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John Frantzen

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John Frantzen


John Frantzen (b. 1964, Maquoketa, Iowa) is an American composer and conductor.

John completed graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City working with composer Richard Danielpour along with conductors David Gilbert and Giampaolo Bracali. Past teachers include John Heiss and W. A. Mathieu.

John is a dynamic composer and conductor whose distinctive style, which combine exciting electro-acoustic soundscapes with a diverse orchestral palette, has earned high praise from audiences throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. On the concert stage Frantzen has fulfilled commissions from a variety of professional and university ensembles. Notable commissions include Beyond a Wild Dream for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Mark Russell Smith, Big City for orchestra, for the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra, for the Cambridge Symphony in Boston, In the Half Light for a consortium of ten university wind ensembles, and From Main Street at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. In 2015,

Equally conversant in acoustic and electronic music, John has collaborated with directors and visual artists in New York City and Los Angeles. Recent credits include Suavecito premiered at the New York International Latino Film Festival, Dumgrot (short) premiered at Columbia University, and Subtone premiered at New York’s Symphony Space. Frantzen’s music and sound design has been featured in multi-media art exhibitions at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Figge Art Museum, and the Dubuque Museum of Art. In 2010 he became a member of Synchromy, a Los Angeles based composers' collective and new music ensemble.

Frantzen’s honors and awards include artist residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. He also won the second prize in the 2nd International Frank Ticheli Composition Competition, first prize in the Penfield Music Commission Project, thirteen ASCAPlus Awards since 2001, Subito grant from the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Composers Forum, North/South Consonance Chamber Orchestra Call for Scores, and finalist in the G. Schirmer Young American’s Band Competition. The German wind ensemble Blaserorchester Sudwind featured Poem for wind ensemble on their Sound Circus CD release Poem. His music has been heard on public radio broadcasts, most recently on NPR station WVIK’s Perspective and Sunday Symphonies programs.

John has been invited to be an artist-in-residence and guest conductor with various ensembles throughout the United States. In 2011 he conducted the American premiere of the Leo Fall’s operetta, The Rose of Stambul, with the Chicago Folks Operetta. His orchestra work Beyond a Wild Dream has been featured five times on Performance Today, America’s most popular classical music program.

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