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Frank Ferko

View Music by Frank Ferko

Choral  |  Harpsichord  |  Opera  |  Organ  |  Recordings  |  Vocal

New Releases: Spring 2017  |  July 2017


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Biography

Frank Ferko's music has been heard in live performances and radio broadcasts around the world. Recognized by critics as a master of text setting and a composer for a cappella vocal ensembles, Mr. Ferko is a highly sought after composer of new choral music. His works have been performed by some of the most highly regarded choral ensembles, organists, and vocal soloists of our time.

International festivals which have presented Mr. Ferko's organ and choral works include the Festival Oude Muziek (Netherlands), Jusq'aux oreilles (Montreal), and American venues include national conventions of the ACDA, Chorus America, and the American Guild of Organists. Among the distinguished choral ensembles from around the world that have performed his choral works are the Nederlands Kamerkoor, VU-Kamerkoor (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam), Oost-Nederlands Kamerkoor (The Netherlands), Jubilate Singers (New Zealand), Commotio, BBC Singers, Trinity College Choir, Londinium, Holst Singers (United Kingdom), Harvard Glee Club, Volti (San Francisco), Cantori New York, Cerddorion, Conspirare, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Seattle Pro Musica, Choral Arts (Seattle), Opus 7, The Esoterics, Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, BYU Singers, Magnum Chorum, Ars Nova Singers, South Bend Chamber Singers, and Bella Voce (Chicago ensemble formerly known as His Majestie's Clerkes). Distinguished solo artists who have performed his works include sopranos Sylvia McNair, Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Nancy Gustafson and Claudia Patacca; tenors Brian Manternach, Michael Hume and Kurt Hansen; baritones Nathan Gunn, Robert Orth, Keith Phares, and Jeffrey Ray; duet keyboardists Timothy and Nancy LeRoi Nickel, Marilyn and James Biery, and Colin Andrews and Janette Fishell, as well as organists David Schrader, Patrick Wedd, Robert Huw Morgan, David Craighead, Larry Palmer, Dana Robinson, Jonathan Dimmock, McNeil Robinson, Leonard Raver; Russian harpsichordist Tatiana Zenaishvili; and saxophonists Frederick Hemke, Jasmin Lelande, Harry White, and Gail Levinsky. Mr. Ferko's works are published exclusively by E. C. Schirmer Music Company, and they have been recorded on more than 30 compact discs released on such labels as Arsis, Cedille, Gasparo, Herald, Hyperion, Loft, Pro Organo and Raven.

As an organist, Mr. Ferko has presented concerts across the U.S. and in Western Europe. His performance of his own Hildegard Organ Cycle was recorded on Arsis compact disc, and his work as a pianist can be heard on the 3-CD set of music by Julius Eastman, titled Unjust Malaise, released by New World Records.

A scholar of the music of Olivier Messiaen, Mr. Ferko has lectured on Messiaen's organ music and has performed many of Messiaen's works in concert. He has also written articles for The American Organist on avant-garde music in the church and on the organ music of the Swiss composer Marc Briquet.

Mr. Ferko's compositions based on his research on the life, music, and writings of Hildegard von Bingen have gained international attention, and during the summer of 1998 Mr. Ferko was invited to perform his Hildegard Organ Cycle at the Holland Festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht (Netherlands), a performance which marked the European premiere of the work. This was followed by the West Coast U.S. premiere of the work at the Cathedral of St. Mary in San Francisco. Similarly, Ferko's Hildegard Motets have been performed by professional and college choirs across America, and his articles about the music of Hildegard and her influence on present-day composers have appeared in the British music journal Choir & Organ. Mr. Ferko's profile articles about significant American music ensembles and solo artists of our time have also appeared in Choir & Organ and The Diapason.

From 2001 to 2003 Mr. Ferko held the position of Composer-in-Residence with the Dale Warland Singers, long regarded as one of America's finest a cappella choirs. Mr. Ferko has also been the recipient of awards and/or grants from the American Composers Forum, American Music Center, ASCAP (every year from 1989 to 2014), American Guild of Organists, Jerome Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund, Meet the Composer, Arts International, and the Illinois Arts Council. He currently spends his time between Berkeley and New York.

 

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