Jennifer Frautschi

Guest Artist

Jennifer Frautschi, violin 
Two-time Grammy nominee and Avery Fisher career grant recipient Jennifer Frautschi has garnered worldwide acclaim as a deeply expressive and musically adventurous violinist with impeccable technique and a wide-ranging repertoire. Equally at home in contemporary and classic repertoire, her recent seasons have featured innumerable performances and recordings of works ranging from Robert Schumann and Lili Boulanger to Barbara White and Arnold Schoenberg. She has also had the privilege of premiering several new works composed for her by prominent composers of today. Critics have described her performances as "electrifying," "riveting" and "mesmerizing" and lauded her "staggering energy and finesse" and "fierce expression." After a recent performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto, Cleveland Classical wrote, "We witnessed the most magnificent performance by a guest soloist in recent memory. From the outset of the Brahms Concerto, she was a stunning presence, her playing a breathtaking conflation of grace and grit, and at times downright ferocious."

Frautschi has appeared as soloist with Pierre Boulez and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach and Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, and at Wigmore Hall and Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. Highlights of recent seasons include performances with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Boston and Buffalo Philharmonics, and Orchestra of the Teatro di San Carlo Opera House; the Jacksonville, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Tucson, and Utah symphonies and The Florida Orchestra, as well as return engagements with Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Alabama, Arkansas, Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Portland, and Phoenix symphonies.

Despite severely restricted concert activities in the 2020-2021 season, Frautschi was able to maintain an active performance schedule throughout the pandemic, most notably as soloist in live performances with Leonard Slatkin and Rhode Island Philharmonic and with Peter Rubardt and Pensacola Symphony. She also performed as soloist with Chris Confessore and Brevard Symphony Orchestra and Lucas Richman and Bangor Symphony, and recorded recitals for the online seasons of New Mexico Philharmonic, Santa Rosa Symphony and the Helicon Foundation in New York. In 2021, she appeared in person as chamber musician at Spoleto Festival in Charleston, Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Winter Festival, St. Barth’s Music Festival in the Caribbean, Olympic Music Festival in Washington, and Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City. In addition, she performed virtually for Boston Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, String Theory of Chattanooga, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Music Worcester in Massachusetts, Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, and Music on Main in Columbia, South Carolina. Highlights of the 2021-2022 season include a return to Rhode Island Philharmonic with Bramwell Tovey conducting, and her first appearance at Sarasota Music Festival.

Frautschi is an Artist Member of Boston Chamber Music Society, with whom she performs regularly. As a chamber artist, she has performed at the Caramoor, Charlottesville, Lake Champlain, La Musica (Sarasota), Moab, Newport, Ojai, Salt Bay, Santa Fe, Seattle and Spoleto USA Chamber Music Festivals; Bravo! Vail, Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla Summerfest, Music@Menlo, and Tippet Rise Arts Center; and at The Library of Congress, New York’s Metropolitan and Guggenheim Museums of Art, 92nd Street Y, Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Mainly Mozart in San Diego.

Internationally, she has performed at Chanel’s Pygmalion Series in Tokyo, 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, Pharo’s Trust in Cyprus, Kutna Hora Festival in the Czech Republic, Toronto Summer Music in Canada, 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 given recitals in Salzburg Mozarteum, Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, La Cité de la Musique in Paris, Brussels’ Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, and Beijing’s Imperial Garden. 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.

Her extensive discography includes several discs for Naxos: Stravinsky Violin Concerto with Philharmonia Orchestra of London, conducted by the legendary Robert Craft, and two Grammy-nominated recordings with the Fred Sherry Quartet, of Schoenberg’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra [nominated for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra) in 2006] and the Schoenberg Third String Quartet [nominated for Best Chamber Music Performance in 2011]. Her most recent releases are with pianist John Blacklow on Albany Records: the first devoted to the three sonatas of Robert Schumann, including the rarely performed posthumous sonata; the second, American Duos, 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. She also recorded three widely praised CDs for Artek: an orchestral recording of the Prokofiev concerti with Gerard Schwarz and 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 Stravinsky Duo Concertant with pianist Jeremy Denk. She has also been featured on recordings of chamber works by Barbara White and Charles Wuorinen.

Born in Pasadena, California, Frautschi began the violin at age 3 with the Suzuki Method. From ages 12 to 18, she studied with Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School for the Performing Arts and the University of Southern California (USC) School of Music in Los Angeles. As a teenager she also studied clarinet with noted educator and youth orchestra composer Richard Meyer, so that she could perform in her junior high school marching band, and taught herself to play the viola, so that she could play the middle voice in string quartets. She went on to attend Harvard and New England Conservatory of Music (NEC), and finished her studies with Robert Mann at The Juilliard School. She is an Artist-in-Residence at Stony Brook University, where she teaches in the graduate program. She performs on a glorious 1722 Antonio Stradivarius violin known as the “ex-Cadiz,” on generous loan to her from a private American foundation with support from Rare Violins in Consortium.

Photo of Jennifer Frautschi by Dario Acosta
Banner photo by Susan and Neil Silverman Photography

Jennifer Frautschi