Frederic Chrislip

Frederic Chrislip’s main interests have always been music and language, in nearly equal measure. A classically trained tenor, he currently focuses on self-accompanied singing to the lute, as most lutenists in Elizabethan and Jacobean England did. Accompanying himself allows a greater unity and spontaneity to the expression and pacing of the music than two performers can achieve.

Contact

 

Biography

 

Frederic Chrislip was born and raised in Oklahoma. He was awarded a National Merit Scholarship and enrolled in the School of Music at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. At the beginning of his sophomore year, he joined the Chicago Symphony Chorus, where he received some of his most valuable training and filled his ear with the highest levels of music performance. When the orchestra and chorus prepared the Bach St. Matthew Passion, Sir Georg Solti chose Chrislip from the chorus for the small solo role of False Witness.

Chrislip left the Chicago Symphony Chorus after seven seasons and almost immediately began an eleven-year relationship as first-call guitarist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which continued even though he soon moved to New York to advance his recital career. Around this time, he performed some sixty solo recitals in twenty states, singing classical repertoire while accompanying himself on guitar. He also participated in four recordings with the Chicago Symphony under Sir Georg Solti, James Levine, and Claudio Abbado.

He has had many opportunities to play Mahler’s Symphony No. 7: on guitar with the New York Philharmonic and the symphonies of Chicago and Pittsburgh; and on mandolin with Rochester, Syracuse, Cleveland, and Boston, including a recording under Seiji Ozawa. He has played mandolin and saw for George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children with the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony, both under Zubin Mehta. He has played at Carnegie Hall as an extra player with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. Other orchestras with which he has played include Brooklyn, Minnesota, Phoenix, Seattle, St. Louis, and the Santa Fe Opera. He has played in master classes under Christopher Parkening, Alice Artzt, and John Duarte.

In 1995 Chrislip was selected as an artist fellow for the Bach Aria Festival and Institute, singing arias from Bach cantatas. He has also studied singing in two seasons at Tanglewood and in master classes at the Scotia Festival, Westminster Choir College, and Oberlin College under John McCollum, Martin Katz, Dalton Baldwin, and Richard Miller. In recent years he has turned from the guitar to the Renaissance lute. The past few summers he has performed vocal solos accom­panying himself at Lute Society seminars, where he received coaching and encouragement from top figures in the early music world.

During his four years at Northwestern University, Chrislip was the choral conductor for Iota Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a student conductor of the Chapel Choir, and sometimes conducted other student choral ensembles. When the Chicago Symphony and Chorus performed Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, at the point when the chorus divides into eight parts, each with its own conductor, Chrislip was selected to conduct the second tenors. This prompted Chicago Symphony Chorus assistant conductor Ronald Schweitzer to invite him to be assistant conductor of the North Shore Choral Society. Chrislip also sang seven seasons with the Grant Park Symphony Chorus, and for one season conductor Thomas Peck asked him to be the assistant conductor of that group. Chicago Symphony Chorus director Margaret Hillis encouraged Chrislip to pursue conducting. Instead, he focused mostly on his solo performance skills, while conducting occasionally. In 1992 and 1993 he conducted the Christmas concerts of the Catskill Choral Society, and he also led a chamber choir for three years. For the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he led a two-stake choir for the visit of President Gordon B. Hinckley to Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady in October, 1998. On April 6, 2000, he led the Utica Stake choir for the final dedication session of the Palmyra Temple, again with President Hinckley presiding.

Chrislip particularly loves to sing passions. At the Church of the Ascension in Chicago, he sang a plainchant passion. As a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, he sang the Bach St. John and St. Matthew passions. Twice he has sung the evangelist in Handel’s St. John Passion in his own English translation. He has conducted and sung the evangelist for the Schütz St. Matthew Passion and has done the same with the St. Matthew Passion of Johann Georg Kühnhausen, using his own English translation. He has also performed Roland Hayes’ set of spirituals The Passion of Our Lord.

Chrislip has studied French, German, Latin, Polish, and Spanish. In upstate New York he has been tenor soloist with the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, Catskill Choral Society, the Bach Project, and the Voices of Cooperstown. He also received a Community Service Grant in the Arts from the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts and sang the role of Master Peter in Master Peter’s Puppet Show by Manuel De Falla. For sixteen years he led the vocal trio Redeeming Love, focusing on nineteenth century American songs and hymns.

Recent solo performances

 

Boston Early Music Festival fringe concert (voice and lute), June 2017

Hartwick College showcase recital (voice, lute, and guitar), November 2016


 

Compositions
Title Instruments
Three Poems from Love’s Labour’s Lost (1978, words by Shakespeare)
     1. The King’s Poem  pdf
     2. Longaville’s Sonnet (Galliard)  pdf
     3. Dumaine’s Poem  pdf
Voice and Lute
Orchestral and chamber music experience
Composer Work Instrument Orchestra Conductor Comment
Amy D’un Espace Déployé Guitar Chicago Symphony Solti & Amy
Arnold Serenade/Guitar & Strings Guitar Beloit-Janesville C. Gates soloist
Bach St. John Passion Lute Springfield Symphony Walker
Berg Lulu Banjo Santa Fe Opera Mauceri
Cavalli L’Egisto Guitar Santa Fe Opera Leppard
Cavalli L’Ormindo Lute Caramoor Festival Rudel
Crumb Ancient Voices of Children Mandolin & Saw
Mandolin & Saw
Chicago Symphony
New York Philharmonic
Mehta
Mehta
Del Tredici Final Alice Tenor Banjo
Tenor Banjo
Tenor Banjo
Tenor Banjo
Chicago Symphony
Minnesota Orchestra
Philadelphia Orchestra
St. Louis Symphony
Solti
Slatkin
Ormandy
Slatkin
recording
 
Carnegie Hall
Foss Percussion Concerto Guitar New Jersey Symphony Jesse Levine
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue Tenor Banjo New Haven Symphony Jung-Ho Pak
Henze Arien des Orpheus Guitar Chicago Symphony Henze
Hovhaness The Way of Jesus Guitar American Symphony Halasz
Lehar The Merry Widow Mandolin Santa Fe Opera Crosby
Mahler Das Lied von der Erde Mandolin
Mandolin
Mandolin
Brooklyn Philharmonia
Rochester Philharmonic
Syracuse Symphony
Foss
Elder
Hege
Mahler Symphony No. 7 Mandolin
Mandolin
Mandolin
Guitar
Guitar
Guitar
Guitar
Mandolin
Guitar
Guitar
Guitar
Mandolin
Mandolin
Boston Symphony
Boston Symphony
Boston Symphony
Chautauqua Symphony
Chicago Symphony
Chicago Symphony
Chicago Symphony
Cleveland Orchestra
New York Philharmonic
Pittsburgh Symphony
Pittsburgh Symphony
Rochester Philharmonic
Syracuse Symphony
Haitink
Ozawa
Rattle
Segal
Abbado
Conlon
James Levine
Welser-Möst
Kubelik
Jansons
Maazel
Zinman
Hege
 
recording
 
 
recording
 
recording
Carnegie Hall
 
Carnegie Hall
European tour
Massenet Don Quichotte Guitar Lyric Opera of Chicago Fournet
Mozart Don Giovanni Mandolin Grant Park Symphony Hoffman
Paganini Sonata per la Gran Viola Guitar Syracuse Symphony Akiyama
Paganini Trio in D Guitar Chicago Symphony members
Respighi Roman Festivals Mandolin
Mandolin
Mandolin
Binghamton Symphony
Rochester Philharmonic
Syracuse Symphony
Covelli
Varga
Hege
Rossini The Barber of Seville Guitar Lake Forest Symphony Aitay
Schnittke Pianissimo Guitar Chicago Symphony Foss
Schoenberg Moses und Aron Guitar (I & II) Chicago Symphony Solti recording
Schoenberg Variations for Orchestra Mandolin New York Philharmonic Mehta
Shore Lord of the Rings Symphony Nylon-string guitar,
6-string guitar,
& mandolin
12-string guitar
Nylon-string guitar,
6-string guitar,
& mandolin
Phoenix Symphony
 
 
Pittsburgh Symphony
Seattle Symphony
Mickelthwaite
 
 
Shore & Mauceri
Shore
Stravinsky Le Rossignol Mandolin Santa Fe Opera Baustian
Takemitsu Stanza I Guitar Brooklyn Philharmonia Foss
Verdi Falstaff Guitar Chicago Symphony Solti Carnegie Hall
Vivaldi Concerto in D Guitar Beloit-Jamesville C. Gates soloist
Webem Five Pieces, Opus 10 Guitar
Guitar
Chicago Symphony
Chicago Symphony
Abbado
Giulini
Weill Little Threepenny Music Banjo & Guitar Chicago Symphony Leinsdorf
 
Member in good standing of the American Federation of Musicians, Locals 802 (New York City) and 10-208 (Chicago).