Distinguished Violinist Pamela Frank Joins Faculty In Collaboration With Physical Therapist Howard Nelson


Pamela Frank & Howard Nelson (Photo credit: Nicolas Lieber)

Beginning in the Fall 2018, USC Thornton will welcome internationally renowned violinist Pamela Frank to the Strings faculty along with physical therapist Howard Nelson, an expert in movement-related impairments.

Frank, a celebrated violinist and pedagogue, was recognized in 1999 with the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, and has throughout her performing career appeared with many of the most celebrated orchestras and chamber music colleagues of our time. She is professor of violin at the Curtis Institute of Music and teaches and coaches annually at the Tanglewood, Ravinia and Verbier Festivals. As an adjunct professor and visiting artist at USC Thornton, she will teach a studio of graduate students while continuing her primary position at the Curtis Institute.

“We in the Strings department at the USC Thornton School of Music are thrilled and excited to welcome Pamela Frank and Howard Nelson to our faculty,” said Ralph Kirshbaum, the Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello and Chair of the Strings department. “Pamela will offer to a select number of graduate violin students the opportunity to study intensively with one of today’s most accomplished and inspirational musicians, and Howard will enhance the impact of their time with us by observing, treating, and following up on any physical problems that can at any moment challenge hard-working strings students.”

The New York-based Nelson has been a physical therapist for 28 years. He worked for ten years at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, and is currently in private practice. From 2007 to 2014, he taught a course on movement system impairments for Columbia University’s physical therapy program. An expert in movement-related impairments, Nelson analyzes how postures and movements can be the cause of injury and pain. His physical therapy practice is focused on treating the biomechanical causes of injuries by modifying faulty movement patterns.

During the last few years, Nelson has been applying movement analysis principles to musicians, and together with Frank the two have launched Fit as a Fiddle Inc., a collaboration in which they use their expertise for injury prevention and treatment of musicians.

In addition to her many performance and teaching responsibilities in the U.S., Frank has an extensive international calendar where she has begun bringing the message of musician wellness around the globe. She sees that the potential for injury in musicians of all ages is a growing cause for concern.

“Because of my experience with a career-threatening injury, and my recovery — thanks to physical therapist Howard Nelson — I feel the need to describe my problem and his expertise in solving it,” she said. “It is my hope that, together, we can assist a growing population of untreated individuals, as well as those at risk, to prevent problems before they become career-threatening.”

Frank and Nelson will continue their collaboration at USC Thornton through their work with the students of the renowned Strings program. Their one-year appointments begin in the Fall 2018 semester.

TAGS: Classical Performance and Composition, Strings,

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