Neil KimelHorn

Neil Kimel


Lincolnwood, Illinois

Where you live now:

Evanston, Illinois

Year you joined the Grant Park Music Festival:


Where did you study?

University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL

What do you love most about your instrument?  

I always enjoy how the horn can be a chameleon in the orchestra sometimes acting as a powerful member of the brass section, blending within the wind section or even coloring the string section with its presence.  

What would you be if you were not a musician?  

I cannot imagine my life without music, but if I had to choose, it would be something involving cinema, architecture, or cooking.

Who would you love to work with in a future musical collaboration (conductors, guest artists) who you have not previously worked with?   

I still have never performed with Yo-Yo Ma, whom I consider to be one of the most poised and musically expressive artists. 

Can you share any memorable stories about your experience with the Grant Park Music Festival?

There are so many memories from so many summers—some even before we resided at the glorious Pritzker Pavilion. In 2006, we performed music of Dimitri Shostakovich arranged to accompany Sergei Eisenstein's cinematic masterwork Battleship Potemkin.  I was kindly asked to co-chair a pre-performance talk on the film before I took to the stage to unite my deep interests in cinema and music.  

What’s on your playlist at the moment?  

Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier as we are about to perform it at Lyric Opera.

Any hobbies?  

I have an insatiable interest in films of all kinds.  I also enjoy cooking a great deal as well as traveling anywhere I can explore local cuisine and unique architecture.