Fred Frith is a songwriter, composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist best known for the reinvention of the electric guitar that began with Guitar Solos in 1974. He learned his craft as both improviser and composer playing in rock bands and creating music in the recording studio. Much of his compositional output has been commissioned by choreographers and filmmakers, which led to a 2007 Career Award from the Music on Film-Film on Music Festival in Prague.
Frith’s work has also been performed by Ensemble Modern, Hieronymus Firebrain, the Arditti Quartet, Ground Zero, Robert Wyatt, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Concerto Köln, and the Rova Sax Quartet, among many others. He continues to perform internationally, most recently with Evelyn Glennie; Chris Cutler; John Zorn; Eye to Ear, a septet performing selections of his film music; and Cosa Brava.
Frith is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel’s award-winning documentary Step Across the Border, named one of the 100 most important films in movie history by Cahiers du cinéma. In 2008, Frith was awarded the Demetrio Stratos Prize for lifetime achievement in experimental music. He has taught improvisation and composition at Mills College since 1999.