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Biography

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, the Dallas Symphony, and the Montreal Symphony. He continues an active schedule of solo and chamber music performances in the US and abroad including appearances with the Ojai FestivalFrankly Music, the Nara Academy in Nara, Japan, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Music in the Vineyards, and various solo appearances with orchestras. He has been a member of the chamber group An die Musik in New York City since 1997, and also directs the highly successful 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.

In addition to his work with An die Musik, Mr. Almond’s talent as a chamber musician has generated collaborations over the years with many of today’s well-known institutions, including the  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center , the  Hal Leonard Corporationthe Ravinia FestivalLa Jolla SummerfestMusic in the Vineyards, and numerous other summer festivals.

He has recorded for AVIE, Summit, Albany, Boolean (his own label), Innova, Newport Classic, Wergo and New Albion and has appeared numerous times on NPR’s Performance Today. In both 2002 and 2004 An die Musik received Grammy nominations for its “Timeless Tales” series. The re-release of Mr. Almond’s recording of the complete Brahms Sonatas, performed in collaboration with pianist William Wolfram, brought extraordinary critical acclaim.  BBC Music Magazine  wrote, “…the disc ends with an explosive finale which reaffirms the players’ unassailable technical mastery and absolute temperamental harmonization.” A review from  American Record Guide  was equally enthusiastic: “…this is easily the greatest Brahms I have ever heard. Almond and Wolfram tower above giants.” It was also listed in the American Record Guide top recordings of 2001.

Frank’s most recent CD with William Wolfram was released on the AVIE label to much acclaim, and was  named a “Best of 2007" by the American Record Guide. His new CD of American violin and piano music was released in 2010 on Innova Recordings with pianist Brian Zeger. A CD of selected works of Samuel Barber was released in 2011, in cooperation with the Hal Leonard Corporation, and included several first editions and the premier recording of is unfinished Sonata for violin and piano. His next recording for AVIE will be released in 2013, chronicling some of the history of the "Lipinski" Stradivarius.

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 and Texas Christian University, and now is on the faculty at Northwestern University.

When he’s not traveling around playing the violin he lives in Milwaukee with his wife and two young daughters.  He plays on a  violin by Antonio Stradivari from 1715, the “ex-Lipinski”. In 2008 he started writing an online column called nondivisi.


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