Frederick Lesemann


Division: Classical Performance and Composition
Program: Composition

Expertise: Composition
Phone: (213) 740-7416
Office: MUS 308


Lesemann is a professor in the composition department at the USC Thornton School of Music and was for many years the director of the Electronic Music Studios there. He completed a three-year term as chair of the department in Spring 2005.

He has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, Meet the Composer, Centrum Center for the Arts, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund, ASCAP and the USC Faculty Research and Innovation Fund. He has been commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, The Colonial Symphony, the Pasadena Chamber Orchestra, Southwest Chamber Music, USC and numerous individuals.

His compositions encompass media from orchestra to solo guitar, electronic tape to string quartet and chorus to percussion ensemble. His works have been performed by such groups as the Kronos Quartet, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Southwest Chamber Music Society and at such places as the Kennedy and Lincoln Centers, Carnegie Hall, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Ojai Music Festival and the Arnold Schoenberg Institute. Recordings of his work are found on Town Hall, Cambria and Crystal records.

Professional experience

Career Highlights:

  • Abiquiu Sketches, performed by the Santa Fe Symphony, 2002
  • Symphony No. 2, performed by the USC Symphony, 1995 (Daniel Lewis’ last concert in Bovard Auditorium)
  • Alleluia…in domo per saecula, performed by the LA Philharmonic New Music Group, 1988
  • Strokes for Amplified String Quartet, performed by Kronos, San Francisco and LA, 1984
  • Concerto for Piano and Electronic Tape, commissioned by USC for its centennial, performed by Leonard Stein, 1981

Honors, Awards & Competitions:

  • Profile article: The Electro-Acoustic Music of Frederick Lesemann by Bill Alves in Journal SEAMUS, 17/1-2 (2005) 34-38.


  • Nataraja, Town Hall Records, CD-TH24
  • Sonata for Clarinet and Percussion, Crystal Records , CD737
  • Five Fugues for String Quartet (Sir Blue Slips a Trend), Cambria, 8810


  • Concertino for Flute and Mixed Quintet, 2005
  • Lamento for Guitar, 2005
  • Elegy (for the rest of us) for Viola and Violoncello, 2002
  • Symphony No. 3, 2000
  • Concertino for Oboe and six Instruments, 2000

Academic degrees

  • DMA, USC School of Music, 1971
  • MM, USC School of Music, 1961
  • BM, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, 1958

Other academic experience:

Computer Music Workshop, Stanford University, 1977

Studied with:

  • Ingolf Dahl, USC
  • Richard Hoffman, Oberlin
  • Joseph Wood, Oberlin