Things We Love: Picks from Joanna Frankel

Joanna Frankel

Joanna Frankel is the new concertmaster for the Columbus Symphony, the first female concertmaster in the orchestra's history. Born in Philadelphia, Frankel began studying violin at age 3, eventually training at The Juilliard School. Her post-graduate work continued at the Carnegie Hall program “The Academy,” which trains young musicians to be 21st-century arts leaders. Frankel served as concertmaster of The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in South Africa from 2013-16, and was named acting concertmaster in Columbus in 2016. Her first performances as permanent concertmaster for the Columbus Symphony will be the season-opening concerts on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22 and 23. Here are some things she loves.

South African wine

Since my husband and I lived in Durban for four years, we grew attached to the wineries and vineyards of the beautiful Cape area. We joined a South African wine club when we returned to the U.S., and revel in receiving our shipment every quarter. The flavors inspire our cooking too, as it's so fun to pair each bottle with an interesting new recipe.

Zula, our dog

I spend a lot of time working at home from our Downtown apartment, so hanging out with and walking our sweet, 1-year-old black Lab/pit mix, Zula, is a highlight of my day. Sometimes I wander down to the water near Bicentennial Park, run along the path and make it to the fountains that Zula loves to play in.


I'm pretty much in love with all kinds of food, and Columbus has amazing offerings! But you can't beat an excellent Italian eatery with an intimate and trendy vibe. Twinkling lights and wine bottles line the walls and the ambience is cozy and fun, with hearty authentic fare. My husband and I were blown away when we visited for the first time, and it never disappoints.

Pilates and running

I try my best to stay active despite my more sedentary job requirements, and I love the feeling of finding a rhythm with exercise. I used to spin, and would love to continue that, but right now I find balance in core training and cardio. It's really hard to make progress, but when I do, it's incredibly rewarding! 100s is my personal villain.


My husband's father owns a boat and I've always loved going out on the water. I grew up spending summers in Ocean City, New Jersey, and love the feeling of the sand and air. I feel so free on a boat, with the wind and water so close. One day we hope to have our own!