Robert Frank


Associate Professor of Composition and Theory and Director of Electronic Music




S'hmah! (Listen)

Robert Frank’s music spans many mediums and genres: His orchestral works have been performed in Carnegie Hall in New York, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, The Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, the Mozarteum at the opening of the Salzburg Summer Music Festival, Church of St. Augustin in Paris, the Kremlin in Moscow, and the Caruth Auditorium at SMU. His electro-acoustic music (“EA”) has been featured in prominent computer music concerts throughout the U.S. and abroad in Beijing, Hong Kong, the rain forests of Costa Rica, festivals in the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, the planetarium at the University of North Texas, Dan’s Bar in Denton, Texas, and many other interesting venues. His concerto for Yamaha Disklavier (computer controlled grand piano) with live soloist and orchestra, Der Mozartgeist, was featured as one of two works for computer and orchestra at the 2006 International Computer Music Conference, a recording of which features SMU Meadows Dean Sam Holland on piano.

Many of Frank’s works make use his process of “intentional misquotation” and classical mash-up. (For, as Dr. Who put it: “What good is a quote if you can’t change it?”)

He is a direct descendant of St. Arnulf (Arnold), Bishop of Metz (c. 582 – 640), who is known as the patron saint of brewing, and as such, is both a devout composer of sacred music and practitioner of the art of Zymurgy (the science of fermentation), with his most popular EA composition being Zymurgy, constructed entirely of sounds made by brewing equipment, depicting the drama of the process of fermentation.

Frank’s music is published by Brixton Publications and recorded on several CD labels. He is also author of Beyond the Common Practice: Concepts and Performance Practices for Contemporary Instrumental Music (Linus Publications, Deer Park, N.Y.) and is co-author with Kenneth Metz of Fundamentals for the Aspiring Musician (Routledge, New York, London, 2010). His research is in the field of use of temporal elements in music. Details of all these activities may be found on his website.

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 yourself really like to listen to.” I seek to instill these principles in my students while encouraging them to become creative, confident, competent and equipped for happiness and success after graduation.

Robert J. Frank