Rodney Friend

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Rodney Friend MBE (born in Bradford, 1939) is an English violinist.

Born in Bradford, Friend's father was a local tailor. At the age of 12 he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music after Sir Reginald Thatcher, the then principal of the R.A.M, heard Friend perform for the first time.[1] Friend also studied subsequently at the Royal Manchester College of Music.

At the Royal Academy of Music, Friend studied under the tutelage of Frederick Grinke.[2] He later studied with Endre Wolf, Menuhin and Szeryng.

In 1964 Friend became the youngest ever leader/concertmaster of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, working closely with Bernard Haitink, Barenboim, Solti and Giulini. In 1975 he was invited by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to be their Concertmaster, playing concerts and recording worldwide with Bernstein, Boulez and Mehta.[3]

In 1991 he formed the Solomon Trio with whom he toured Europe extensively.[4]

In 2008 the first two volumes of his books The Orchestral Violinist were published.[5]

Friend is at present an artistic director at Cambridge International String Academy at Trinity College, Cambridge.[6] He plays a violin made by Giuseppe Guarneri dated 1696.[7]

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to music.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Image: IMG_2749.jpg, (1936 × 2592 px)". 2 November 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Rodney Friend". Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Solomon Trio | Discography | AllMusic". Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Rodney Friend Offers Advice to the Young Orchestral Violinist". Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Cambridge International String Academy 2015". Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Cambridge International String Academy 2013 - Faculty I". 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 61092. p. N19. 31 December 2014.
  9. ^ "2015 New Year Honours List" (PDF). Retrieved 1 September 2015.