Proto, Frank

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Composer Name


Born: July 18, 1941

Country: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

Studies: Manhattan School of Music 1966

Teachers: Self-taught composer


Frank Proto American composer and bassist. Proto was born on July 18, 1941, Brooklyn, New York. Double Bass student of Fred Zimmermann and David Walter. Graduate of the Manhattan School of Music 1966 Master of Music. Self-taught composer. Proto has played and composed for a wide range of ensembles and soloists including Dave Brubeck, Eddie Daniels, Duke Ellington, Cleo Laine, Sherrill Milnes, Gerry Mulligan, Roberta Peters, Francois Rabbath, Ruggiero Ricci, Doc Severinsen and Richard Stoltzman.

Proto worked as a double bassist and composer-in-residence with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 1966 to 1997. The orchestra premiered over 25 new works including concertos and solo works for Violin, Cello, Double Bass, Clarinet, Trumpet, Tuba and Percussion. He also composed and arranged music for Young People's and Pops concerts including Casey at the Bat - an American Folk Tale for Narrator and Orchestra and A Carmen Fantasy for Trumpet and Orchestra.

Proto is among the most prolific composers of music for the double bass. His output includes 7 works with orchestra and over 30 solo and chamber music works. He has also composed extensively for the violin, viola and clarinet. His 2007 CD/DVD Bridges - Eddie Daniels plays the music of Frank Proto consisting of a series of works written for clarinet virtuoso Eddie Daniels was nominated for a Grammy Award. Proto's 30-year collaboration with the French/Syrian virtuoso Francois Rabbath has resulted in 5 works for double bass and orchestra.

As a solo double bassist Proto has been widely recorded in an ongoing series of his chamber works by Red Mark Records.[1]

Works for Percussion

Concertino for Percussion and Strings - Multiple Percussion; Orchestra
Protoplasm (Proto/Akins) - Percussion Quartet; Double Bass
The Four Seasons - Multiple Percussion; Tuba; with Tape; Orchestra
Three Pieces for Percussion and Orchestra - Percussion Quartet; Orchestra
Viva Lucero! - Multiple Percussion - Castanets; Orchestra


  1. Frank Proto Bio Retrieved 5/24/2012