Joanna Frankel Named First Female Concertmaster in Columbus Symphony History

Staff Report

The Columbus Symphony today announced the selection of Joanna Frankel as concertmaster. Frankel has been serving as acting concertmaster for the Columbus Symphony since September 2016, and beginning in September 2017, she will assume the role of permanent concertmaster as the 2017-18 season begins. She is the first female in the organization’s history to be awarded the position of Columbus Symphony concertmaster.

As concertmaster, Frankel will be responsible for working closely with Music Director Rossen Milanov and the conducting staff to enhance the artistic product, provide leadership and expertise within the violin section, and serve as a CSO spokesperson within the Columbus community. Frankel currently resides in Columbus and will continue to do so for the length of her tenure with the organization.

Frankel’s first performances as permanent concertmaster for the Columbus Symphony will be the 2017-18 season-opening concerts titled Alpine Symphony, featuring two of the most iconic symphonic landscapes—R. Strauss’ Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony) and Respighi’s I pini di Roma (The Pines of Rome).

Frankel will next perform for the Columbus Symphony’s Summer Night Music series presentation of A Little Night Music at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 13, at the Southern Theatre. The program features the string section of the Columbus Symphony in a conductorless performance of works from Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and To purchase tickets by phone, please call 614-469-0939 or 800-745-3000.

Frankel can also be seen throughout the summer on the stage at the John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons performing in the Columbus Symphony’s two annual, outdoor concert series—Nationwide Picnic with the Pops and Popcorn Pops.

About Joanna Frankel

Born in Philadelphia, Frankel began studying violin at age 3 with The Suzuki Method. She trained in New York at The Juilliard School and received the prestigious ‘William Schuman Prize’ upon graduation. Her post-graduate work continued at Carnegie Hall, where she entered the inaugural class of “The Academy,” a groundbreaking initiative that trains ambitious young musicians to be 21st century arts leaders.

Her concerto and recital appearances have included engagements across the US, as well as The Netherlands, Russia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia, Finland, The Middle East, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Her festival appearances include Marlboro Music Festival, Harare International Festival of the Arts, Johannesburg Mozart Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Centro Cultural Internacional Óscar Niemeyer, La Jolla’s SummerFest, Santa Fe New Music, The Aspen Music Festival, and Spoleto Festival USA.

From 2013-16, Frankel served as first concertmaster of The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in Durban, South Africa, and first violinist of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Principal String Quartet.

She performs on a Gaetano Vinaccia violin, crafted in Naples in 1819.

The CSO is grateful for the financial support provided by Franklin County and the City of Columbus. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The CSO also appreciates the support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city’s artists and arts organizations since 1973, and the Charlotte R. Haller, James W. Overstreet, Kenneth L. Coe, and Jack Barrow funds of The Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the benefit of all its citizens.

About the Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1951, the Columbus Symphony is the longest-running, professional symphony in central Ohio. Through an array of innovative artistic, educational, and community outreach programming, the Columbus Symphony is reaching an expanding, more diverse audience each year. This season, the Columbus Symphony will share classical music with more than 175,000 people in central Ohio through concerts, radio broadcasts, and special programming. For more information, visit

Staff Report