LACO Close Quarters Continues with Beethoven's "Serioso" (arr. Mahler) Featuring Concertmaster Margaret Batjer

Presented by Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

LACO Concertmaster Margaret Batjer

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra CLOSE QUARTERS interdisciplinary digital series melding musical and visual arts continues with Concertmaster Margaret Batjer leading a performance of Beethoven’s “Serioso” String Quartet in F minor, arranged for string ensemble by Mahler. CLOSE QUARTERS cinematographer Michael Elias Thomas films the orchestra with direction by LACO Creative Director of Digital Content James Darrah and audio production by Robert Wolff. Thanks to the generosity of individual donors, the new episode is available to the public at no cost and can be streamed on demand following its premiere on Friday, April 9, 2021, at 6:30 pm (PT), at, LACO’s YouTube and Facebook live channels. A digital pre-concert conversation begins at 5:30 pm (PT).


“This episode is bursting at the seams with the brilliance of Beethoven,” says LACO Executive Director Ben Cadwallader. “Margaret Batjer’s extensive experience as a chamber musician shines through as she leads her LACO colleagues in a taut, fiery interpretation of Mahler’s elegant transcription of Beethoven’s masterpiece.”


Batjer, concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998, has soloed with such major orchestras as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the St. Louis, Seattle and Dallas symphony orchestras, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Prague Chamber Orchestra and Berlin Symphony Orchestra.  She appears regularly at the Marlboro Music Festival, La Jolla Summer­fest, Salzburg Festival, and Italy’s Naples and Cremona festivals.


CLOSE QUARTERS’ “digitally native” programs, created specifically for streaming and hailed as “musically and artistically compelling” (Los Angeles Times), have drawn more than one million views to date since debuting in November 2020. Between 30 and 40 minutes in length, they are safely filmed at The Colburn School’s Olive Rehearsal Hall. Additionally, Darrah has established a creative hub for developing artistic media content with L.A.-based artists and filmmakers at a first-of-its-kind LACO digital studio at Wilhardt & Naud: a film studio and multidisciplinary arts campus located in Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles. The artists, inspired by the Orchestra’s musical programming, will create new visual works in a variety of mediums that will factor into the broadcasts and endure long after the season concludes. CLOSE QUARTERS builds upon the highly successful LACO SummerFest series, the Orchestra’s first foray into streaming that concluded in September and featured five digital chamber music concerts that have attracted nearly 250,000 views to date.


Subsequent CLOSE QUARTERS episodes premiere on Fridays, April 23, May 7 and 21, and June 4, 2021, at 6:30 pm (PT).


LACO recognizes the generous support of the Colburn Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The Orchestra also receives public funding via grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. James Darrah at LACO is generously underwritten by Ruth Eliel and Bill Cooney. Gil Shaham’s debut performances with LACO are generously supported by Terri & Jerry Kohl. LACO: Close Quarters series sponsors include Hilda Herrera Adler, Steve & Evelyn Block, Al Evans & Anna Rosicka, Peggy & Jack Falcon, Anne & Jeffrey Grausam, Diane Henderson, William & Priscilla Kennedy, Dana & Ned Newman, Dr. Hervey & Doris Segall, and Anne-Marie & Alex Spataru.


Additional support for episode 10 comes from Jennifer Diener. To support LACO, its stellar artists and digital programming, please visit or call (213) 622-7001, EXT. 4.


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Program Items

Beethoven Serioso (arr. Mahler)


Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra orchestra
Margaret Batjer concertmaster/leader