John Frantzen is a composer whose dynamic and distinctive style has earned high praise from audiences throughout the United States and abroad. Concert highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Memorial, Jordan Hall, Symphony Space, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, China’s Shanxi Television Station Concert Hall, and the Papal Mass with Pope Francis on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Parkway. The premier performance of his orchestra work Beyond a Wild Dream has been broadcast four times on American Public Media’s Performance Today, America’s most popular classical music program broadcast on nearly 300 public radio stations across the country.
On the concert stage Frantzen has fulfilled commissions in all music genres from many professional and university ensembles. Notable commissions include Beyond a Wild Dream for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, In the Half Light for a consortium of ten university wind ensembles, Big City for orchestra for the Manhattan School of Music, Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra, for the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra in Boston, and From Main Street at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Orchestra commissioned John to co-orchestrate and arrange the music for their performance with the 400-member Papal Choir during the Papal Mass on Benjamin Parkway.
Equally conversant in acoustic and electronic music, Frantzen collaborates with directors, visual artists, and choreographers in both New York City and Los Angeles. Credits include Suavecito premiered at the New York International Latino Film Festival, Dumgrot (short) premiered at Columbia University, Auction Day (documentary), Portrait of Maquoketa (documentary) at the National Portrait Gallery, and Subtone premiered at New York’s Symphony Space. Dance collaborations include the Lineage Dance Company, Who Cares if You Listen, and MiMoDa Jazzo Gruppa, Sychncronized Hysterics, Life in a Box. John’s music and sound design has been featured in multi-media art exhibitions at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Figge Art Museum, State Historical Museum of Iowa, and the Dubuque Museum of Art. A former founding member of Synchromy, a Los Angeles based composers' collective, John’s chamber music has been performed at several of the city’s vibrant contemporary music venues.
Frantzen’s honors and awards include prizes in the Second International Frank Ticheli Composition Competition, the Penfield Music Commission Project, seventeen ASCAPlus Awards since 2001, special mention in the Ridgewood Symphony Fanfare Competition, and finalist in the G. Schirmer Young American’s Band Competition. He has received grants from the American Composer Forum, the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. John’s work has been broadcast on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ETWN, Performance Today, and several pubic radio stations, most recently on NPR station WVIK’s Perspective and Sunday Symphonies programs. The German wind ensemble Blaserorchester Sudwind featured Poem for wind ensemble on their Sound Circus CD release Poem.
Programmed by over seventy-five university/professional wind ensembles, Frantzen’s music for wind ensemble has received performances at prestigious national and state conventions including the College Band Directors National Association’s National Convention, National Flute Convention, the Alabama Music Educators Association Conference, the South Dakota Bandmasters Association Conference, the New Jersey Music Educators Association Conference, Indiana All-State Conference, and the Minnesota Music Educators Association Midwinter Conference.
John has been awarded artist residencies at the Millay Colony of the Arts, the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. He has been invited to be a composer-in-residence and guest conductor with music 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. The Naxos Classical Music Label released a recording of the Chicago Folks Operetta production of The Rose of Stambul conducted by Frantzen in 2013.
Frantzen completed graduate studies in composition at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Published by Murphy Music Press, Manhattan Beach Music, Theodore Presser, and ECS Publishing, he currently resides in Chicago where he operates his own music production company Frantzen MusicPress.
John Frantzen is a composer whose dynamic and distinctive style has earned high praise from audiences throughout the United States and abroad. Performed at esteemed venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Memorial, Jordan Hall, China’s Shanxi Television Station Concert Hall and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Frantzen’s commission highlights include the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Manhattan School of Music, Oakwood Chamber Players, New York City’s Corpus Christi Choir, South Shore Conservatory and the Nashua Chamber Orchestra. Under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Orchestra commissioned John to co-orchestrate and arrange the music for their performance with the 400-member Papal Choir during the Papal Mass on Benjamin Parkway. Multi-media art exhibitions at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Figge Art Museum, State Historical Museum of Iowa, and the Dubuque Museum of Art featured his music and sound design Over seventy-five university/professional wind ensembles have performed Frantzen’s works for wind ensemble. Composition prizes include the Second International Frank Ticheli Composition Competition and the Penfield Music Commission Project. Published by Murphy Music Press, Manhattan Beach Music, Theodore Presser, and ECS Publishing, he currently resides in Chicago where he operates his own music production company Frantzen MusicPress.