When Covid struck, this orchestral musician worked as a virologistmain
Joshua Kosman has a fascinating profile in the San Francisco Chronicle of the British horn player Mark Almond, newly appointed associate principal French horn player in the San Francisco Symphony.
Mark, who is 40 and from Boton, Lancs, is a fully qualified physician with a PhD in virology.
Over the last few months, he put on his scientist’s hat and trooped off to the Rosenberg Lab at UCSF, where he’s been doing COVID-19 research as a paid member of the laboratory staff. ‘I’ve been really lucky to have this background in pandemic flu,’ Almond told The Chronicle.
How did that come about?
Almond was the principal horn player in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and then the European Union Youth Orchestra, all while preparing for university on a medical track. ‘I studied pre-clinical medicine at Cambridge; then in my second year I got a phone call from the London Symphony Orchestra, asking me to come play with them. So I made my professional debut at 19, touring Europe with (conductor) Riccardo Chailly…. I had literally just delivered a baby as a medical student when the Philharmonia Orchestra called and offered me the job of third horn.’
Read more here.