Margaret Batjer has served as concertmaster of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998. Throughout her successful career as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and concertmaster, she has established herself as a versatile and respected artist worldwide.
Margaret 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; the St. Louis, Seattle and Dallas symphony orchestras; and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She 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, Margaret 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; the Sarasota and Vancouver Chamber music festivals; and the Naples and Cremona festivals in Italy. As a member of the Quartetto Accardo from 1984–2000, Margaret 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, Margaret developed LACO’s acclaimed chamber music series, Westside Connections, which enters its ninth season in 2016-17.
Among her 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. Margaret 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, Margaret 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 LACO. 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 and also serves on the faculty at the Colburn Music Academy. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, composer Joel McNeely; their two children, Joshua and Claire; and their dog, Bailey.