Richard Frazier’s musical experience reflects an eclectic mix of classical, jazz, popular, and folk music, and his musical compositions are a natural extension of this great variety. His works for concert band and orchestra, chamber music and solo works have been widely performed and include such perennial favorites as The Emperor Norton March, Lady of the Golden Gate, Bummer and Lazarus, Ocean Beach Serenade, Pas de Deux, and Scenes from a Life. As a music publisher he has recently released the premiere edition of In Memoriam, a work for symphony orchestra composed in 1916 by Sir Arnold Bax, which will be performed and recorded in November 2014 by Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra. His popular textbook for string teachers, Starting Without the Books, has been greeted with positive reviews and a readership eager to employ its innovative concepts. As a conductor, Richard Frazier is known for his crisp interpretations and bel canto phrasing. He was on the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Oregon for eleven years, and in the Bay Area he has created award-winning music programs at The Harker School in San Jose and Roosevelt Middle School in San Francisco. As a music educator, his activities also include work as studio teacher of all of the orchestral strings, as well as his work on the podium. He has appeared throughout the country as a conductor/composer, adjudicator, clinician, coach, and performer. Richard Frazier’s former students number in the thousands, and they enjoy vital, music-filled lives performing in community orchestras and bands, chamber music groups, military ensembles, and professional orchestras, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
As a performer on double bass and tuba, Richard Frazier has appeared in such diverse settings as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, and folk clubs in Chicago and Houston. He has performed with such celebrities as Andy Williams, Nelson Riddle, Tiny Tim, and Don Rickles (yes, he was insulted), as well as jazz greats Arnett Cobb, Jimmy Ford, Ray Baduc, and the master of comedy and jazz mandolin, Jethro Burns of Homer and Jethro. As a classical musician, Mr. Frazier has worked under many renowned conductors, including Sir John Barbirolli, Charles Munch, and Claudio Abbado. In 1978, Mr. Frazier founded a brass quintet, Chicago Chamber Brass, with which he performed throughout the country and abroad for fifteen years and produced recordings that are still prized by brass players worldwide.