- The Hill, (1996-99) a symbolist opera in one act, for four principal singers, chorus and chamber orchestra; libretto by Sally M. Gall
- Angels, (1997-99) for chamber orchestra (orchestra version by the composer; originally for organ)
- Veillées, (1991) for baritone, string orchestra and harp (there is also a version for baritone, string quartet and harp)
- Visions of Eternity, (1999) for organ solo; commissioned by Marcia Van Oyen for the dedication of the John-Paul Buzard organ, opus 21, at Glenview Community Church, Glenview, IL; first performed by Marcia Van Oyen on Jan. 21, 2000
- Nebulae, (1999) for alto saxophone and organ; commissioned by saxophonist Gail Levinsky and first performed by Ms. Levinsky and organist Leanne Fazio at the March 1998 conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance at Northwestern University
- Missa O Ecclesia: Communion, (1999) for organ; single movement from an incomplete organ mass based on the chant melody "O Ecclesia" by Hildegard von Bingen
- Les carillons de la destinée et de l’éternité, (1998) for organ; commissioned by George Barnum; first performed by Timothy Robson, October 5, 1997 in Cleveland, Ohio
- Chant des Étoiles, (1997), for organ duet (4 hands and 4 feet); commissioned by Timothy and Nancy Nickel, duet organists (1984; rev. 1988)
- The Hildegard Organ Cycle, (1996) a set of ten symphonic meditations on the visions from De operatione Dei of Hildegard von Bingen
- Angels, (1999) for organ; commissioned by James Russell Brown
- Symphonie brève, (1999) for organ
Stabat Mater, (1997-98) for unaccompanied mixed chorus and soprano solo, with
additional interpolated texts; commissioned by His Majestie’s Clerkes, and first performed
by them, with soprano Rauquaia Hale Wallace, under the direction of Anne Heider, on February 20, 27 and 28, 1999.
- Hildegard Triptych, (composed 1997-98) for unaccompanied double choir; commissioned by the Dale Warland Singers and first performed by them at the Cathedral Classics concerts, March 20-21, 1999 in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN
- O vos omnes, (1998) for SAB chorus and organ in Volume VI of the Somerset Anthem Books
- Nunc dimittis, (1997) for unaccompanied SATB choir (composed in 1996 for the 150th anniversary of The Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta)
- Llama de Amor Viva (The Living Flame of Love), (1997) for unaccompanied double choir on a text by St. John of the Cross (commissioned in 1996 by St. Chrysostom’s Church, Chicago, Richard Barrick Hoskins, Organist and Choirmaster)
- Jubilate Deo, (1997) for unaccompanied SAB choir, included in Volume III of The Somerset Anthem Books
- O Sing Unto the Lord A New Song (1997) for SAB choir and organ, included in Volume V of The Somerset Anthem Books
- The Word Was Made Flesh (1997) for SAB choir and organ, included in Volume IV of The Somerset Anthem Books
- Come, Gracious Spirit, Heavenly Dove (1997) for SAB choir and organ, included in Volume III of The Somerset Anthem Books
- The Hildegard Motets (1996), nine motets for unaccompanied mixed chorus, using poetic texts by Hildegard von Bingen (commissioned in 1993 by His Majestie’s Clerkes, Chicago, in celebration of the ensemble’s tenth ed by E. C. Schirmer Music Company, 1996), for unaccompanied mixed chorus (commissioned by the Schola Cantorum of St. Peter’s Church in the Loop, Chicago)
- Ecce virgo (1996), for unaccompanied SAB choir (included in Volume I of the Somerset Anthem Books
- Christus resurgens (1996), for SAB choir and organ (included in Volume II of the Somerset Anthem Books
- O Christ, the Healer, We Have Come, (1996) for mixed choir, unison choir (or church congregation), oboe, organ and optional harp, published by Augsburg Fortress Publishers, Minneapolis.
- O Gracious Light (Phos hilaron)(1995), for mixed chorus and organ (winner of the first prize in the 1986 choral anthem competition sponsored by Christ Church, Oyster Bay, New York)
- I Will Give Thanks (1995), for mixed chorus and organ (commissioned by the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the United Thank Offering)
- I Was Glad (1994), for unaccompanied mixed chorus; commissioned by First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto, California
- Adam Lay Ybounden (1994), for unaccompanied mixed chorus
- Motet for Passion Sunday (1994), for unaccompanied mixed chorus; commissioned by the Schola Cantorum of St. Peter’s Church in the Loop, Chicago
Vocal solo music
- Four-Hand Piano, (1995) for soprano and piano 4-hands, on a text by Eric Muller; commissioned by pianists Timothy and Nancy LeRoi Nickel
- Veillées, (1991) for baritone, string quartet and harp; also there is a version for baritone, string orchestra and harp, on poems by Arthur Rimbaud
- Sainte, (1991) for baritone, string quartet and harp, on a poem by Stephane Mallarmé
- Three Songs on Poems of Mallarmé, (1985) for soprano and piano; commissioned by soprano Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet
- For My Brother: Reported Missing in Action, 1943, (1980) for baritone and piano, on a poem by Thomas Merton
- Chant d’automne, (1978) for baritone and piano, on a poem by Paul Verlaine
- Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd’hui, (1978) for baritone and piano, on a poem by Stephane Mallarmé
(From the composer’s website.)
Frank Ferko (b. 18 June 1950, Barberton, Ohio) has worked for 20 years in Chicago in the double capacity of free-lance composer and organist/choral conductor. At the age of nine he began piano study in Barberton, Ohio with Grace Baughman and in high school he studied with Richard Shirey, a member of the music faculty at the University of Akron. He began work as a church organist at the age of 14, and two years later he began to conduct a church choir. At 18 he entered Valparaiso University and received a Bachelor of Music degree in piano and organ performance from Valparaiso in 1972. He received the Master of Music degree in music theory (with a minor in organ performance) from Syracuse University one year later. He holds a doctorate in music composition from Northwestern University where he studied with Alan Stout. His other teachers have included Richard Wienhorst (composition) and Philip Gehring (organ) at Valparaiso University, Howard Boatwright (theory) and Will O. Headlee (organ) at Syracuse University. For more than twenty-five years he held the post of director of music at various churches in the midwest, the most recent having been the Church of St. Paul and the Redeemer in Chicago, a post he held for more than six years. He now devotes most of his available time to composition.
Mr. Ferko’s works have been performed by such distinguished artists as the Dale Warland Singers, His Majestie’s Clerkes, the Lutheran Choir of Chicago, Chicago Choral Artists and the American Repertory Singers, soprano Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, duet keyboardists Timothy and Nancy LeRoi Nickel as well as organists David Craighead, Larry Palmer, Douglas Cleveland, Leonard Raver and Edward Hansen and also through the sponsorship of New Music Chicago, the Chicago Composers’ Consortium and the American Composers Forum. In addition to American performances Mr. Ferko’s works have also been presented in concert in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Israel and Japan and broadcast on Vatican Radio, Cultura FM in São Paolo (Brazil), National Public Radio as well as WQXR in New York and WFMT and WNIB in Chicago. (Specific names of other performers and persons who have commissioned new works from Mr. Ferko can be found on the Discography page or the Catalog of Works page in this web site.) Mr. Ferko has received national awards in composition, including the 1989-1990 AGO/Holtkamp Award from the American Guild of Organists, and has received annual ASCAP awards since 1989. In 1991 he received grants from Meet the Composer as well as from the Community Arts Assistance Program of Chicago, and in 1995 and again in 1998 he received the coveted Composer Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council. In 1997 the Dale Warland Singers named Frank Ferko as the recipient of their 1998-99 choral commission in the New Choral Works Program for Emerging Composers. His works are published by E. C. Schirmer with whom he has an exclusive publishing agreement, and more than 20 of his works have been recorded on compact disc, primarily on the Arsis label and The Liturgical Press. His setting of Stabat Mater for unaccompanied mixed chorus and soprano solo has also been recorded on compact disc for Cedille Records with soprano Nancy Gustafson and His Majestie’s Clerkes, conducted by Anne Heider. Mr. Ferko has also presented his own works in lecture/demonstrations for various chapters of the American Guild of Organists, for the music departments at Valparaiso University and Marylhurst College (Oregon), at Northwestern University and the Eastman School of Music.
As a scholar of the music of Olivier Messiaen, Mr. Ferko has lectured on Messiaen’s organ music and has performed many of Messiaen’s works in concert. He has also written articles for The American Organist on avant-garde music in the church and on the organ music of the Swiss composer Marc Briquet.
Mr. Ferko’s compositions based on his research on the life, music and writings of Hildegard von Bingen have recently gained international attention. During the summer of 1998 Mr. Ferko was invited to perform his Hildegard Organ Cycle at the Holland Festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht (Netherlands), a performance which marked the European premiere of the work and was funded by the Festival and a grant from Arts International. This was followed by the West Coast U.S. premiere of the work which took place at the Cathedral of St. Mary in San Francisco. Other performances of this work have been presented in major cities across the U.S. since 1991. Similarly, Ferko’s Hildegard Motets have been performed by college choirs and professional choruses across America, and his articles about the music of Hildegard and her influence on present-day composers have appeared in the British sacred music journal Choir & Organ.
Mr. Ferko holds memberships in the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), American Music Center, American Guild of Organists, American Composers’ Forum, Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.