship,’ says Margaret Batjer, concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,” writes Karen Wada in Saturday’s (3/22) Los Angeles Times. “LACO hopes to help audiences experience the soul of Stradivari … [with] Strad Fest LA, which runs March 26 to 29 … [and] will feature events such as a ‘fiddle face-off’ in which five virtuosos will showcase five violins in an evening ranging from bonbons to Brahms. ‘Being a performing organization,’ says Batjer, ‘we believe the real magic comes when you put a bow to the string.’… For its fest, the orchestra has gathered examples including the 1666 ‘Serdet,’ the earliest-known violin among about 650 surviving Stradivari stringed instruments,” as well as the 1708 “Ruby,” the 1711 “Kreisler,” the 1714 “Leonora Jackson,” the 1715 “Titian,” the 1716 “Milstein,” the c. 1720 “Beechback” and the 1720 “Red Mendelssohn.” “Festival artists—some playing their own Strads and some playing ones on loan … will include Batjer, Los Angeles Philharmonic principal concertmaster Martin Chalifour, Chee-Yun, Cho-Liang Lin, Elizabeth Pitcairn, Philippe Quint, Xiang Yu and 12-year-old Ray Ushikubo.”

Posted March 28, 2014