Biography with artist’s statement:
Frederick Frahm was born November 8, 1964, in Hemet, California. His catalog of compositions includes works for organ solo including concert works and chorale preludes, chamber music, art songs and song cycles, music for hand-bells, and several extended works for voices and orchestra including chamber operas and cantatas.
finds a forward motion in
stark contrast between
austerity and density,
motion and stasis,
consonance and dissonance,
melancholy and exuberance.
I strive for symmetry and dialogue
between component and detail
in the formation of a musical architecture.
In this music,
I seek to express a duality of being,
contradiction of meaning,
tension between that which is eternal
and that which is tangible,
opacity and clarity,
mystery and reason.
Frahm is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University where he earned degrees in Church Music and Organ Performance. He studied organ and counterpoint with David Dahl, Gregory Peterson, and Randall McCarty; composition with Gregory Youtz (PLU), Gary Smart (University of Wyoming), Walter Pelz (Concordia University, River Forest), and Roger Briggs (Western Washington University). A significant portion of his extensive catalog of music for liturgy is in print and is represented worldwide by more than a dozen publishers. A full collection of sketches, manuscripts, recordings and correspondence (1982-2011) are archived in the Mortvedt Library at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.
A professional church musician for more than 35 years, Frahm served parishes across the country and most recently for ten years as Director of Music and Principal Organist at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, NM. He has contributed to the Bellingham Herald in Bellingham, WA as a classical music critic and served as an adjunct faculty member of Concordia University in River Forest, IL where he taught counterpoint, music theory & composition, as well as orchestration.
An active performer, Frederick Frahm regularly performs organ recitals in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and as organist and harpsichordist for the New Mexico Philharmonic and Santa Fe Symphony Orchestras. The composer also works with select students in music composition, organ performance, and improvisation.
As a music editor, Frahm recently prepared a new edition of chorale preludes (Opus 123) by 19th century Prussian composer Friedrich Wilhelm Markull published by Augsburg Fortress Publishers, Gallery Music, a collection in two volumes of music for organ and handbells, and the Second Suite for Organ by Seattle Composer Nathan Jensen both of which are published by Zimbel Press.
As a publisher, he recently formed Firehead Editions, a transatlantic composer collective with Huw Morgan and Nicholas Wibberley in London, which offers new music for organ, chorus, a variety of ensembles, and works for the stage.
As an educator, Frahm currently works as a teaching artist (composer) for the Santa Fe Opera company within the ALTO program (Active Learning through Opera). This program works with elementary and middle school age children in the Rio Rancho and Albuquerque public school districts. Students learn the pattern of the Hero’s Journey as codified by mythologist Joseph Campbell, and then work together to create their own chamber operas (libretto, music, staging, and costuming) for public performances.
A past Dean of the Albuquerque Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Frahm performs regularly in recital, is in demand as a teacher and clinician (organ improvisation and hymn playing), and is a strong advocate for the creation of new music for organ.
Frederick Frahm has been married to soprano Susan Frahm since 1987. They reside in Placitas, New Mexico, USA.
Photographs below are by Anne Staveley of Santa Fe, NM. Hi Res files are available upon request. Please acknowledge the photographer appropriately in any print or media reproductions.