Frank Sumner Dodge
Frank Dodge is a cellist and artistic director of chamber music ensembles. Frank began studying the cello at 16. His instructors were Jacobus Langendoen, Alfred Zighera, Aldo Parisot, Pierre Fournier, Eberhard Finke and Maurice Gendron. He founded the Strawbery Banke Chamber Music Festival, Inc. in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and was artistic director and cellist from 1969-1980 and again in 1997. He moved to Berlin, Germany in 1982 and founded the privately supported Spectrum Concerts Berlin in 1988.
Frank attended master classes of Janos Starker and Mstislav Rostropovitch and re-ceived a B.M. from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and a M.Mus. from Yale University. Dodge was founding member of the Portsmouth Chamber En-semble, winners in 1981 of the Artists International Competition in New York.
He lived in New York from 1978-1982 as member of the Opera Orchestra of New York, the St. Lukes Chamber Ensemble, the Orchestra of our Time and as principal cellist of the Stamford Symphony, before moving to Berlin in 1982. From 1983-1993 he per-formed regularly with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and in 1984, Jesús López-Cobos invited him to become a member of the Spanish National Orchestra. A High-lands tour as principal cellist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jaime Laredo followed in the spring of 1985. He has lived in Berlin since.
Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Hampshire Commis-sion on the Arts, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, and the Greater Pis-cataqua Community Foundation supported his USA based endeavors. A two-year fellowship from the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund for Musicians in Boston and two In-dividual Artists Fellowships from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts assisted him with study abroad.
Seeing a gap in the cultural life of the famously musical city of Berlin, Frank founded Spectrum Concerts Berlin in 1988 in what was still West Berlin. The concerts were re-corded by Sender Freies Berlin for National Public Radio. His work in Berlin has been supported by committed private individuals, companies and foundations, including the Ernst von Siemens Foundation in Munich, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Robert Helps Music Trust, the Körber Foundation and the Koussevitzky Music Founda-tion. Former president of Germany Richard von Weizsäcker became honorary chairman in 2002 of the support-circle for Spectrum Concerts Berlin, and he spoke of Frank Dodge as one of those ″great artistic personalities″ that are needed to promote cultural cities. Both concerts and recordings of the ensemble under Dodge's leadership have been highly praised.
In February 2013 Dodge went with three fellow musicians to Prizren, Kosovo, to the music school Lorenc Antoni, to provide encouragement and inspiration where every-thing is missing (rooms, instruments, notes, books), but where young people from different religions and cultures have an opportunity for a peaceful coexistence; a 45-minute documentary film for rbb Radio Brandenburg called ″Sehnsucht Musik - Forgotten Voices″ covered the visit. The musicians returned in May 2014, a visit documented by photographer Adil Razali. The connection is continuing with a long-range campaign to rebuild music schools in Kosovo.
Frank Dodge performs on a cello by Antonio Casini dated 1676 from Modena, Italy, and on a cello by Jebran Yakoub dated 2010 from Cremona, Italy.