Discipline: Music Composition

Frank Ticheli

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Pasadena, CA
MacDowell Fellowships: 1990, 1994, 2001, 2004, 2023

Frank Ticheli is an American composer of orchestral, choral, chamber, and concert band works. His music has been described as being “optimistic and thoughtful" by the LA Times, “brilliantly effective" by the Miami Herald.

Ticheli earned a B.M. in composition from Southern Methodist University, where he studied with Donald Erb and Jack Waldenmaier. He went on to receive his master's and doctoral degrees in composition from the University of Michigan, where he studied with William Albright, Leslie Bassett, George Wilson, and William Bolcom. Subsequently, Ticheli was an assistant professor of music at Trinity University where he served on the board of directors of the Texas Composers Forum and was a member of the advisory committee for the San Antonio Symphony's "Music of the Americas" project. From 1991 to 1998, Ticheli was composer-in-residence with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Orange County, CA. Since 1991, he has been a professor of composition at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. In 2011, he endowed the Frank Ticheli Composition Scholarship to be awarded each year to an incoming graduate student in composition.

His orchestral works have received considerable recognition in the U.S. and Europe, with performances by the orchestras of Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Nashville, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Saarbruecken, and many others. He is best known, however, for his works for wind ensemble and concert band, many of which have become standards in the repertoire.

At MacDowell in 2001, Ticheli completed his Symphony No. 1 Symphony. In 2004, he completed the sketch of a new wind ensemble work commissioned in honor of conductor Robert Reynolds upon his retirement from the University of Michigan. He also orchestrated two other short works for young musicians, "Joy" and "Abracadabra."

At MacDowell in 2023, he made final revisions on “Angels Rising,” a work for large wind ensemble commissioned by the Syracuse University in memory of the 35 students who were killed in 1988 by the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Ticheli also composed “Listen to the Silence,” a new work for chorus based on his own text, and he completed the short score for a commission by the Lone Star Wind Orchestra in celebration of their conductor's 20th anniversary season.



Frank Ticheli worked in the Watson studio.

Built in 1916 in memory of Regina Watson of Chicago, a musician and teacher, this studio was donated by a group of her friends, along with funds for its maintenance. Originally designed to serve as a composers’ studio with room for performance, Watson was used as a recital hall for chamber music for a…

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