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About Frank L. Battisti
Frank Battisti is Conductor Emeritus of the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble. He began his teaching career in the Ithaca (NY) Public Schools in 1953 and was Director of Bands at Ithaca High School from 1955 - 67. Under his direction the band became one of the finest and most unique ensembles in the nation. It's innovative commissioning project generated 24 works composed by distinguished American composers. Battisti's Ithaca High School Concert Band is included on the Sousa Foundation's Historic Roll of Honor of High School Concert Bands, 1920 -1980.
Battisti taught at the New England Conservatory from 1969 - 1999. Under his leadership the NEC Wind Ensemble established itself as being one of the premiere ensembles of its kind in the world. Throughout his career Battisti commissioned and premiered works by many of the world's leading composers including John Harbison, Witold Lutoslawski, Vincent Persichetti, Michael Colgrass, Daniel Pinkham, Gunther Schuller, Robert Ward, Ivan Tcheripnin, Sir Michael Tippett, Warren Benson, Leslie Bassett and Alec Wilder.
Battisti has guest conducted university, military, professional and school bands/ wind ensembles in the United States, England, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Scandinavia, Australia, China, Taiwan, Canada, South America, South Korea, Iceland and the U.S.S.R. He founded the World Association of Wind Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble, New England College Band Association and the Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Wind Ensemble; served as an editor for music publishing companies and has written hundreds of articles on wind ensemble/band literature, conducting and music education. He has also authored/co-authored five books ( The 20th Century American Wind Band/Ensemble, The Winds of Change, On Becoming a Conductor: Lessons and Meditations on the Art of Conducting, Score Study for the Wind Band Conductor and Lead and Inspire).
Included among the many awards Battisti has received are an Honorary Doctorate of Music degrees from Ithaca College and Rhode Island College, New England Conservatory's Krasner Excellence in Teaching Award, Massachusetts Music Educators' Lowell Mason Award, National Band Association AWAPA Award and Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor.