Just in: Top US concertmaster steps down

Just in: Top US concertmaster steps down


norman lebrecht

September 20, 2019

The Milwaukee Symphony has just announced today that Frank Almond will retire as concertmaster at the end of the season. Appointed by Zdenek Mácal, Mr. Almond has served as concertmaster for 25 seasons under Andreas Delfs, Edo de Waart, and now Ken-David Masur.

Following his retirement, Frank will remain with the orchestra as an Artistic Advisor, working closely with Masur and others.

Frank says: ‘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. 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.’

Frank Almond with mentor Joseph Silverstein

Frank came to unwanted international attention when armed robbers stole his Stradivarius in 2014. Happily, he was unharmed, the violin was recovered and the villains went to jail.


  • boringfileclerk says:

    Very sorry to hear of his retirement. He is an officer and a gentleman, and an excellent musician. I wish him well with his future endeavors.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    I am sad to read this news about our local orchestra but it is good that Frank Almond is going out while still at the top of his game. I remember what a (pleasant) shock it was when he first joined the MSO – there had been some good solid concertmasters before him, but none of them had been a violinist of this caliber. Now we’ll go through the process again and it should be very interesting.

    Apropos the photo with his teacher Silverstein, I well remember that MSO concert where Frank played the Bernstein Serenade with Joseph Silverstein conducting.

    Of course everyone locally was deeply concerned by the forceful theft of the Lipinski Strad (and people I know not “into” the music all seemed shocked as to how and why this should become national and international news). Personally I felt Frank sounded best on the Dushkin Strad back when it was on loan to him, but it has been a rare privilege having a violin of this caliber in our city.

    I hope that he continues at least some of the multitude of ways he contributes to music making in Milwaukee.

  • Kyle Wiedmeyer says:

    I believe the MSO has one of the best string sections in the country, and Frank has had to have had something to do with it, even more so than helping choose many of the string players who are currently in it. I trust Frank and Maestro Masur will make the right decision when they choose Frank’s successor.