Frank Almond To Celebrate Final Season With The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra After 25 Years As Concertmaster
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) announced today that Frank Almond will conclude his tenure as concertmaster at the end of the 2019-20 season. Appointed by Zdenek Mácal during his final season as music director, Mr. Almond served as concertmaster for 25 seasons under Andreas Delfs, Edo de Waart, and now Ken-David Masur. Following the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, Mr. Almond will remain with the orchestra as an Artistic Advisor, working closely with Maestro Masur and others to contribute to the MSO's continued artistic excellence.
"It has been an immeasurable honor to serve under the direction of such transformative and insightful music directors, and to perform with superb musicians who are treasured by this wonderful community," said Almond. "When I first started with the MSO, I never could have imagined the journey I've uniquely experienced. And while my passion for performing has never waned, now is the right time for me and my family to begin a new chapter. I'm excited by what's in store for this season and look forward to continuing to contribute to the artistic vibrancy of both the MSO and Milwaukee in the years ahead."
As the Charles and Marie Caestecker Concertmaster Chair of the MSO, Almond holds arguably the most prestigious and visible role within the orchestra. As leader of the string section and first violin, Almond also serves as the liaison between the orchestra and the music director. Over his 25 years with the MSO, Almond has led the orchestra to the highest acclaim locally, nationally and internationally. A fitting tribute, the MSO will close its 2019-20 season with Everyone Sang by contemporary composer Helen Grime, with Almond performing one of the most legendary and beloved works for the violin: Bruch's Violin Concerto.
"Frank Almond's dedication, passion and mastery of his craft has endeared him to his colleagues, our patrons, students, partners and so many others," said Ken-David Masur, Music Director, Polly and Bill Van Dyke Music Director Chair of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. "His musical talents are world class, yet he remains uniquely approachable to all those he meets. Over the years, Frank has given so much of himself to the MSO, to Milwaukee and to his craft, and has earned every accolade bestowed upon him. I'm honored to have the opportunity to partner with Frank during his last season performing with the orchestra and am grateful he will remain part of the MSO family into the future."
"Frank and I have worked together for many years," said Mark Niehaus, president and executive director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. "We were students together at Juilliard, served as colleagues in the orchestra, and collaborated to expand the reach and impact of the MSO. In those ways and so many others, Frank is indelibly united with our MSO family. I'm looking forward to joining our orchestra, patrons and community in celebrating Frank and his many accomplishments throughout this season."
The MSO will soon begin the process to identify its next concertmaster. In an orchestra, this critical role is played by a violinist who is among the very best performers in the world. As such, the search will be international in scope.
About Frank Almond
Violinist Frank Almond holds the Charles and Marie Caestecker Concertmaster Chair at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He has also held the Concertmaster position with the Rotterdam Philharmonic with Valery Gergiev and Guest Concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra with Kurt Masur.
Almond regularly performs as a soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. He is the founder of his own chamber music series in Milwaukee, Frankly Music, now in its 16th season and consistently recognized for innovative programming and its ability to attract leading performers from around the world.
At 17, he was one of the youngest prizewinners in the history of the Nicólo 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. His extensive recording discography includes a wide range of repertoire on various labels that have garnered multiple Grammy nominations.
His most recent series of recordings, A Violin's Life, chronicles the extraordinary history and lineage of his current violin, the 1715 Lipiński Stradivarius. This instrument has direct ties to Giuseppe Tartini, Edvard Grieg, Johannes Brahms, and Robert and Clara Schumann.
Community outreach and giving back to the Milwaukee community are also at the heart of Almond's artistic priorities. He mentors young musicians of all performing levels and backgrounds and performs in nontraditional venues where classical music has a rare and unusual presence.
Almond holds two degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay. Other important mentors and teachers were Michael Tseitlin, Felix Galimir, and Joseph Silverstein. He currently serves on the Faculty at Roosevelt University in Chicago and is the Artist-in-Residence at the Milwaukee Youth Symphony, one of the largest youth arts programs in the United States. Previous teaching positions include positions at Northwestern University and Texas Christian University.
More information about Frankly Music, A Violin's Life and the Lipiński Stradivarius is available at www.frankalmond.com.
About the MSO
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Ken-David Masur, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee. The MSO's 70 full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. A pioneer among American orchestras, the MSO has performed world and American premieres of works by John Adams, Roberto Sierra, Phillip Glass, Geoffrey Gordon, Marc Neikrug, and Matthias Pintscher, as well as garnered national recognition as the first American orchestra to offer live recordings on iTunes. Now in its 48th season, the orchestra's nationally syndicated radio broadcast series, the longest consecutive-running series of any U.S. orchestra, is heard annually by more than two million listeners. The MSO's standard of excellence extends beyond the concert hall and into the community, reaching more than 40,000 children and their families through its Arts in Community Education (ACE) program, Youth and Teen concerts, and Family Series.
Photo by Jennifer Brindley