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"Make Milwaukee": Week 5 | Frank Almond of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Listen: Here at RadioMilwaukee, our tagline on the musical side is "Diverse Music For A Diverse City." And while we're committed to bringing a forward thinking and relevant mix of music to our listeners, we're always going to miss somebody's taste. In fact, our format prevents us from playing a great deal of music that we as a staff love personally. One hole (that I constantly hear about from my Mother) -- Classical music... but no longer!

Our tour guides have done a spectacular making this city sing, and Julia Taylor from the Greater Milwaukee Committee brought me exactly where I needed to be. She introduced me to Frank Almond, Concertmaster and Principal Violinist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (what a cool name/title, right?). Listen as Frank stands on stage, and extends a sincere and convincing invitation to join him in the world of Classical music:

Frank is one of those rare people who didn't have a moment of unusable tape. He managed to stay consistently and unwavering interesting for the entire 40 minutes we spoke, and this piece probably could have featured any 3 minute run uncut. So, editing was a gift and a curse.

Frank holds a masterpiece


Out takes! Frank sat with one of the most celebrated and treasured instruments in the world, a Stradavarius violin, while I tried to make sense of my awe. In this long clip Frank discusses the instrument's history, what it's like to play such a beautiful instrument, and a whole lot more:

-Frank discusses some early highlights from his career -- seeing Itzhak Perlman and acting as Leonard Bernstein's concertmaster. Not bad:

-When somebody asks me what I do, I tell them I'm a "Producer" or "Radio Producer," and few know much about the details of that job. So I can imagine how a "Concertmaster" feels:

Personally, Frank keeps a really busy schedule and you can catch a lot of it on his personal website. You can also see him performing with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra during their concert season.

P r o duced by: Adam Carr

Adam, Frank, and Julia's 2010 Christmas Card