Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pamela Frank

Pamela Frank is an American violinist and teacher born (in New York City) on June 20, 1967.  She is now best known as a chamber music player and teacher, although she has performed as a soloist with many of the world’s top orchestras and conductors.  In the early 2000s she had to stop performing due to a serious (hand) injury suffered in 2001.  In that regard, she joins (among others) Rodolphe Kreutzer, Jascha Heifetz, Bronislaw Huberman, Fritz Kreisler, Erick Friedman, Maxim Vengerov, Emanuel Vardi, Kyung Wha Chung, Hilary Hahn, and Jacques Thibaud, each of whom had their career interrupted by hand or arm injuries.  After extensive rehabilitation, she returned to the stage in August of 2012.  She has taught at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore (since 2003), the Curtis Institute (since 1996) in Philadelphia, and the State University of New York.  She has also served on several juries of violin competitions around the world and played at various music festivals, including the well-known Verbier, Salzburg, and Ravinia festivals.  Frank has also frequently given masterclasses in Europe, Israel, Canada, and the U.S.  She is fluent in German, French, and (of course) English but is one of the few violinists who does not have a website.  Frank began her studies at age 5, studying violin privately with Shirley Givens for about eleven years.  She then studied further with Szymon Goldberg (1909-1993) and Jaime Laredo.  Her formal (public) debut took place in 1985 at New York's Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra under Alexander Schneider.  She was 18 years old.  She had been a section player with that ensemble since the age of 15.  Frank later debuted a second time in Carnegie Hall playing a recital there in April of 1995.  She graduated from the Curtis Institute in 1989, presenting her graduation recital on February 15, 1989, playing works by Bach, Ysaye, Kreisler, Schubert, and Beethoven.  She first appeared with the New York Philharmonic on October 27, 1994, playing the Dvorak concerto.  Leonard Slatkin was on the podium.  Her second and last appearance with the orchestra was on December 1, 1998.  On that occasion she played Mozart’s third concerto.  Andre Previn conducted.  On September 11, 1996, she appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic alongside cellist Clemens Hagen playing the Double Concerto by Johannes Brahms.  Daniel Harding was on the podium.  She was 29 years old.  Her father, the pianist Claude Frank (1925-2014), often accompanied her in recital.  (Leonid Kogan and his pianist daughter (Nina) often played together too.)  In December of 1997, she and her father presented the entire Beethoven sonata cycle at London's Wigmore Hall.  Frank’s discography is not extensive although it includes the complete Mozart concertos and the complete Beethoven and Brahms Sonatas.  Her playing is featured in the soundtrack to the movie “Immortal Beloved.”  Among other violins, Frank has played a Guarnerius Del Gesu from 1736 known as the Wieniawski.  Here is a YouTube audio file of one of her Beethoven performances.  Photo is courtesy of Nicolas Lieber 


  1. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. I went to the link on YouTube you provided here but I was unable to hear it, YouTube says that it is unavailable.

  2. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. I went to the link on YouTube you provided here but I was unable to hear it, YouTube says that it is unavailable.

    1. Thanks for the warm greetings Linda. It worked when I tested it on the posting date and again just now. I haven't a clue why it didn't respond when you clicked the link. :-(