Texarkana Symphony Orchestra to spotlight renowned violinist Jennifer Frautschi, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1

TEXARKANA, Texas – A renowned violinist and Texarkana’s first performance of a Gustav Mahler symphony are the highlights of Saturday’s Texarkana Symphony Orchestra concert.

International star Jennifer Frautschi will be the featured soloist for Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto Op. 47, in D minor, and TSO will perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, in D major, “Titan”. Conductor and music director Philip Mann called the program “a historic event for our orchestra in our community”.

“It’s been a while since I’ve looked forward to a program like this weekend,” he said on Wednesday.

The Sibelius piece is one of the most popular and popular violin concertos in the entire repertoire, Mann said.

“It’s one of the best violin concertos to show ‘color’ in a soloist.

“Jennifer Frautschi, she is a superlative world-class virtuoso, but one thing that sets her even more apart from other virtuosos is that she has exceptional command and control of a very wide range of colours,” he said.

Frautschi is a two-time Grammy nominee and an Avery Fisher Career Fellow. She has performed as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Cincinnati Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Born in Pasadena, California, Frautschi attended the Colburn School, Harvard, the New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School.

She plays a 1722 Antonio Stradivarius violin known as the “Ex-Cadiz” on loan from a private American foundation with support from the Rare Violins In Consortium.

Mann said performing Mahler here is a long-term goal and the orchestra has been looking forward to it for more than a year.

“I’ve been planning a Mahler symphony for several seasons and somehow work towards it and design our repertoire to support that type of performance as well as our audience’s relationship with the music. …

“This is one of my favorite pieces. It’s a work that encompasses the full range of human experience,” he said, adding, “It’s an exhilarating thrill to play and hear.”

Listening to Mahler can be a revelation, Mann said.

“Most people who have never heard a Mahler symphony will remember exactly where they have been, who they have been with, the first time they hear it. They can be life changing.

“A lot of my musicians in the orchestra might say something like, ‘I heard this piece for the first time,’ or ‘It was the first time I played a piece like this, and that’s when I decided I wanted to be a professional musician,'” he said “I mean, it’s that kind of work.”

(The Texarkana Symphony Orchestra’s “Masterworks III: Mahler’s First” concert is scheduled for Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. at the Perot Theater, 221 Main St. A discussion of the concert preview will be held at 6:10 p.m For more information and to purchase tickets, visit texarkanasymphony.org or perottheatre.org.)

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