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Mostly Mozart Festival 2015: Meet the Orchestra Videos, String Minutes

By Logan K. Young l.young@classicalite.com on Aug 19, 2015 02:30 AM EDT

As the name implies, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra is the resident ensemble of Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. Thee premiere orchestra here in the States dedicated to performing the works of (mostly) the classical era, not surprisingly, it's composed of musicians local (New York Phil, Met Opera, Orpheus Chamber), national (Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, St. Paul Chamber) and certainly worldwide acclaim.

French conductor Louis Langrée--who, himself, just re-upped as MD in Cincinnati until 2020--has lead Mostly Mozart since December, 2002. In August of 2006, maestro Langrée (son of organist and theorist Alain Langrée) was appointed, officially, Renée and Robert Belfer music director.

And for the last decade, come summertime, there simply hasn't been a better pairing of man and band. Langrée and MMFO have made for some of the most informed, most inspired readings of Mozart, his contemporaries and even our own contemporary composers to ever come out of Avery Fisher Hall. (Of course, they've toured, too: Tanglewood, Ravinia, Great Woods, Kennedy Center, the Bunkamura in Tokyo.)

But what about the orchestra, itself? More apt, perhaps, just who are they, themselves?

Well, care of Mostly Mozart's brilliant, Emmy-winning series "Meet the Orchestra," we can explain. Here, then, are violinist Laura Frautschi, violist Shmuel Katz, cellist Alvin McCall and Lou Kosma on bass...

MMFO principal second violin Laura Frautschi talks about how she prepares, physically, to play her instrument.

Member Since: 2010

Hometown: Pasadena, California

Favorite Non-Musical Activity: Hanging out with my husband and kids--playing card and board games, reading books, getting out to the park.

MMFO principal violist Shmuel Katz opens up about studying with the great Josef Gingold at the Jerusalem Music Center (and a truly sweet, post-concert ritual).

Member Since: 2007

Hometown: Ramat Gan, Israel

First Memorable Musical Experience: Playing a master class for Josef Gingold at age 10. I played Mozart’s “Adelaide” Concerto. Gingold gave every person who finished playing one piece of chocolate. I got three!

MMFO cellist Alvin McCall compares playing in an orchestra to being an athlete.

Member Since: 1986

Hometown: Newport News, Virginia

Favorite Non-Musical Activity: Since I have retired from playing softball (mostly), I watch baseball (let’s go Mets!), Star Trek (TOS and DS-9), Star Wars, and a video of my No. 4 son’s performance of The Nutcracker.

MMFO bassist Lou Kosma reveals Mozart's modern side and how he could, quote, "out-Schoenberg" Arnold Schoenberg.

Member Since: 2011

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

On His iPod: Lady Gaga?

Lincoln Center's 2015 Mostly Mozart Festival continues Wednesday, August 19 at 7:30 with violinist/conductor Joshua Bell playing/leading J.S. Bach's Violin Concerto in E Major, BWV 1042 and the glorious "Chaconne" (orchestrated by Mendelssohn). Englishman Andrew Manze will then lead the festival orchestra in Schumann's Symphony No. 2 in C Major.

Want even more Schumann? Get there an hour early to hear a pre-concert recital of Liederkreis, Op. 24 by baritone Tyler Duncan with Erika Switzer at the piano.

To purchase tickets, just click here.

Finally, on Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22, Mostly Mozart 2015 at Lincoln Center will conclude with Haydn's epic oratorio, The Creation. Maestro Langrée's back with the baton, alongside soprano Sarah Tynan, tenor Andrew Staples, bassist Brindley Sherratt and the James Bagwell-prepped Concert Chorale of New York.

Click your mouse here to buy tickets for 7:30 on Friday; click here for Saturday night's repeat.

Until then, vote for your favorite MMFO string player--Laura, Shmuel, Alvin or Lou--below.

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TagsMostly Mozart, Mozart Minute, Lincoln Center, Laura Frautschi, Shmuel Katz, Alvin McCall, Lou Kosma, Louis Langree, Meet the Orchestra