Dr. Frederick Fennell was one of the world’s most active and innovative maestros. He was principal guest conductor of the Dallas Wind Symphony, principal conductor of the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra in Japan, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Miami School of Music. The internationally-acclaimed conductor, widely regarded as the leader of the wind ensemble movement in this country, was one of America’s most recorded American classical conductors, and was a pioneer in various methods of recording.
Born July 2, 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio, the maestro studied at the Eastman School of Music on the University of Rochester campus, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in 1937 and a Master of Music degree two years later. He became a member of the Eastman conducting faculty in 1939, founded the Eastman Wind Ensemble in 1952, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Eastman in 1988.
Dr. Fennell served as conductor of the Columbia University American Festival, the National Music Camp, the Yaddo Music Period, the Eastman-Rochester Pops Orchestra and the Eastman Opera Theatre, among others.
He was principal guest conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy, and other guest conducting stints included frequent appearances with the Boston Pops Orchestra as well as performances with the Carnegie Hall Pops Concerts and the Boston Esplanade concerts. He appeared with the Denver, San Diego, National, Hartford, St. Louis and London Symphonies; the Buffalo, Calgary and Greater Miami Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New Orleans Philharmonic.
He was part of pioneering recordings with the Cleveland Symphonic Winds and Dallas Wind Symphony and he held countless honors, awards, appointments and conducting appearances.
Dr. Fennell was the conductor of the first Honor Band of America in 1992, at the debut National Concert Band Festival, held at Northwestern University.