Neil Kimel (Horn) currently serves as second horn with both Chicago’s Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Grant Park Orchestra. Neil came to these roles after receiving a B.A. in Cinema Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Milwauke. Neil was later invited to join the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida where he performed under the baton of its music director, Michael Tilson Thomas. In previous summers, he performed in many different festival orchestras including Spoleto USA, National Orchestral Institute, and the Tanglewood Music Center where he was awarded both the C.D. Jackson Memorial Prize and the Harry Shapiro Award for Outstanding Brass Playing. Neil returned to Chicago where he won the position of second horn with the Grant Park Orchestra. The winters found Mr. Kimel fleeing Chicago’s cold and snow for sunshine and warmth as third horn with the Sarasota (FL) Opera Orchestra. Additionally, he has performed with the Symphony Orchestras of Columbus (OH), Kansas City, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Chicago and the Cleveland Orchestra with whom he toured to Vienna playing in the famed Musikverein.
Sir Andrew Davis appointed Neil to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as second horn in 2008. He is also currently principal horn of the Chicago Philharmonic, a member of Chicago’s Barossa Wind Quintet as well as a chamber music coach at Northwestern University. In 2010 Mr. Kimel was a featured soloist with the Chicago Philharmonic led by conductor Joel Smirnoff.