Gabriela Lena Frank

From Wind Repertory Project
Gabriela Lena Frank


Gabriela Lena Frank (b. September 1972, Berkeley, Calif.) is an American pianist and composer.

Dr. Frank received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Rice University and a doctorate in music composition from the University of Michigan in 2001. She has studied composition with Paul Cooper, William Albright, Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty, and Samuel Jones.

Frank's work often draws on her multicultural background, especially her mother's Peruvian heritage. In many of her compositions, she elicits the sounds of Latin American instruments such as Peruvian pan flute or charango guitar, although the works are typically scored for Western classical instruments and ensembles such as the symphony orchestra or string quartet. She has traveled extensively throughout South America and her pieces often reflect and refract her studies of Latin American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own.

2009 saw Frank receive her first Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a Latin Grammy Award for best Contemporary Classical Music Composition for Inca Dances. She was also the feature of her first PBS documentary entitled "Peregrinos" regarding her residency with the Indianapolis Symphony orchestra where she composed a work inspired by the stories of Latino immigrants in Indianapolis.

In 2020, Dr. Frank received the 25th Annual Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities for her work "weaving Latin American influences into classical constructs and breaking gender, disability and cultural barriers in classical music composition." In 2010 Frank won a United States Artists Fellow award.

Frank is a freelance composer who left her native San Francisco Bay Area in the fall of 2015 to start a farm with her husband in the town of Boonville, California in Mendocino County. In 2017, she founded her own school, the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music ( for emerging composers to work with renowned performers.

Gabriela Lena Frank is a member of the Silk Road Ensemble under the direction of cellist Yo Yo Ma.

Works for Winds