For a sheet of short quotes from reviews please click here.
Jennifer and pianist John Blacklow will present the world premiere of a new work for violin and piano written for them by composer Barbara White.
Jennifer's recording of the Schoenberg Quartet with the Fred Sherry Quartet has been nominated for a 2011 GRAMMY in the category of "Best Chamber Music Performance."
Jennifer’s new recording of horn trios with Eric Ruske and Stephen Prutsman has been released on the Albany label.
Jennifer will premiere a new violin concerto, written for her by the dynamic American composer James Stephenson, in April of 2012.
Excerpts from Concert Reviews
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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
May 26, 2012
Warren-Green guides MSO to tour of Britain
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra turned to the United Kingdom for Friday evening's concert. American violinist Jennifer Frautschi joined [guest conductor Christopher] Warren-Green and the orchestra with a captivating performance of Max Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy." Frautschi brought sterling technique and a pure, focused sound to the piece, playing with tremendous depth of expression. She gave clear character and meaning to Bruch's setting of Scottish tunes, never lapsing into caricature. She delivered flowing lines with an elegant simplicity and executed the piece's most technical passages with a captivating mix of command and freedom.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 12, 2012
New Concerto brims with ideas
"Tributes," written for Stephenson's longtime friend Jennifer Frautschi, has enough ideas for a small library of pieces...Frautschi, making her Minnesota Orchestra debut, was everything Stephenson could have wished, her playing full of fire and nuance, her cadenza a marvel. I could have listened all night to her dark-hued 1722 Stradivarius.
April 12, 2012
Minnesota Orchestra review: impassioned violin concerto soars in premiere
The concerto seems to be Stephenson's form of choice, as he's written them for an assortment of instruments. Yet this is his first for violin, a work made possible by the Minnesota Commissioning Club. In both the Prokofiev-inspired opening and the Adams-esque finale, the rhythms chugged along like a locomotive, Frautschi's soaring solos seeming like telephone wires rising and falling outside the windows.
While Armstrong's exuberance was largely absent from the slow movement, his presence was felt: The solo violin line is a slowed-down scat solo from one of his early recordings. The finale is where Frautschi shone brightest, shattering and scattering the chords called out by the orchestra behind her, flinging melodies about with abandon.
The Buffalo News
February 6, 2010
Violin warms return of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra classics
She played the slow movement’s tender lines with deftly nuanced phrasing that overrode its core sentimentality, and in the strident and impulsive Finale made her violin sing with a compelling dark intensity.
October 29, 2009
Boston Classical Orchestra Celebrates 30 years
Your Observer (Sarasota, FL)
October 14, 2009
The Ringling International Arts Festival, in one grand swoop of chamber music, earned its place in the international festival archives and into my soul, as well.
Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violinist Jennifer Frautschi, cellist Edward Aaron and horn player Eric Ruske offered a program at the Historic Asolo Theater that was so riveting and passionate, it left me — a musician and critic — wrung out with pleasure, with tears streaming down my face. And I do not exaggerate.
The program opened with a beautiful reading of Debussy’s Violin Sonata played by Frautschi and McDermott. We know Frautschi from her work with La Musica here in Sarasota, but this Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient seemed to grow in this concert and was positively radiant in her collaboration with McDermott...
But it was the Mendelssohn D Minor Piano Trio that surmounted all the musical miracles of the evening. This was not good playing, it was great. It was breathless, loving, heart-rending, tear-jerking and exhausting; fresh, alive and ebullient. It was everything a chamber performance should be and something so rare as to be cherished.
Napa Valley Register (Napa Valley, CA)
March 12, 2009
All of the sparkle in Sunday afternoon's fireworks-themed concert at Yountville's Lincoln Theater came from the pairing of dazzling young violinist Jennifer Frautschi with the Napa Valley Symphony Orchestra. Earning plaudits of late from both audiences and critics alike, the native Californian showed a rapt audience that there was good reason why maestro Asher Raboy invited her to solo in a pair of warhorses for her Napa Valley debut...
About 10 minutes in length, [Saint-Saen's "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso"] was lovingly presented by the guest artist and supporting orchestra under Raboy's baton. In the slow Introduction, Frautschi's violin sang a lovely, plaintive melody whose lack of passion revealed quite a bit about Saint-Saëns' cool, elegant expressiveness; in the Rondo Capriccioso, dash, virtuosity and songfulness combined in most effective manner, and was well represented by the soloist's warm and passionate reading.
Alluring in a lime green sheath, the violinist returned after intermission to offer a radiant performance of Maurice Ravel's "Tzigane," a rhapsodical work for violin and orchestra that incorporates the composer's interpretation of Hungarian gypsy music...Frautschi proved she was more than up to the composer's challenges on Sunday afternoon. Although she's a stunning virtuoso, Frautschi seems uninterested in mere technical display, tossing off the most hair-raising fireworks — from bravura bowings to double harmonics — with casual ease. Her tone has a uniquely personal expressiveness — dark, pure, focused and persuasive. It can glow intensely or float delicately.
Telegram and Gazette (Worcester, MA)
February 7, 2009
Czech orchestra puts own spin on music
Watching the Czech Symphony Orchestra Thursday night at Mechanics Hall one had the feeling that the future of classical music was being negotiated. Two thirds of the program was pure warhorse: Smetana's "The Moldau", and then, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto featuring Jennifer Frautschi, a violinist best known for her recordings of 20th century composers such as Schoenberg, Prokofiev and Stravinski. So the program was predictable, but the collectivity spinning it out was anything but. ...
Capping off all costume explorations was Frautschi's svelte appearance in a stunning, faintly iridescent, lime-green (with olive and sage undertones) long low-cut gown with spaghetti straps. The audience's initial gasp of appreciation for this dazzling entrance was multiplied a hundredfold for her even more dazzling violin technique. The third movement of Mendelssohn's crowd pleaser was tossed off with such burning, casual fury as to wrench the crowd roaring out of their seats... Frautschi's violin brilliance was one peak of the concert...
April 26, 2008
Stravinsky Got Off to an Early Start in Recycling
Thursday evening’s concert of duos at St. Bartholomew’s Church, the last in the Miller Theater’s five-part Stravinsky Festival, offered pieces of Stravinskian quality that were also snapshots of a composer in his own diaspora, hustling to recoup. Jennifer Frautschi was the violinist, and Jeremy Denk the pianist. Together they were splendid in music that sang exotically at one moment and almost exploded with energy the next....
Adding the violin to Stravinsky’s famous “Danse Russe” from the piano version of “Petrushka” was convincing, especially with players like these. ... The sound was striking: live, full and articulate.
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
January 26, 2008
Symphony Simply Wonderful
Whether it was the flash of a violin bow or the slash of a conductor's baton, guest artistry dominated the Overture Hall stage Friday in the first of this weekend's three-concert series by the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Violinist Jennifer Frautschi, a perennial favorite, arrived to perform Alexander Glazunov's Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82. Frautschi... breathed new life into Glazunov's lushly romantic concerto. The diminutive violinist, in a striking black gown, rose to the challenge whenever it was leveled, delivering a crystalline performance that proved a real crowd-pleaser. The only sin was there wasn't more of her to highlight the evening.
The Tampa Tribune
December 1, 2007
Solo Violinist Glows in Glazunov Concerto
Jennifer Frautschi earned every penny of her pay Friday night with The Florida Orchestra, turning a sumptuous, nonstop concerto into a post-Thanksgiving feast for the ears at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
As soloist in this weekend's all-Russian masterworks program, Frautschi resurrected Alexander Glazunov's romantic, cascading "Violin Concerto," its third appearance here since 1994 but a piece many other orchestras ignore. The work fit snugly between Modest Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" and Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Symphonic Dances," all given committed performances under the baton of music director Stefan Sanderling.
Looking sleek and agile in a full-length dress, Frautschi took center stage and dove into the Glazunov, playing its three movements without pause. Armed with a Stradivarius made in 1722 (when Bach was still a young man), Frautschi captured the sweetly lyrical qualities of the first movement and the insistent, elegant tunes that form the arch of the middle section and finale.
Her views in the cadenza were incisive and inquisitive, as if probing beyond the sugar-coated notes. Frautschi brought a true voice to her approach as well as a formidable technique, negotiating the thicket of two-part tremolos, double stops and pizzicatos for the left hand.
The Arizona Republic
October 21, 2007
A special night at the symphony
Resident conductor Lawrence Golan led the Phoenix Symphony in one of its best performances in recent years... Soloist Jennifer Frautschi is a great musician, and she gave what may be the best performance possible of this long-forgotten and forgettable work [Schumann's Violin Concerto].
Cape Cod Times
October 1, 2007
Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, with guest violinist Jennifer Frautschi
The exquisitely delicate slow movement of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3 in D-Major — performed to perfection by soloist Jennifer Frautschi on her rare 1722 Stradivarius violin — featured some of the most sensitive and subtle accompanying the orchestra has yet achieved. Frautschi, who has been awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, is a first-rate Mozart interpreter with a dazzling technique, sweetness and clarity of sound.
Kansas City Star
May 20, 2007
... this weekend’s Kansas City Symphony concerts at the Lyric Theatre also featured a likable rendition of the Saint-Saens Third Violin Concerto by Jennifer Frautschi.
Frautschi possesses a lush, florid tone, a sure musical sense and a forthright knowledge of where she wants to go with any given phrase. Her 1722 Stradivarius projected gorgeously over the orchestral accompaniment, which [Larry] Rachleff and the musicians imbued with an ongoing surge of energy.
Pasadena Star-News (Pasadena, CA)
April 18, 2007
Save the best for last.
That was the thought at Saturday's Pasadena Symphony Concert, where Music Director Jorge Mester scheduled the three-work concert, overture, symphony and then, after intermission, the violin concerto. That's non-traditional, but when you have an audience that is coming out to hear a local celebrity it's smart to make the audience happy.
The local celebrity was young violinist Jennifer Frautschi, Pasadena born and already an international star. She last played with the Pasadena Symphony in January 2005 playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, and the piece she played Saturday night, the violin concerto of Aram Khachaturian, is one that she first listened to on a suggestion from Maestro Mester.
Frautschi is a beautiful young woman, slightly taller than Mester, slim, with her black hair pulled back into a ponytail. Looks matter in classical music, but the real test is in the performance, and Frautschi is a confident, technically gifted performer. The Khachaturian concerto is a racing, lively, delicious romp, a fast-paced, hot-blooded celebration, full of sparkling moments, of technical thrills and rich folk-like melody. Frautschi has played the work under Mester's baton (in Florida) and they apparently have agreed on a reading that flies along at an almost frightening speed.
The sheer excitement of Frautschi's technical brilliance is the first thing noticeable. She can move her fingers with electric speed and every note is distinct and clear, fully expressed. But her performance is more than just technical excitement. Frautschi has a tender, gentle ear for Khachaturian's lyric content, a wonderfully expressive richness that balances the large orchestral forces.
Mester and Frautschi together found a delicate and rewarding balance in the work. Khachaturian loves loud, explosive orchestral moments but Frautschi's instrument (a Stradivarius) was always audible above the storms. In the rich, challenging cadenzas she found joy and fiery energy. The audience Saturday night gave her a standing ovation, and can hope that Frautschi's relationship with the Pasadena Symphony continues.
Santa Barbara News-Press (Santa Barbara, CA)
November 20, 2006
...Even more fascinating on this program was Schnittke's First Violin Sonata, written in 1963, and played beautifully here by Jennifer Frautschi. Backed by the versatile Jean Schneider, Ms. Frautschi commanded attention with her tough and sensitive reading of a difficult, mercurial score. She moved from challenging, finger-mangling atonal passages, with carefully designated dynamic shifts, to reworked folk music bits and back, all within the space of several measures.
...Aside from the invigorating dose of new-ish music, this edition of the Camerata Pacifica's season was highlighted by the presence of Ms. Frautschi, who slid comfortably into the warhorse confines of Brahms' Concerto with the Santa Barbara Symphony a month ago. At the Music Academy, she showed a much gamier side of her musicality. We're lucky to have witnessed both sides of an impressive and rapidly emerging international musician's voice. The woman's got range, and chops.
Santa Barbara News-Press (Santa Barbara, CA)
October 17, 2006
Symphony starts on strong footing
It wasn't just another opening night. As the Santa Barbara Symphony struck up the band on Saturday, the 53-year-old organization experienced concert No. 1 with its first new conductor in 13 years, Nir Kabaretti. He presided beautifully over a solid menu of two celebratory Wagner pieces to open, a fascinating, fragmented piece of Prokofiev, and a hearty dose of Brahms, with the lovely and gifted violinist Jennifer Frautschi owning the composer's Violin Concerto...
On the guest soloist front, Frautschi produced a sumptuous tone and showed vibrant technical finesse on the theme of the Brahms Concerto. More importantly, she champions musicality over muscularity. Communicating effectively with the orchestra, Ms. Frautschi summoned up an apt reverie in the Adagio and expressive intensity in the finale. At the same time, she nicely dodged the temptation to overstate the romantic case on the Brahms turf.
Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)
October 7, 2006
Soloists soar with Brahms
The Spokane Symphony gave its audience a double-barreled "Brahms Blast" Friday. The concert, conducted by symphony music director Eckert Preu, featured two of Brahms' concertos in the hands of two commanding soloists...
Jennifer Frautschi proved a fiercely intense soloist in Brahms' Violin Concerto. As Preu pointed out in his remarks from the podium, Brahms' concertos can be considered symphonies pretending to be concertos. And the conductor's authoritative way with the complexities of the orchestral parts of both concertos showed just how true his observation was.
From the slashing energy she brought to the opening solo gesture of the Violin Concerto, it was clear Frautschi would not be overwhelmed by the symphonic density of the orchestra...when the textures of the work turned quiet and transparent, Frautschi showed extraordinary beauty as she wove a subtle ornamental thread around the melodies of the orchestral strings or woodwinds.
Frautschi seemed to take special delight in the Hungarian rhythmic snap and gypsy-fiddling melodic turns in the finale. Her performance was rewarded by a standing ovation.
Knoxville News Sentinel (Knoxville, TN)
September 22, 2006
Russian music bodes well for KSO season
The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra opened its 71st season Thursday night at the Tennessee Theatre with a concert of Russian nationalistic music... Glazunov, whose 1904 "Concerto for Violin in A Minor" was second on the program, helped put Russian music on a near-equal footing with the prevailing Europeanism of his time.
Certainly guest violinist Jennifer Frautschi's performance, especially in the third movement Allegro, reminded one of virtuosic European concertos. Frautschi's warm, lush tone was very well complemented by strong technical skills that appeared progressively throughout the piece. Played without breaks, its three movements vshifted from Frautschi's violin singing to chattering clarinets, through a lovely duet played with the harp, before finally arriving at moments of plucking hands, punctuated with double- and triple-stopped phrases.
It was very accomplished playing, justly rewarded by the audience with a standing ovation.
The Mercury News (San Jose, CA)
August 13, 2006
Essence of Menlo
Performing the other night at the Music@Menlo chamber music festival, pianist Gilbert Kalish gave a little clap of the hands -- a quiet gesture, meant only for himself -- as he sat down at the keyboard. Clearly, he couldn't wait to play. The audience couldn't wait to hear him....
the best came in the middle: Brahms' Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60. If anything has become clear over the past four seasons at Menlo, it's that whenever David Finckel and Kalish are on board for some ravishing Romantic classic, the performance is going to go over the fences. This one was almost excruciatingly beautiful, abetted by the incredibly tender violin and viola, respectively, of Jennifer Frautschi and Paul Neubauer.
The performance seemed emblematic of Menlo. It was a 450-foot home run.
Herald Tribune (Sarasota, FL)
March 22, 2006
Frautschi, Blacklow beguile audience
Violinist Jennifer Frautschi and her collaborator, pianist John Blacklow, did just this and began their program for the Artist Series of Sarasota with Sonata No. 3 in E Major (BWV 1016), gaining instant credibility. They proved masters of the long line while tastefully presenting the pure music of Bach...
March 15, 2006
A superb take on Schumann
Locked away until the 1930s (apparently, it was considered embarrassing), the Violin Concerto has been turning up with increasing frequency, though substantial figures from Wolfgang Sawallisch to Nikolaus Harnoncourt haven't succeeded in uncovering the worthwhile piece that seems lurking in the concerto's own orchestral underbrush.
Something close to the performance I've been waiting for arrived Monday at the Kimmel Center with violin soloist Jennifer Frautschi and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia under Ignat Solzhenitsyn. The approach bordered on being radical, at least for Philadelphia, where interpretive problems have long been steamrolled by the Philadelphia Orchestra sound. This all-Schumann concert had winds and strings almost evenly matched in number, creating a hugely different sound envelope, closer to one that the composer might recognize.
Many previously unheard musical contours emerged from passages of the concerto that previously seemed amorphous. And while soloist Frautschi was important for inflecting the solo lines of the Violin Concerto with an authoritative sense of speculation on what Schumann was going for, Solzhenitsyn needs to be applauded for his canny strategic decisions.
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
March 3, 2006
Louisville Orchestra Dazzles
Chattanooga Times Free Press
November 11, 2005
Violinist leads "American Festival"
The performance of Mr. Barber's rhapsodic "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14" by rising classical star Ms. Frautschi and supportive CSO players was made even more sumptuous by the golden tones the young guest artist was able to caress from her rare 1722 Stradivarius, called the "ex-Cadiz." Ms. Frautschi's immediate dexterity surrounded the supremely intense, mercurial opening movement, piqued by a clarinet-led secondary theme, as well as the languorous second movement with oboe solo and ominous undertones. The perpetual movement finale with its lightning fast triplets and quirky accents was breathtaking, the artist's virtuosity combining with the qualities of her vintage instrument to enrich violin timbres and textures.
Main-Netz Aschaffenburg (Aschaffenburg, Germany)
November 2, 2005
More Than Masterful Technique: Violinist Jennifer Frautschi with works of Ysaye and
Debussy in Alzenau
Without fail, Jennifer Frautschi represents a unique kind of musicality, which in fascinating ways achieves an equally brilliant and flowing consonance. Ingeniously spontaneous, in complete control of stylistic details, technically perfect, and with absolute naturalness, she delivered a program of the highest violinistic demands. The pale tone colors of the episodes in Debussy's G minor sonata, the explosive extremes of rapidity in the furious second half of Ravel's Tzigane, meeting the challenges of the violinistic tightrope with perfect refinement in Saint-Saens' Havanaise---all this with a beauty of sound in which she has no equal. That is probably what created the most indelible impression in Jennifer Frautschi's playing: on the one hand, the mastery of the violinistic craft, which she demonstrated in every area, and on the other, fascinating and inspiring playing, which made the goal of an almost childlike, pure musical beauty the paramount aim. Jennifer Frautschi has this potential, and she carries it out to the fullest, without fail. From the first thrilling bowstrokes, she played Ysaye's sonata with intensity and electricity, emitting warm rays of lucidity through the continuous sparks of virtuoso fireworks. She played Brahms' G major sonata glowingly, full of spirit, gracefully and emphatically, breathing new life into a staple of the repertoire. One would have to search endlessly for such playing in the recording or concert marketplace. She has not yet recorded this work; Bayerischen Rundfunk recorded the complete concert in Alzenau.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurt, Germany
November 2, 2005
Technique seemed to set no limits for her in the Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 27, also known as "Ballade", by Eugene Ysaye. She demonstrated wholeheartedly the eccentricity and the ingenuity of this composition, also entitled "Ballade", by the Belgian violin virtuoso, in a multi-faceted performance, at times quasi-orchestrally, at times with the intimacy of chamber music.
An even higher climb into the heights of virtuosity was achieved with apparent ease in Ravel's concert-rhapsody "Tzigane", from 1924. Jennifer Frautschi navigated the obstacle course, filled with difficulties such as left hand pizzicati and harmonics, with astonishing ease.
The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.)
September 23, 2005
Charleston Symphony Orchestra launched its 70th anniversary season Thursday night, featuring the exciting young violinist Jennifer Frautschi. She offered two Romantic show-off pieces, Camille Saint-Saens' dreamy "Havanaise" and Pablo de Sarasate's "Concert Fantasy on 'Carmen.'"
Frautschi's astonishingly passionate and powerful instrument proved ideal for Saint-Saens' setting of a Cuban habanera. Frautschi made this luscious score exquisitely beautiful. Sarasate, a virtuoso violinist himself, took some of the unforgettable sections of Bizet's opera "Carmen" and created a technically difficult, heart-stopping tour-de-force. Frautschi bore out her impeccable reputation. This more complicated "Carmen" came alive with incredible ease in her hands. Her high-flying violin virtuosity generated a richly deserved standing ovation.
May 1, 2005
NMSO Violinist shows off her Range
Performing The Bernstein Serenade with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Guillermo Figueroa, Frautschi produced a warmly sensuous tone, coupled with an elegant lyrcism that prevailed in even the most agitated passages.
The Providence Journal (Providence, Rhode Island)
November 21, 2004
This was a Philharmonic premiere for the Berg Concerto, a knotty piece that is considered one of the great concertos from the last century. Frautschi has obviously thought a lot about this music, for she played it with confidence, elegance and a sense of grace. Even though this is atonal music, and Frautschi played up the tuneful, lyrical side of the score, tossing off sweet, lilting phrases.
The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware)
October 23, 2004
Gifted violinist rises to challenging music
October 13, 2004
The young violinist Jennifer Frautschi is molding a career with smart interpretations of both warhorses and rarities. Frautschi sports a vibrant, steely tone, dressed with an intense vibrato that sometimes narrows to a tense quiver.
While the Canzonetta [in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto] unfolded with a series of deeply felt utterances, it was in the finale that Frautschi caught fire. Her off-string bowings crackled with a percussive snap that never sacrificed clarity of pitch.
October 3, 2004
Frautschi fantastic in guest spot with Boulder Phil
The difficult score, which contains as much gorgeous lyricism as virtuoso pyrotechnics, proved to be a perfect vehicle for Frautschi. Her warmth in the beautiful melody beginning the second movement was as breathtaking as her peroration at the end of the finale. A great soloist brings out the best in an orchestra, and Frautschi did this.
August 22, 2004
The fabulous Frautschi is one of our most fully gifted musical artists, and she filled the long, longing phrases of Faure's passionate A Major Violin Sonata with dazzling intensity.
Frautschi and Blacklow in their Wigmore recital provided a perfect sense of ensemble and ensuing music empathy...they demonstrated their stylistic breadth and virtuosity with clarity and élan.
Frautschi's technically flawless and musically rich performance of Oliver Knussen's unaccompanied Secret Psalm established unequivocally just what an imaginative and accomplished player she is.
Badisches Tagblatt (Baden-Baden, Germany)
The Duo opened the afternoon with the Sonata for Violin and Piano of Janacek…the second movement was extremely soulful, performed in a magical dialogue.
Jennifer Frautschi, celebrated Knussen's 'Secret Psalm' in a version designed specifically for her...she seemed to immerse herself, luxuriating in the sounds that she elicited from her instrument, a double-discovery for the listener.
Beethoven's Sonata No. 7, Opus 30 No. 2, is a work of tempestuous emotion, demanding and virtuosic for both instruments. This didn't suffice for the duo--the tempi they chose were extreme and on the edge, combined with a flowing lightness. The result was an entirely individual, unique interpretation, brought off with technical perfection by both musicians.
For the brilliant finale of the afternoon, Frautschi and Blacklow presented Stravinsky's Divertimento… the duo inspired with a captivating, vital interpretation, with dance elements and humor coming to a head with fine-tuned virtuosity. The prolonged, enthusiastic applause of the audience in the Theater preceded a dreamy encore--the 'Melodie' for Violin and Piano of Tchaikovsky as a musical bon-bon.
April 6, 2004
Towards Modernity with Energy
The “Rising Stars” Went Up at the Philharmonic and Sparkled...Jennifer Frautschi’s big and luminous tone found a secure base in John Blacklow’s rhythmically unflinching and discreet playing. It was a pleasure to listen to this sporting and vital music-making, liberated as it was from pressure and weightiness.
April 29, 2004
Jennifer Frautschi made an impression with seamless, almost perfect violin playing and tasteful rhetoric, which certainly has to do with her understanding of and her affinity with the works she plays. The Stravinsky [Divertimento] is not serious, but rare is the violinist who know how to do justice both to the lightness in execution that the work demands and its technical problems. She’s got it, that much is certain.
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
October 19, 2003
By Laura Lynn Brown
Jennifer Frautschi's 1722 Stradivarius violin was a seasoned 55 years old when Mozart wrote the last of his violin concertos...Maybe that's why it sang so beautifully playing that piece in a guest appearance with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra concert Saturday night.
Frautschi, a young New Yorker, native Californian, and Harvard graduate, played with a quiet, intense focus. She gave a mesmerizing performance of the piece, especially in her captivating cadenza in the first movement. It's difficult to imagine a single thing she could have done better.
May 19, 2003
By Mark Swed
Berg's Violin Concerto proved remarkable through a combination of wisdom and youth. The soloist was young. Performing the concerto for the first time, Jennifer Frautschi, a 30-year-old violinist from Pasadena with a fast-rising career, brought a dark, soulful, substantial tone to a 1935 score that Berg wrote in memory of Manon Gropius, who died at age 19 and was the daughter of architect Walter Gropius and Alma Mahler...
Frautschi is a forceful and thoughtful player, but it was her impetuous youthfulness that was most persuasive. She was her own violinist in this performance.
June 3, 2002
By John von Rhein
Frautschi's training at the Juilliard School, where she studied under Robert Mann, served to nurture a major talent that was already ripening apace. She is a marvelous violinist- make that a marvelous musician who happens to play the violin- and her account of the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 was an unalloyed triumph.
Her technical arsenal allowed her to probe deeply the work's elegant grotesquerie, which she achieved with an uncommonly incisive bow arm...Frautschi is an important violinist in the making.
by David Hurwitz
The real reason to acquire this disc, if you feel so inclined, is to hear Jennifer Frautschi's magnificent rendering of the Violin Concerto. Her playing is not just beautifully sensitive to matters of dynamics and phrasing, but in a work that places such a heavy burden on the violinist, Frautschi simply has the perfect timbre for the music: pure, sweet, full, but never overburdened with vibrato. This makes the two central arias touchingly natural in their lyrical eloquence rather than merely stylized. And of course, you can't ask for a better hand at the podium than Craft's.
Dallas Morning News
August 11, 2007
by Laurence Taitte
WIDE RANGE: To celebrate the late composer's 125th birthday, his protégé, writer-conductor Robert Craft, leads four works ranging from the most influential composition of the 20th century (The Rite of Spring) to the little-known choral piece Zvezdolikiy. The Philharmonia Orchestra plays for power and clarity rather than excitement, but it's a fascinating performance.
SYMPATHY FROM THE SOLOIST: Young violinist Jennifer Frautschi gives the most detailed, highly articulated and, frankly, Stravinskian reading of the Violin Concerto ever. Some might object to the close miking, but you can hear lots of detail from all instruments. It's infectious.
The Herald (Glasgow, UK)
June 16, 2007
By Michael Tumelty
A record of the year. No question about it. This is a stupendous collection conducted by the legendary and controversial Robert Craft with the great Philharmonia at its earthy best in one of the most intelligently-paced performances of The Rite of Spring on record. Jennifer Frautschi scorches the ears with her bristling account of the Violin Concerto, the playing of the Twentieth Century Classics Ensemble in the Symphonies of Wind Instruments will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end, while the Orchestra of St Luke’s and the Gregg Smith Singers overwhelm with the profundity of their performance in the little-known Zvezdolikiy.
The Times (UK)
June 9, 2007
By Rick Jones
Through Craft, Stravinsky's pupil, friend, collaborant, advisor and interpreter, this CD has a direct line to the composer himself.
Entries in The Rite of Spring sometimes lack precision and certain chords balance, but the fizzing electricity in the Philharmonia's response to Craft makes this still one of the most exciting performances on disc. His baton is light, brightening the bassoon's walking earth and thinning the basses grinding dance. Meanwhile, the violinist Jennifer Frautschi is jaunty in the Violin Concerto, arguments are refreshed in Symphonies of Wind Instruments and the male chorus cantata Zvezdolikiy burns with intensity.
It has always struck me as strange that Prokofiev's Second Concerto should have overshadowed the first for so many years, when the latter is so conspicuously the more inventive, compelling and emotionally satisfying of the two. Jennifer Frautschi brings out the work's natural warmth, lyricism, and fantasy more effectively than just about anyone since Kyung-Wha Chung recorded her classic account with Andre Previn back in the 1970s...
What a wonderful, golden sound Frautschi makes throughout, and how she relishes those moments when Prokofiev's Romantic instincts go into overdrive.
This is a warmly recorded, sympathetically accompanied coupling that speaks straight from the heart to the heart.
Jennifer Frautschi possesses a large and powerful tone and a well-developed technique. In these regards, she's like many other aspirants to violinistic eminence. But a keen rhythmic sense and quick reflexes that sharpen rapid attacks complement a fine sense of color and a stylistic penetration that set her apart. Solo recital recordings have become more common, but not programs evincing this combination of aplomb and stylistic sensitivity. Strongly recommended for these qualities, as well as for the program's inherent interest- which might ingratiate it even with conservative listeners.
In pop music, the "sophomore jinx" is what might take hold during the second time around for an artist who has had a successful first album -- something about the new album is perceived as inferior to the maiden voyage, and as a result the artist goes down in flames. In her sophomore effort, Solovision , classical violinist Jennifer Frautschi has taken on the "jinx" full force, squashing it like a bug beneath her high-heeled shoe with a second album that almost makes you forget her thoroughly respectable first effort, a somewhat more conventional program of Stravinsky and Ravel . All of the music heard here is 20th century music for solo violin, a rather risky program for a young artist as there is no "net" to fall into as there would be with an accompanist, and some listeners are spooked even by the name " Bartók ." Frautschi acquits herself on all fronts and provides a fresh perspective on some badly needed repertoire to boot; this would be an excellent disc for student violinists to acquaint themselves with solo violin literature other than that by Johann Sebastian Bach . On Solovision, Frautschi delivers appealing and passionate renderings of the well-known Kreisler ,Ysayë , and Bartók pieces.
By Julian Haylock
Anyone who can negotiate the sleight-of-hand intricacies of Kreisler's Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice, the merciless virtuoso demands of Bartok's Solo Violin Sonata, and Ysaye's coruscating E minor Solo Sonata with the aplomb that Jennifer Frautschi demonstrates here is clearly a force to be reckoned with.... Once again, especially for so young a player, Frautschi demonstrates an uncanny ability to explore the more remote recesses of the human psyche - and takes her listeners with her.
July 27, 2000
By Richard Dyer
Her first CD comes with interesting and contrasting 20th-century repertory, the major works for violin and piano by Stravinsky and Ravel; a superior collaborative pianist, Marta Aznavoorian; and lively and intelligent performances. Frautschi is a vigourous and colorful player, at once exact and exciting. Her intonation is excellent, and there is abundant character in her tone. In a world where it is impossible to distinguish between one young violinist from another, Frautschi has found a compelling voice.
By Robert Maxham
Stravinsky's and Ravel's works for violin and piano hardly constitute a standard debut recital; but Jennifer Frautschi's for Artek makes a strong impression whether because of or in spite of that repertoire....
Both Stravinsky's Duo and Divertimento- and the Violin Concerto too- display an instrumental idiom that the violinist's own notes attribute to Samuel Dushkin's influence on Stravinsky. But those two pieces could have been written with Frautschi in mind, so thoroughly has she made them her own...
It's hard to imagine taking a recording of Tzigane to a desert isle, but if I had to choose one this would be it...
It's hard to find anything even to damn with faint praise in Artek's recital; and that includes the engineering, which provides a thrilling close-up of the violinist's extraordinarily rich and pure tone and crisp articulation, as well as the pianist's sympathetic collaboration. Urgently recommended- even, in uncertain and bizarre circumstances, for the desert isle.
July 24, 2000
By Ira Rosenblum
She has musicianship as well as looks. On this disc, Frautschi, the winner of last year's prestigious Avery Fisher Artist Program career grant, which singles out up-and-coming performers, plays a winning recital of Stravinsky and Ravel.
February 12, 2005
By David Baker
"The thing about performing," says violinist Jennifer Frautschi, "is that you need incredibly quick reflexes, like a race car driver."
This may not be everyone’s idea of the cultured life of a classical musician. But, as this performer explains, life onstage is never predictable....
September 26, 2004
At 31, Jennifer Frautschi is a front-runner among the many young violinists on stage today.
And it's interesting to hear that she's taken her time getting to that position.
"I wasn't a prodigy," says the Pasadena-born artist who makes her Front Range debut with the Boulder Philharmonic on Saturday. "I didn't have that kind of talent."
May 11, 2003
By Elaine Dutka
Violinist Jennifer Frautschi is still referred to as a "young artist," though she's turning 30 in June. The tag was applicable, she observes, when she performed solo at the Los Angeles Philharmonic's "High School Night" at age 16, and, to her amusement, it has stuck.
On Friday, Frautschi returns to the Philharmonic, making her subscription concert debut playing Alban Berg's Violin Concerto with conductor Pierre Boulez. "That piece is a mental and physical feat, one that takes a steel-trap mind to memorize and play with confidence," says her Colburn School teacher Robert Lipsett. "You can't come back to town and do anything bigger than that."
August 2, 2002
By T.J. Medrek
This kind of almost Martha Stewart-like perfectionism has informed the 29-year-old Frautschi's career since she asked, at age 3, for violin lessons...