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Fred Frith

Fred Frith’ career as performer and composer spans almost 50 years. Although primarily known as a pioneering electric guitarist and improviser, he has remained true to his roots in rock and folk music through bands like Henry Cow, Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, and, most recently, Cosa Brava. Fred’s compositions have been performed by ensembles ranging from Arditti Quartet and the Ensemble Modern to Concerto Köln and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Film music credits include the acclaimed documentaries Rivers and Tides and Touch the Sound by Thomas Riedelsheimer, The Tango Lesson and Yes by Sally Potter, Werner Penzel’s Zen for Nothing, and the award-winning (and Oscar-nominated) Last Day of Freedom, by Nomi Talisman and Dee Hibbert-Jones.
Fred has also created an impressive catalog of music for dance, working with Rosalind Newman and Bebe Miller in New York, François Verret in France, and Amanda Miller in Germany. His hundreds of published recordings are available on Tzadik, Intakt, Winter & Winter, ReR, and his own label Fred Records, among many others. Fred is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzels’ Step Across the Border, cited by Cahiers du Cinéma as one of the 20th Century’s most influential films.
He is currently Professor of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California, and Professor of Improvisation at the Musik Akademie, Basel.