Frank Villella has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s Rosenthal Archives’ staff since 1993, serving as archivist since 2002 and director since 2014. He is responsible for the preservation of and access to collections that document the activities of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Symphony Center.
For the Association, he has co-produced several compilations of archival sound recordings; written for the CSO’s program book and syndicated radio broadcasts; and contributed research to Sir Georg Solti’s Memoirs and biographies of Margaret Hillis, Jacqueline du Pré, Isaac Stern, Bruno Walter and Carlo Maria Giulini. He is the author of Chicago Symphony Orchestra: 125 Moments and the From the Archives blog, and he has written program notes for the DePaul University School of Music, GIA Publications, the Juilliard School and the Decca and RCA Red Seal record labels.
Also an active musician, Villella regularly performs and records with Bella Voce, William Ferris Chorale, The Rookery and Schola Antiqua of Chicago. He was a 20-year veteran of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, where he served as a section leader and appeared on numerous recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, London, Erato, Teldec, Nonesuch, American Gramaphone and CSO Resound, including two Grammy Award winners: Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, conducted by Sir Georg Solti, and Verdi’s Requiem, conducted by Riccardo Muti.
He is chair emeritus of the board of directors for the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago and a board member of the Solti Foundation US. He also has served on the board of governors of the Chicago chapter of the Recording Academy, and the board of directors of Rush Hour Concerts, the International Music Foundation and the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus.