Assistant Principal Second Violin
Alfred Abel has been Concertmaster of the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra since 1986. He is Associate Principal Second Violin of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, a chair he has occupied for 22 years. He was recently appointed Visiting Artist at Kentucky Wesleyan College, where he collaborates with pianist Dr. Diane Earle. Alfred teaches violin and viola at Wabash College and is in his ninth year as conductor of the Wabash College Chamber Orchestra. He co-founded the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony, which he conducted until last year. He has also served as concertmaster of the Kokomo Symphony, conductor of both the Indianapolis Youth Orchestra and the Greater Indianapolis Youth Symphony, adjunct professor of music theory at Butler University and adjunct violin professor at Purdue University.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Abel performs frequently with his wife, violist Colette Grossman Abel, and cellist Margot Marlatt in Trio Amabile. He has toured Germany, Spain and Italy with the St. Alban Quartet, which received favorable reviews in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Barcelona’s El Noticiero. He has coached with many of the world’s pre-eminent chamber musicians, including members of the Tokyo, American, Chillinghirian Quartets, Quartetto Italiano, The Borodin Trio, and the Beaux Arts Trio.
As a violin soloist, Alfred has performed concertos and major solo works of Bach, Brahms, Haydn, Mozart, Ravel, Saint Saens, Sarasate, Sibelius, Vieuxtemps, Vivaldi and John Williams with the Lafayette Symphony, the Kokomo Symphony, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis, the Anderson Symphony, the Carmel Symphony and the Butler University Symphony. He will perform Brahms’ Double Concerto with ‘cellist Polina Umansky and the LSO next season. His performances have been aired on NPR, Indiana cable television, and Southwest German Television.
An active freelancer in Indianapolis, Mr. Abel has served as concertmaster or associate concertmaster of the National Tours of Sound of Music, Titanic, Victor, Victoria!, Showboat, Evita, Peter Pan, Jolson, The King and I, and Carousel. He has also toured and recorded with popular artists such as Pavarotti, Henry Mancini, Julie Andrews, Perry Como, Steve and Eydie, Burt Bacharach, The Moody Blues, Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Roger Williams, Sandi Patti, and Barry Manilow.
Alfred studied with Franco Gulli at the Indiana University Graduate School of Music, with Vartan Manoogian at the North Carolina School of the Arts and Butler University, and with Jackson Wiley at Butler University. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA cum laude in Classics from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and with a BA cum laude in violin performance from Butler University.
Alfred is an enthusiastic (though not very successful) gardener, especially during the winter months when seed catalogs inspire pest-free dreams of summer glory. He raises hybrid tea roses, all of which are promptly devoured by Japanese Beetles, and has one of Indiana’s largest collections of native weeds.
He is married to violist Colette Grossman Abel, and they are the proud parents of Benjamin, age 15 (a violinist, and head choir boy with St. Paul’s Choir), and Clara, age 12 (cellist, pianist and chorister at St. Paul’s) and the sometimes reluctant owners of 3 fish, 2 dogs and a rabbit.