One-year visiting appointment will see Avery Fisher Prize winning violinist working with graduate students in tandem with movement related injury specialist
Violinist Pamela Frank will be joining the strings faculty of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music as an adjunct professor and visiting artist for the 2018/19 academic year. She will be teaching graduate violin students and working in tandem with long-term collaborator physical therapist Howard Nelson.
Frank, who is retaining her professorial post at the Curtis Institute of Music, first worked with Nelson when her own playing career was put on a decade-long hiatus due to injury.
‘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.’
Ralph Kirshbaum, chair of the Thornton School strings department, said:
‘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.’
According to a statement released by the school, Nelson is ‘an expert in movement-related impairments’ who ‘analyses 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.’
Frank and Nelson have developed a cooperation based on applying his techniques to musicians, considering treatment but crucially also injury prevention.