Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Features Celebrated Pianist Marc-André Hamelin On All-French Program

Hamelin performs Boulanger's post-impressionist Three Pieces for Cello and Piano, and Franck's expressive Piano Quintet in F minor.

By: Feb. 07, 2024
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Features Celebrated Pianist Marc-André Hamelin On All-French Program

Pianist Marc-André Hamelin will headline the final program on Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's engaging Chamber Series, curated by Concertmaster and Director of Chamber Music Margaret Batjer, on Saturday, March 2, 7:30 pm, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, and Sunday, March 3, 7:30 pm, at Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles. Hamelin performs Boulanger's post-impressionist Three Pieces for Cello and Piano, and Franck's expressive Piano Quintet in F minor.

The all-French program also includes Leclair's innovative Sonata for Two Violins in E minor, Op. 3, No. 5, and Debussy's dream-like Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp. All four of the featured composers are united by their contributions to the multi-generational musical pedagogy and landscape of France. They each exemplify the myriad ways in which our lives are continually shaped by the people and circumstances around us.  

Hamelin, who was recently featured on NPR's popular Tiny Desk Concert video series and has garnered 11-time Grammy Award nominations, is acclaimed worldwide for his unrivaled blend of consummate musicianship and brilliant technique. His discography spans more than 70 albums.

LACO's Chamber Series showcases smaller groups of the Orchestra's musicians and guest artists on different facets of the diverse chamber repertoire from the 12th century and early Baroque schools through the 20th century.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Marc-André Hamelin, a pianist “known for a technical finesse that borders on the supernatural” (The Seattle Times), is acclaimed worldwide for his unrivaled blend of consummate musicianship and brilliant technique in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the rarities of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. He regularly performs around the globe with the leading orchestras and conductors of our time, and gives recitals at major concert venues and festivals worldwide.

Highlights of Hamelin's 2023–2024 season include a vast variety of repertoire performed with the Philharmonisches Orchester Hagen (Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic (Reger's Piano Concerto), and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (music by Franck and Boulanger). Recital and chamber music appearances take Hamelin to Prague, Poland, Oslo, Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie, London's Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw, Portland Piano International, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Cliburn Concerts and Brevard Music Center with Johannes Moser, and across the U.S. with the Takács Quartet. Festival appearances include Tanglewood, Le Festival de Lanaudière, Grand Teton Music Festival, Tuckamore Festival, Schubertiade, and Rockport Chamber Music Festival.

Hamelin is an exclusive recording artist for Hyperion Records, where his discography spans more than 70 albums, with notable recordings of a broad range of solo, orchestral, and chamber repertoire. In September 2023, the label released Hamelin's recording of Fauré's Nocturnes and Barcarolles, including a short four-hand suite, played with his wife, Cathy Fuller. In 2022, he released both a two-disc set of C. P. E. Bach's sonatas and rondos and a two-disc set of William Bolcom's complete rags that both received wide critical acclaim.

Hamelin has composed music throughout his career, with over 30 compositions to his name. The majority of those works—including the Etudes and Toccata on “L'homme armé,” commissioned by the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition—are published by Edition Peters. Mr. Hamelin performed his Toccata on “L'homme armé” along with music by C.P.E. Bach and William Bolcom on NPR's Tiny Desk in 2023. His most recent work, his Piano Quintet, was premiered in 2022 by himself and the celebrated Dover Quartet at La Jolla Music Society.

Hamelin makes his home in the Boston area with his wife, Cathy Fuller, a producer and host at Classical WCRB. Born in Montreal, he is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the German Record Critics' Association, and has received 7 Juno Awards, 11 Grammy nominations, and the 2018 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music. In 2020, he was awarded the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Keyboard Artistry from the Ontario Arts Foundation. Hamelin is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Margaret Batjer has served as LACO Concertmaster since 1998. She is also renowned as a violin soloist, chamber musician and teacher, and has established herself as a versatile and respected artist worldwide. Batjer has appeared as a soloist with America's leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Batjer has also performed with leading European ensembles such as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the RT. National Symphony Orchestra (of Ireland), and Berlin Symphony Orchestra. An esteemed chamber musician, Batjer has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, and Sarasota Music as well as the Naples and Salzburg Festivals in Europe. In 2020, she formed the Los Angeles Piano Trio with colleagues Fabio Bidini and Andrew Shulman. Batjer has had an extensive recording career over the last several decades. Her most recent recording with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra includes the live premiere of the Pierre Jalbert Violin Concerto, and works by Bach, Pärt and Vasks released on the BIS label. She recorded the Bach Concerto for Two Violins with Salvatore Accardo and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for the Philips label and is also featured on a 2003 Deutsche Grammophon recording pairing Batjer and Hilary Hahn as soloists with Jeffrey Kahane conducting Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. She has also made numerous chamber music recordings on the EMI, Nuova Era, and BMG labels. Batjer is Adjunct Professor of Violin at the USC Thornton School of Music and on the violin faculty at the Colburn School.

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. 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). LACO, with offices located in downtown Los Angeles, has toured Europe, South America and Japan, and performed across North America. 




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