LACA offers a real jewel for its season finale

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By Special to the Monitor

The Los Alamos Concert Association’s Jewel of a Season wraps up May 3, with a performance by Julia Fischer. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Duane Smith Auditorium.

Fischer is recognized worldwide as possessing a talent of uncommon ability and as an exceptionally gifted performer. Fischer was born in Munich in 1983 to a pianist mother from Slovakia and a mathematician father from Eastern Germany. She began playing both the violin and the piano at age 3, taking lessons from her mother.  Her first love was for the piano, but her mother felt there were already too many keyboardists in the family and encouraged her daughter to take up the violin. She began violin lessons at the Leopold Mozart Conservatoire in Augsburg, and at 11 years old she won the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, winning both the first prize and the special prize for the best Bach solo performance. She now teaches at the Academy for Music and the Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main, where she has the distinction of being Germany’s youngest Professor of Violin.

In 1996, Fischer won the Eighth Eurovision Competition for Young Instrumentalists, and in 1997 was awarded the “Prix d‘Espoir” by the Foundation of European Industry.  In 2005, she won Germany’s coveted ‘ECHO’ Award for her recording of “Russian Concertos” by Khachaturian, Prokofiev and Glazunov.  

In winter 2006, she was named the “Best Newcomer of the Year” by BBC Music Magazine.  Gramophone Magazine featured her on the front cover of its July 2006 issue as one of the major young emerging artists and in 2007 named her “Artist of the Year;” she is the youngest artist to receive the honor.

During the 2008-09 season, Fischer is keeping a busy performing schedule. She will perform with the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, the Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony and San Francisco Symphony.  She is performing in 2009 as leader and soloist for the 50th anniversary tour of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.  In Japan, she will make her NHK Symphony debut.

In Europe, Fischer will perform with the Tonhalle Zurich Orchestra, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Her first CD, in 2004, featured Russian violin concertos and climbed into the top five bestselling classical recordings in Germany within a few days after release, receiving an Editor’s Choice from Gramophone in January 2005.  This year, her new recording of Bach Concertos with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is the highest-selling classical debut ever at iTunes.  The recording held the No.1 position on Billboard’s Classical Chart a week before it was available in stores. 

Sunday’s concert will begin with the Sonata for violin and piano No. 1 in C major, K. 296, by Mozart, and continue with the Sonata for violin and piano No. 1 in F minor, op. 80, by Prokofiev.  Following intermission, Fischer will perform the Sonata for violin and piano No. 8 in G major, op. 30 no. 3, by Beethoven, and the concert will conclude with the Sonata for violin and piano No. 3, H 303, by Martinu.

Individual tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for seniors.  Children ages 5-18 may attend at no charge but need a ticket.  Children must be at least age 5 to attend the concert, and children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult.  

Tickets are on sale at CB Fox, Otowi Station Bookstore, Smith’s in White Rock, Nicholas Potter Bookseller in Santa Fe and at the door.  For additional information telephone, the Los Alamos Concert Association at 662-9000 or visit the LACA website at www.losalamosconcert.org.