Margaret Batjer has served as concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998. Throughout her successful career as soloist, chamber musician, teacher and concertmaster, she has established herself as a versatile and respected artist worldwide.
Batjer made her first solo appearance at the age of 15 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has since appeared with a succession of leading American orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra; St. Louis, Seattle and Dallas symphony orchestras; and a re-engagement with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Batjer has performed with such European ensembles as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Prague Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (of Ireland), Berlin Symphony Orchestra and Hallé Orchestra.
An esteemed chamber musician, Batjer was a longtime participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, and often performed on tour with Music From Marlboro. She has appeared at the Minnesota Orchestra and La Jolla summerfests; Sarasota and Vancouver Chamber music festivals; and in the Naples and Cremona festivals in Italy. As a member of the Quartetto Accardo from 1984 – 2000, Batjer performed with Maurizio Pollini at the Salzburg Festival, and at La Scala, Carnegie Hall and London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Drawing upon her affinity for chamber music and her curiosity of other artistic disciplines, Batjer developed LACO’s acclaimed chamber music series, Westside Connections, which enters its fifth season in 2012-13.
Among Batjer’s most noteworthy performances are explorations of the complete Beethoven and Brahms violin sonata cycles in partnership with pianist Jeffrey Kahane at Zipper Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Batjer was featured in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, in partnership with Yo-Yo Ma, Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. As concertmaster of LACO, Batjer has collaborated with such notables as mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, cellist David Finckel, and pianists Wu Han and Peter Serkin.
Batjer has twice recorded Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins: for the Philips label with Salvatore Accardo and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and for Deutsche Grammophon in 2003 paired with Hilary Hahn with Jeffrey Kahane conducting the LA Chamber Orchestra. She has also made numerous chamber music recordings on the EMI, Nuova Era and BMG labels.
Margaret Batjer is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Ivan Galamian and David Cerone. She joined the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in 2005. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, composer Joel McNeely; her two children, Joshua and Claire; and their dog, Bailey.