It is with our deepest sorrow to inform you that our dear friend, a wonderful composer, guitarist, vihuelist, lutenist and baritone, Frank Wallace, passed away yesterday.

During his music career, Frank Wallace distinguished himself not only as a dynamic soloist and accompanist on classical and romantic guitars, but also as a leading player of the vihuela de mano and lute. With his rich baritone he sang and played the solo songs of Renaissance Italy and Spain, Elizabethan England, and Schubert, as well as his own compositions, paying equal attention to the subtleties of melody, words, and accompaniments. Soundboard described Frank as “…an impressive talent in every respect… a strong guitarist, a composer with a distinct voice, and a confident vocalist.” Frank’s debut recording as composer/guitarist, Frank Wallace — His Own New Works (Gyre 2000), won him a 2001 Artist Fellowship award from the Arts Council of New Hampshire, as did Duo LiveOak’s first recording of Frank’s songs in 2006. In 2007, Frank founded – and directed for four years – the Boston Classical Guitar Society’s Festival 21, a celebration of all that is new in 21st century classical guitar. He also served a two-year term as the Society’s artistic director. In New York City, he founded and co-directed the Second Sundays Classical Guitar Series in conjunction with the NYC Classical Guitar Society and Roger Smith Arts. In 2014, The Hartt School commissioned Frank with a major grant from the Augustine Foundation to write a one hour chamber suite for the Guitar Department’s 50th Anniversary. He also wrote works for ChromaDuo, Edel Muñoz, the Jugend Zupf Orchestra and Mare Duo of Germany, Olson/De Cari Duo, Providence Mandolin Orchestra and others.

Frank Wallace was a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, with a BM in guitar performance. After graduating in 1974, he moved to the East Coast where he received enormous inspiration from his family and their home – a sprawling New Hampshire farmhouse built in 1789. Since 1997 Frank Wallace became a prolific composer of song with over 100 pieces for classical guitar or lute, most of them in cycles ranging from five to fifteen songs. Many of these are set to poetry from writers such as Pulitzer-prize winning poet, Theodore Roethke, Charles Dickens, Robert Creeley, Rumi, and Guillevic, as well as himself, his grandfather, and his wife Nancy Knowles. Frank was a two-time winner of the NH Individual Fellowship Award, and received the Ewing Arts Award in 2015. His works and performances are featured on 22 LPs, CDs and EPs, many of which he recorded and produced himself. His own productions have been highly praised for their beautiful acoustic qualities. He taught at the New England Conservatory, Plymouth and Keene State Colleges, Emmanuel College, and Franklin Pierce University, as well as Lute Society Seminars, Guitar Foundation of America, and others. Fanfare magazine dubbed him a composer with “an authentic expressive voice” and a “high standard of musical interest” who performs with “flawless technical proficiency”. Great passion and a sense of humor infuse both his compositions and his performances.

Frank was our dear friend and we will miss him. Before Frank’s passing we had Bill Kanengiser at GSI perform a tribute to Frank. Bill recorded a set of Frank’s compositions. You can read to the blog post about them here – “Bill Kanengiser Plays Tribute to Frank Wallace.”

The complete catalog of Frank Wallace’s works is available at www.gyremusic.com

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4 Responses to “Frank Wallace passed away yesterday”

  1. Daniel Bodourian says:

    A wonderful, creative, highly talented human being! Frank Wallace’s humanity came through his music with a genuine wish to communicate and connect to his audience. We are very grateful for all his contributions, achievements and the numerous people he has inspired. We respectfully offer our deepest condolence to his family and friends…

  2. Thank you William for this beautiful and moving performance. So many times in my musical life a member of the LAGQ brings beauty and meaning to the classical guitar world and educated and enriches is all. God bless.

  3. Claudio Solares says:

    Saddened by Frank’s passing.
    He was my inspiration to study the vihuela de mano through his excellent, standard-setting recordings of this rare instrument.
    My condolences to his family.


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