Art and Healthcare Breakfast - June 6, 2018
Guest Speaker: J. Todd Frazier, Director, System Center for Performing Arts Medicine, Houston Methodist
Jefferson Todd Frazier is a composer and System Director of Houston Methodist Hospital's Center for Performing Arts Medicine, recipient of the 2017 BCA 10 Award from American for the Arts, recognizing the best businesses partnering with the arts in America. He is President of the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) and Founder of American Festival for the Arts (AFA), Co-Founder of Houston Arts Partners, and a previous Executive Director of AFA and Young Audiences of Houston. He is a graduate of the Wilhelm Schole International and received his undergraduate and graduate training in composition from The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and The Juilliard School in New York, NY. He has been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Global Alliance for Arts and Healthcare, and served as a Director of the Texas Lyceum. He is a member of the Eastman School of Music's National Council, City of Houston’s Arts and Cultural Plan Advisory Committee, Monticello National Cabinet, and US-Japan Foundation's Leadership Program. In 2016 Frazier was awarded the Luminary Award from the Eastman School of Music “recognizing individuals who have given extraordinary service to music and the arts at the community and national levels” and on the occasion of the Juilliard School’s 100th anniversary in 2006, Frazier was recognized as one of 100 distinguished alumni and profiled in the Juilliard Journal’s “A Quiet Revolution: Juilliard Alumni and The Transformation of Education in America Through the Arts.”
Frazier believes the arts offer a unique and dynamic common denominator in strategic collaboration that inspires innovation and transformation, while keeping us firmly in tune with our humanity. He has spent 25+ years forging and supporting research, education and accessibility collaborations between the K-12 Education, University, Texas Medical Center, and Arts and Culture communities throughout the nationally. Since joining Houston Methodist Hospital's Center for Performing Arts Medicine (CPAM) in 2011, he has helped the Center evolve into one that embraces the broadest potential of an arts and medicine relationship. The Center supports world class specialized health care and wellness education of the highest quality for performing and visual artists; the integration of the fine arts into the hospital environment through over 100 performances a year as part of the Margaret Alkek Williams Crain Garden Performances Series, a CPAM Hospital TV channel, Visual Art exhibits, and Music in Practice patient tours; and collaborative research and clinical Music Therapy divisions that seek to harness the broadest potential of the arts in therapy, rehabilitation and human performance. Frazier has contributed to a wide range of publications and studies in the field of arts, education, and medicine ranging from music therapy for special needs children, to unique music listening applications in stroke and traumatic brain injury recovery, to the relationship of music theory and history of pipe organ construction to the resultant vibrations and resonating harmony of a continuous flow dual pump total artificial heart. Most recently, Frazier is proud of his role in the September 2017 publication of the white paper, “Arts, Health and Well-being in America.”
As a composer, Frazier's love for history inspires many of his works. Most recently We Hold These Truths, the first movement of Thomas Jefferson; the Making of America, received its premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on April 3, 2011 by the National Symphony Orchestra with soprano Renee Fleming and conductor Christoph Eschenbach. “It’s a beautiful work and the words of the Declaration of Independence come to life in a powerful way. I’m so happy to be singing Todd’s piece for the first time and it’s particularly special for me to have premiered it in our nation’s capital,” Ms. Fleming. The piece has since been performed as part of Mrs. Flemings US orchestra tours in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and received its premiere at Jefferson’s Monticello on May 1, 2015 with soprano, Camille Zamora and at the University of Virginia in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the laying of the first cornerstone of the school by Thomas Jefferson on October 6th, 2017. Others works highlighting history and historic achievements include Buffalo Altar; A Texas Symphony, the story of Texas for narrator and orchestra (or piano) and collaboration with writer Stephen Harrigan, which has become a popular highlight at literary and historical events across the state through numerous performances by Texas actor Barry Corbin of Northern Exposure fame; Save the World: In Memoriam Richard Smalley, for narrator and orchestra, written to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the 1985 discovery of nanotechnology at Rice University; and, Breath of Life, a two act opera set in a hospital and intended to bridge medical and arts communities through the story of a man’s second chance for life, premiered at Texas Tech University on September 17th, 2015 with a second performance planned at Texas Tech as part of a medical ethics course at the Southwest Association for Music Therapy Conference in Lubbock, TX, April 2018.