Tragedy in the orchestra: LSO loses trumpet player in road smash

Tragedy in the orchestra: LSO loses trumpet player in road smash


norman lebrecht

July 21, 2014

Statement just in from the London Symphony Orchestra:


It is with much sadness that the London Symphony Orchestra announces that LSO Trumpeter Rod Franks died last night after a car accident. Rod had been enjoying a day at the Open Golf Championship and was being driven back home when their car was involved in a serious accident on the motorway in Nottinghamshire. The driver, a friend of the family, survived.


Rod had excelled in the role of Principal Trumpet of the LSO for 25 years and had recently requested to retire from that seat and occupy the No.3 Trumpet chair. Rod had been beset by health issues for over ten years but would never allow them to compromise his professionalism, often bravely appearing the morning after an episode the night before.


This is a very sad day for the LSO and Rod will be missed hugely for his ever-welcoming friendliness and brilliant playing.

rod franks




Our sympathies to Rod’s Families and colleagues. He will indeed be deeply missed.

Here is his celebrated, typically modest masterclass on Mahler’s 6th symphony.

Tributes here.



  • Mike O'Farrell says:

    Inexpressibly bereft by this unjust, devastating news. Rod was a childhood hero, a musical inspiration, and more recently a mentor and friend. A wonderful kind, warm man with time for everyone, and a deeply skilled virtuoso musician. I have lost my teacher and friend, and the world has lost an outstanding orchestral trumpeter and human being. Words fail.

  • Harold Braun says:

    Horrible news.And what gruesome irony that he died in a road smash after having beaten cancer succesfully and started again after brain surgery!