Talented brass musician Rod Franks killed in road crash

Shipley trumpet player Rod Franks

Shipley trumpet player Rod Franks

First published in News
Last updated

A SHIPLEY musician who played with the area's best known brass bands before forging a successful career in London has been killed in a car crash.

Rod Franks, 58, was a trumpeter who was born in Shipley and performed with the Black Dyke, Hammonds and Brighouse and Rastrick bands.

He has been named among the victims of a road crash which claimed the lives of three people on the A1 at Ranby, in Nottinghamshire, at the weekend.

Mr Franks was a passenger in a Vauxhall Astra which was involved in a collision with a Peugeot 206 late on Sunday evening.

Both occupants of the Peugeot, a man and woman from Tyne and Wear were pronounced dead at the scene. Mr Franks was taken to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham where doctors confirmed his death.

The Astra was driven by a 26-year-old who, according to Nottinghamshire Police, sustained minor injuries and was treated at the same hospital.

At the time of his death Mr Franks, who lived in St Albans, Hertfordshire, played with the London Symphony Orchestra, which has paid tribute.

A statement said: "The London Symphony Orchestra is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Roderick (Rod) Franks – a member of the LSO’s trumpet section since 1988.

"Having celebrated 25 years' service last year, 23 of which as Principal Trumpet, Rod had recently requested to step down from his Principal position but to continue playing with the Orchestra.

"Rod had been beset by health issues for over ten years but would never allow them to compromise his supreme professionalism. Hugely respected and immensely popular with members of the Orchestra, conductors and audience alike, Rod will be missed for his ever-welcoming friendliness and brilliant playing."

Mr Franks was a lifelong musician, having started playing the cornet at the age of six and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Near graduation, at the age of 21, he was appointed Principal Trumpet o the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

He spent several years in Norway before returning to the UK to join the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and Principal Trumpet in 1984. After that he was a founder member of the English Brass Ensemble and London Brass.

His career took him to the LSO in 1988 and from 1990 share the Principal Trumpet chair with his former tutor, Maurice Murphy who retired in 2007.

Mr Franks had also been involved in teaching and had been professor of trumpet at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music.

He moved from the Bradford area in the early 1980s

Comments (1)

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9:53pm Tue 22 Jul 14

smitd says...

Went to school with Rod, we both went to Baildon Socondary Modern on West Lane, Baildon think he was a year older than me I left in 1973 when it became a middle school. Remember him well very talented musician then. RIP Rod. The secondary education in those days was for kids who failed the 11plus, Rod didn't do bad for himself he went on to be principal trumpet with London Philamonisc Orchestra I went on and qualified as a lawyer just shows in those days didn't matter we're you came from if you worked hard the sky was the limit.
Went to school with Rod, we both went to Baildon Socondary Modern on West Lane, Baildon think he was a year older than me I left in 1973 when it became a middle school. Remember him well very talented musician then. RIP Rod. The secondary education in those days was for kids who failed the 11plus, Rod didn't do bad for himself he went on to be principal trumpet with London Philamonisc Orchestra I went on and qualified as a lawyer just shows in those days didn't matter we're you came from if you worked hard the sky was the limit. smitd
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