Violinist Jennifer Frautschi is a two-time Grammy Award nominee and an Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient. She’s garnered worldwide acclaim as a deeply expressive and musically adventurous violinist with impeccable technique and a wide-ranging repertoire. She’s equally at home playing contemporary and classic repertoire, and recent seasons have featured performances and recordings of works by composers ranging from Robert Schumann and Lili Boulanger to Arnold Schoenberg and Barbara White. Frautschi has also had the privilege of premiering several works written for her by prominent composers of today.
Critics have described Frautschi’s performances as “electrifying,” “riveting,” and “mesmerizing,” and they’ve lauded her “staggering energy and finesse” and “fierce expression.” In a review of her 2019 performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Classical wrote: “We witnessed the most magnificent performance by a guest soloist in recent memory. From the outset . . . [Jennifer Frautschi] was a stunning presence, her playing a breathtaking conflation of grace and grit, and at times downright ferocious.”
Frautschi has appeared as a soloist with Pierre Boulez and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Christoph Eschenbach and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra; the Boston, Buffalo, and Rhode Island philharmonic orchestras; the Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Utah symphony orchestras; the Florida Orchestra; The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center; and the Orchestra of the Teatro di San Carlo, among many other ensembles.
Frautschi’s 2022–23 season includes engagements with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony, re-engagements with the New Mexico Philharmonic and Santa Rosa Symphony, and a residency at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ School of Music. During the 2022 summer season, she appeared at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, the Salt Bay Chamberfest in Maine, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Tippet Rise Arts Center in Montana, and the Vivace Festival in North Carolina.
Frautschi is an artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society, and she’s been engaged by virtually all the premier chamber music series and festivals in the US, including The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; the Philadelphia and Seattle chamber music societies; the Caramoor, La Musica, Moab, Newport, Ojai, Salt Bay, and Lake Champlain chamber music festivals; the Bravo! Vail Music Festival; the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest; the Spoleto Festival USA; Mainly Mozart in San Diego; the Library of Congress and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and 92nd Street Y in New York City.
As a recitalist, Frautschi has performed internationally in Salzburg’s Mozarteum, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Paris’s Cité de la Musique, Brussels’s Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Beijing’s Imperial Garden; she’s also toured England with musicians from IMS Prussia Cove. Frautshci has performed on the Chanel Pygmalion Days Chamber Music Series in Tokyo and at the Cartagena International Music Festival in Columbia, San Miguel de Allende Festival in Mexico, Spoleto Festival of the Two Worlds and Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy, International Pharos Chamber Music Festival in Cyprus, Kutná Hora International Music Festival in the Czech Republic, Toronto Summer Music in Canada, and St. Barts Music Festival in the Caribbean. She’s premiered important new works by Barbara White, Mason Bates, Oliver Knussen, Krzysztof Penderecki, Michael Hersch, and others, and she’s appeared at New York’s George Crumb Festival and on the Stefan Wolpe Centenary Concerts series.
Frautschi’s extensive discography features several recordings for Naxos, including the Stravinsky Violin Concerto with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by the legendary Robert Craft, and two Grammy-nominated recordings with the Fred Sherry String Quartet: Schoenberg’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (nominated in 2006 for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra) and Schoenberg’s Third String Quartet (nominated in 2011 for Best Chamber Music Performance). Her most recent releases are two with pianist John Blacklow on Albany Records; the first one is devoted to the three violin-and-piano sonatas of Robert Schumann, including the rarely performed posthumous sonata, and the second one, American Duos, is an exploration of recent additions to the violin-and-piano repertoire by contemporary American composers Barbara White, Steven Mackey, Elena Ruehr, Dan Coleman, and Stephen Hartke. Frautschi has also recorded three widely praised CDs for Artek: an orchestral recording of Prokofiev’s two violin concertos with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony, the violin music of Ravel and Stravinsky, and 20th-century works for solo violin. Other recent recordings include a disc of Romantic horn trios with hornist Eric Ruske and pianist Stephen Prutsman and the Stravinsky Duo Concertant with pianist Jeremy Denk.
Jennifer Frautschi was born in Pasadena, California, and began studying violin at the age of three through the Suzuki Method. She studied with Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School in Los Angeles and then attended Harvard University, the New England Conservatory, and The Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Mann. She’s an artist-in-residence at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York, and she performs on a glorious 1722 Stradivarius violin known as the “ex-Cadiz,” on generous loan from a private American foundation with support from Rare Violins in Consortium.
Photo by Dario Acosta