Frank Almond

 

Violinist Frank Almond holds the Charles and Marie Caestecker Concertmaster Chair at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He returned to the MSO after holding positions as Concertmaster of the Rotterdam Philharmonic with Valery Gergiev, and Guest Concertmaster of the London Philharmonic with Kurt Masur. Other Guest Concertmaster appearances have included the Seattle Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Dallas Symphony, and the Grand Tetons Music Festival.

He continues an active schedule of solo and chamber music performances in the US and abroad. He has been a member of the chamber group An die Musik in New York City since 1997, and also founded and directs the much loved and somewhat notorious Frankly Music Chamber Series based in Milwaukee. At 17, he was one of the youngest prizewinners in the history of the Nicolo Paganini Competition in Genoa, Italy, and five years later was one of two American prizewinners at the Eighth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, which was documented in an award-winning PBS film. Since then, he has kept up an eclectic mix of activities in addition to his concertmaster duties, appearing both as a soloist and chamber musician.

Mr. Almond holds two degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay. Other important teachers included Michael Tseitlin, Felix Galimir, and Joseph Silverstein. He has held academic positions at San Diego State University, Texas Christian University, and Northwestern University. He is currently on the faculty as Artist/Teacher of Violin at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

In April 2013 AVIE released "A Violin's Life", featuring works and composers directly associated with the "Lipinski" Stradivarius, charting in the Billboard Top 10 in its first week of release. In December 2011, he appeared in concerts and masterclasses in Poland to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Karl Lipinski performing on his former violin. In 2015, Almond presented a series of concerts and master classes both in U.S. and abroad commemorating the 300th birthday of the violin, featuring works from both "A Violin's Life" and other music connected with the overall history of the instrument.

On January 27, 2014, the "ex-Lipinski" Stradivari was stolen from Mr. Almond in an armed robbery after a concert. The violin was recovered nine days later, and the story continues to make headlines around the world, most recently with NPR’s All Things Considered and a major investigative feature in Vanity Fair. In December 2014 the BBC World Service will profile Mr. Almond along with the history of the violin and recent theft. Mr. Almond is extremely grateful to the Milwaukee Police Department, the FBI, and the thousands of individuals who sent messages of concern and support.