Born in 1985, Alec Frank-Gemmill ranks among the finest of a new generation of horn players. He is recognised internationally for the beauty of his tone and the keen sense of musicianship he brings to performances of works by a wide range of composers.
Frank-Gemmill has been Principal Horn of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since September 2009. He also appears regularly with other ensembles as soloist, chamber musician or first horn. As a prize-winner of the 2011 Aeolus Wind Competition, he performed Richard Strauss' Horn Concerto No 2 with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker. Other recent highlights include the Serenade for tenor, horn and strings by Britten with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Ligeti's Hamburg Concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Since college, Alec Frank-Gemmill has had a special interest in period performance. Besides playing the classical repertoire on the valveless natural horn with the SCO, he has championed the use of early romantic instruments, such as the piston horn and Vienna horn. He is frequently invited to perform with the Academy of Ancient Music besides other period instrument orchestras.
Contemporary music is another special interest. Frank-Gemmill was a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy under the direction of Pierre Boulez and has a close working partnership with the English composer Jeremy Thurlow (whose horn trios Orion and Unbidden Visions were written especially for him). As part of the Fredener Musiktage Festival Frank-Gemmill performed Ligeti's Horn Trio – this concert was subsequently broadcast on Deutschlandradio Kultur and the festival was awarded the Praetorius Musikpreis.
As a Making Music Young Concert Artist and then a member of the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme for two years, Alec Frank-Gemmill gave dozens of recitals around Britain. He also regularly performs chamber music with groups such as the Hebrides Ensemble, Aurora Orchestra and the Fitzwilliam String Quartet.
Frank-Gemmill is in demand as a guest principal horn with various orchestras in the UK and abroad. Besides frequent appearances with the Philharmonia and London Philharmonic Orchestra, he has recently performed with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. Other projects have taken him to the Staatskapelle Dresden and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Prior to his appointment in Edinburgh, he was Principal Horn of the Tiroler Symphonieorchester in Innsbruck, Austria.
What is your most memorable concert? (either playing or listening)?
The Huelgas vocal ensemble performing works by Michelangelo Rossi in Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, Saintes, France (July 2008)