Frederic Hand’s versatile performing style and concert programs feature his own works which have brought him renown as both a Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning television composer and recording artist. Of his compositions for guitar, Alexandre Lagoya has written, “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 has described as “scintillating and brilliant.”
Mr. Hand arranged and performed the theme from the Academy Award-winning film, Kramer vs. Kramer, which led to the best-selling recording Baroque and on the Street (CBS).
His composition Prayer, recorded by John Williams, was nominated for a Grammy award. Hand’s recordings include Jazzantiqua and Heart’
He has performed as a guest artist with the Mostly Mozart Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Waverly Consort, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, among others. Hand, who has been the appointed guitarist and lutenist with the Metropolitan Opera since 1984, was chosen to perform in the Metropolitan Opera’s inaugural chamber music series at Carnegie Hall in 1999. He has performed onstage with Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, and Renee Fleming.
Frederic Hand’s playing and improvisations have been heard on the scores of numerous films, including those starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Robert DeNiro in This Boy’s Life, Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep in Kramer vs Kramer and Sean Connery in The Next Man. His televised performances include appearances with Meg Ryan, Marisa Tomei and Anne Heche. He has also performed on the Broadway stage with Maximillian Schell in John Osborne’s A Patriot for Me.
Hand’s original scoring for television includes Sesame Street, As the World Turns, and The Guiding Light, for which he was awarded an Emmy. Over one dozen volumes of his original compositions and arrangements are published worldwide through G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, Cherry Lane and Mel Bay. In 2023 the Guitar Foundation of America commissioned him to compose the set piece for their International Concert Artist Competition, titled Undercurrents.
Frederic Hand’s tours throughout North America and Europe have been met with the highest critical acclaim. He has taught masterclasses and given residencies at the New England Conservatory of Music, Yale University, Dartmouth College, Cleveland Institute of Music, Emory University, University of California at Santa Barbara, Colorado State, Miami University and University North Carolina.
A graduate of the Mannes College of Music, Hand studied in England with Julian Bream on a Fulbright scholarship. Formally head of the guitar departments at SUNY Purchase and Bennington College, he served on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music from 1972-2021 and is currently a faculty member of The Graduate Center, City University Of New York.