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. He continues an active schedule of solo and chamber music performances in the US and abroad, has been a member of the chamber group An die Musik in New York City since 1997, and also directs the somewhat notorious Frankly Music Chamber Series based in Milwaukee.
With pianist William Wolfram, a CD of sonatas by Respighi, Janacek, and Strauss was released on the AVIE label, and was named a “Best of 2007” by the American Record Guide. His CD of American violin and piano music was released on Innova Recordings with pianist Brian Zeger and also garnered much press enthusiasm. A CD of selected works of Samuel Barber was released in 2010, in cooperation with the Hal Leonard Corporation. 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. It has received notable press in major news outlets, and was twice featured in a full program of interviews and excerpts on SiriusXM Symphony Hall. In 2015 he premiered Soul of a Nation in New York and Chicago, a new violin concerto from composer Victoria Bond based on the life and writings of Thomas Jefferson. The work was recently recorded for release in 2017.
In February 2018 he and the Milwaukee Symphony performed a new violin concerto by Pierre Jalbert, co-commissioned by the MSO, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
In recent seasons he has occasionally appeared as a conductor, most recently with the Cabrillo Chamber Orchestra (CA), the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Traverse Symphony (MI), on the Frankly Music series with members of the Milwaukee Symphony, and the Berlin Sinfonietta.
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, Northwestern University, and is currently on the faculty as Artist/Teacher of Violin at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. In 2014 he was named to a newly created Johnston Family Artist-in-Residence position at the Milwaukee Youth Symphony.
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 on the Mainstage at The Moth, NPR’s All Things Considered, the BBC World Service, a major investigative feature in Vanity Fair, and the feature documentary Plucked, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019. Mr. Almond is extremely grateful to the Milwaukee Police Department, the FBI, and the thousands of individuals who sent messages of concern and support.