Conservatory of Music

photo of Frederic Hand

Frederic Hand

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Frederic Hand is one of the most versatile guitarists performing before the public today. His programs feature his own works, composed in the eclectic style for which he has become well-known.

Of his compositions for guitar, Alexandre Lagoya wrote, “His knowledge of the instrument enables him to achieve effects which are absolutely remarkable. Mr. Hand possesses a magnificent talent which touches me profoundly.” Noted for his unique performances of early music, Frederic Hand is the creator and director of Jazzantiqua, a group The New York Times described as “scintillating and brilliant.”

Of his solo performance they wrote, “He played unerringly, with all the verve and spirit that one could ask.” Mr. Hand arranged and performed the theme from the Academy Award-winning film, “Kramer vs. Kramer,” which led to a best-selling recording on CBS, “Baroque and on the Street.” More recently, his composition “Prayer,” recorded by John Williams, was nominated for a Grammy Award.

He has performed as guest artist with the Mostly Mozart Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, New York Philharmonic, Waverly Consort, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, among others. In 1986 he was appointed guitarist and lutenist with the Metropolitan Opera, and has performed on stage with Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.

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Frederic Hand’s playing and improvisations have been heard on numerous film scores, including “Kramer vs. Kramer” (starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep) and “The Next Man” (starring Sean Connery). His on-camera televised performances include appearances with Meg Ryan, Marisa Tomei, and Anne Heche. He has performed on the Broadway stage with Maximillian Schell in John Osborne’s “A Patriot for Me” and also in “The Three Musketeers.”

He has also composed scores for numerous television shows, among them “Sesame Street,” “As the World Turns,” “Another World,” and “The Guiding Light,” for which he was awarded an Emmy. G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, and Mel Bay have published worldwide more than a dozen volumes of his original compositions and arrangements. Frederic Hand’s tours throughout North America and Europe have been met with the highest critical acclaim.

His numerous master classes and residencies include New England Conservatory of Music, Yale University, Dartmouth College, Cleveland Institute of Music, Emory University, and the Universities of California at Santa Barbara, Colorado State, Miami, and North Carolina.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he attended the High School of Music and Art and is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music, where he has been a faculty member since 1972. He was a student of Manuel Gayol, Albert Valdes-Blain, and Leonid Bolotine and, as a Fulbright Scholar to England, was a student of Julian Bream.

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