Bio

Photo by Anne Staveley

Frederick Frahm was born November 8, 1964, in Hemet, California. A prolific composer, his catalog of compositions includes works for organ, choral music, chamber pieces, art song and song cycle, symphony and concerto, and extended works including operas and cantatas.

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 (particularly church music) is in print and is represented worldwide by more than a dozen publishers. A collection of his early sketches, manuscripts, recordings and correspondence are archived in the Mortvedt Library at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.

A professional church musician for more than 40 years, Frahm served parishes across the country including eight years at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Bellingham, WA and for ten years as Director of Music and Principal Organist at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, NM. He currently serves as the Parish Musician at St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Albuquerque.

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 16th century counterpoint, music appreciation, theory and composition, as well as orchestration.

As a publisher, he co-formed Firehead Editions and Firehead Organ Works, two transatlantic composer collectives which offer new music for organ, chorus, a variety of chamber ensembles, with composer and conductor Huw Morgan in London.

As an educator, Frahm currently works with Santa Fe Opera Company as a teaching artist and resident composer for their community-wide Active Learning through Opera program. In the course of a school term, students work together to create their own chamber operas (libretto, music, staging, and costuming) for public performances. This program works with elementary and middle school age children public school districts in Northern New Mexico.

A past Dean of the Albuquerque Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Frahm is in demand as a teacher and clinician (especially on the topics of hymn improvisation and service playing), and is a strong advocate for the creation of new music for organ.