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John Frantzen is a dynamic composer and conductor whose distinctive style, combining exciting electro-acoustic soundscapes with a diverse orchestral palette, has earned high praise from audiences throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Concert highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Memorial, Jordan Hall, Symphony Space, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, China’s Shanxi Television Station Concert Hall, and the Papal Mass with Pope Francis on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Parkway. Recently, his orchestra work Beyond a Wild Dream was featured 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 multitudes of 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. In 2015, John was commissioned to co-orchestrate and arrange ten hymns for the Philadelphia Orchestra and the 400 member Philadelphian Archdiocesan Choir, under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, providing the liturgical music for the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Parkway during Pope Francis’s Visit to the United States.

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 Suavecita 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. In 2010 he became a member of Synchromy, a Los Angeles based composers' collective that has become a vital part of the city’s vibrant contemporary music scene. 

Frantzen’s honors and awards include second prize in the 2nd International Frank Ticheli Composition Competition, first prize in the Penfield Music Commission Project, fourteen 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, 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 music has been broadcast on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ETWN 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 sixty university/professional wind ensembles, Frantzen’s music for wind ensemble has also 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 invited to be an artist-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 Manhattan Beach Music and Theodore Presser, he currently resides in Los Angeles where he operates his own music production company Frantzen MusicPress.