About Me

In Short

Robert J. Frank (b. 1961) holds degrees from Minnesota State University, Mankato and the University of North Texas. His music has won awards from ASCAP, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Theodore Presser New Choral Music Competition, and been performed around the world. His orchestral works have received numerous commissions and performances by ensembles including I Palpiti, the Meadows Symphony, the Richardson Symphony, Clemson Symphony, Dallas Wind Symphony and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. His music is frequently performed on conferences and festivals throughout the world, including the Viva Vivaldi International Arts Festival in Mexico City;Regional, National and International conferences of the College Music Society; Bowling Green (Ohio) New Music & Arts Festival, Setkani Theatre Festival in the Czech Republic, International Computer Music Conferences in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Miami; International Trumpet Guild, National Flute Association (USA), Percussive Arts International Conference, the Lwow (Ukraine) Music Festival; International Festival of Contemporary Music "Nauryz-21" (Kazakhstan), and the Mozarteum Summer Music Program under the auspices of the Salzburg Summer Music Festival. His music is published by Brixton Publications and www.robertfrankmusic.com and recorded on several CD labels. He is also author of Beyond the Common Practice: Concepts and Performance Practices for Contemorary Instrumental Music (Linus Publications, Deer Park, NY, USA). He is also co-author with Kenneth Metz of Fundamentals for the Aspiring Musician (Routledge, New York, London). He is currently Associate Professor and Co-ordinator of the Department of Music Composition at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Artistic Statement

As a composer, I am guided by two principles: "Whatever you do, do it by intent , not out of ignorance" and "Write music that you would really like to hear." I enjoy composing for all mediums; vocal, dramatic, chamber, orchestral, and electronic, although even in the last category I prefer to include the spontaneous and expressive element of a live performer.

The 20th Century has seen a great deal of exploration and experimentation. As a 21st Century composer, I attempt to glean and unify the languages and idioms I find most interesting into a universal, coherent and expressive statement. Consonant or dissonant harmonies, precisely metered or aleatorically free rhythms; I see them all as existing as different degrees on the same scale. The music I find most interesting is that which smoothly and gracefully moves along this scale, morphing and transforming from one level to another in a balanced, aesthetically pleasing manner. I strive to write challenging but idiomatic music with some element of freedom so that the performer's expressive capabilities are allowed to come through, yet never surrendering authorship of the music itself.

My hope is that my music inspires both the performer's and listener's imaginations with imagery and metaphors conveying those feelings and ideas that go beyond the capacity of words to express: that which compels one to compose.

Long Biography

Robert J. Frank (b. 1961 in Mankato, MN) holds degrees from Minnesota State University, Mankato (B.A. 1985, B.M. 1986) and the University of North Texas (M.M. 1988, D.M.A. 1995), where he studied with Martin Mailman, Phil Winsor, Cindy McTee and Larry Austin and participated in master classes and worked with John Corigliano, Samual Adler, and Witold Lutoslawski. He has lectured on the topic of computer music at several universities in South Korea (1996) under funding from the Korean National Foundation of the Arts and is a frequent guest lecturer on that topic at conferences and art/science museums around the United States. He has served on the faculty of the University of North Texas (1995-96), Central Washington University (1996-97) and since 1997 at Southern Methodist University, where he is currently Associate Professor and Co-ordinator of the Department of Music Composition.


His music is regularly performed around the world, from Carnegie Hall to local bars, all of which are thoroughly enjoyed. Robert Frank's music has earned recognition by ASCAP ("Special Distinction", 2008 Rudolph Nisim Competition) the Homage to Mozart International Blitz-Competition (Finalist) held by the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (1988 Young Composers Reading Session), Ithaca College (1993 Theodore Presser New Choral Music Competition, First Place), and the University of North Texas Orchestra (1992). More recently, his works have been frequently commissioned by and performed on conferences and festivals including the 2001 Percussive Arts Society International Conference (commission/premiere); National Flute Association (2000, 2001 commissions/premieres); Viva Vivaldi Intl. Arts Festival, Mexico City (commission/premieres 2001, 2004, and 2009, when he was named composer in residence); 2000 Bowling Green New Music & Arts Festival, 2000 Setkani Theatre Festival in the Czech Republic (commission), International Computer Music Conference (2006 Miami, 1999 Beijing, 1996 Hong Kong), Society for Electro Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS 99); Lwow Music Festival (1997) and numerous regional venues. In 2000, his Quartet for piano, clarinet and real-time computer was written for, and premiered on, the opening concert of the 25th anniversary season of the new music ensemble Voices of Change with funding through a grant from Southern Methodist University. His orchestral works have received numerous commissions and performances by ensembles including the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonietta de Paris, I Palpiti, the Meadows Symphony, the Richardson Symphony, Clemson Symphony, Dallas Wind Symphony and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. His music is frequently performed on conferences and festivals throughout the world, including the Viva Vivaldi International Arts Festival in Mexico City; Bowling Green (Ohio) New Music & Arts Festival, Setkani Theatre Festival in the Czech Republic, International Computer Music Conferences in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Miami; the Lwow (Ukraine) Music Festival; International Festival of Contemporary Music "Nauryz-21" (Kazakhstan), and the 2005 Mozarteum Summer Music Program under the auspices of the Salzburg Summer Music Festival. His frequent performances on concert venues and radio broadcasts have earned him ASCAP Standard/Plus awards every year since 1998. His music is published by Brixton Publications and www.robertfrankmusic.com and recorded on several CD labels. He is Vice President of the Texas Computer Musicians Network.


Robert Frank is also the author of Beyond the Common Practice: Concepts and Performance Practices for Contemorary Instrumental Music (Linus Publications, Deer Park, NY, USA). He is also co-author with Kenneth Metz of Fundamentals for the Aspiring Musician (Routledge, New York, London). This textbook also includes the first fully integrated hypertext (programmed by Frank) on the included CD. For more information on these books, his music, or his research in the field of temporal cognition of music, please visit his web site at www.robertfrankmusic.com.