Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) concertmaster, Frank Almond, was one of the first new voices introduced at InsideTheArts.com via his blog, non divisi. His very first post was from January 7, 2008 and since then, he has been a bold voice when examining difficult issues and providing unique insights from a stakeholder role that often treads a razor thin line.
Yesterday, Frank announced that he was putting the blog on indefinite hiatus and although we’re all sad to see him step back, we’re equally fortunate to have him be a part of our larger culture blogging community.
I love writing for nondivisi and have cherished the opportunity to do so, however sporadic the content and quality have been. But with a heavy heart I must inform you that nondivisi is now on indefinite hiatus, due to a serious illness within my immediate family.
I’ve started and abandoned various articles for this blog over the last few months as my life situation became more chaotic and confusing. Perhaps some of you have been faced with the possible loss of a spouse or child due to some situation you never expected to confront. And you would know the indescribable pain and emotional distress that can quickly drain you, even under the best of circumstances.
At the moment I have no choice but to prioritize as best I can, minimizing both my musical and extramusical pursuits to the extent possible.
Many thanks to all of you that have offered poignant messages of support and hope, and I look forward to reviving nondivisi as soon as possible.
Thank you all, and I hope to be back here writing very soon.
Some of my favorite posts from Frank over the years include:
- The very first tease that the Lipiński Strad had been found and would eventually end up in his hands: Violin Hide and Seek, Pt. 1. And odds are, you know how and why the Lipiński became a household name: Alert, Thanks, and a Statement from the Owner, and $100k Reward Offered For Stolen Lipinski Strad,
- Dear President Obama
- Frank has a knack for non-offensive hardline sarcasm: Auditions are fun!
Unlike most musicians in a leadership position, Frank would wade into the murky waters of labor disputes and call them how he saw them:
Frank also made a name for himself by calling out incongruities inside the world of rare string instruments.
- The theme of transparency in an environment of injustice was commonplace in his posts. I particularly loved his post in response to news that a 20 year old intern at NPR had been lifting music without consequence and the station even had her write about it: The darkness of ignorance.
- Last, but certainly not least, Frank has an always sharp wit which he applied equally. One of his most popular posts was the Orchestra Fines article. He even had installments for orchestra managers.
From everyone at Inside The Arts, our hearts go out to Frank and his family during this time.