B i o g r a p h y
Frank La Rocca is Composer-in-Residence at the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Liturgy.
His latest work, MASS of the AMERICAS, has been hailed as "Perhaps the most significant Catholic composition of our lifetimes." (Michael Olbash), and " a cornerstone of modern liturgical composition." (Mark Nowakowski). He is also the recent winner of the ORTUS international choral composition competition, and was awarded a 2018 American Prize for his "A Rose In Winter – the life of St. Rita of Cascia", a major work for chorus, orchestra and soloists.
La Rocca has received grants, commissions and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, the Foundation for Sacred Arts, Young Women's Chorus of San Francisco, Diocese of Oakland, California State University, ASCAP Foundation, USC Thornton Chamber Singers, Vanguard Voices, London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, Cois Cladaigh, the Madrigirls and many others. His work, Diffusa Est Gratia was toured by the renowned London Oratory School Schola Cantorum in Fall 2017 in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.
His CD In This Place (Enharmonic Records) reached the top ten in classical CD sales on Amazon and was a 2013 "Critic's Choice" at American Record Guide.
Trained as an academic modernist during his degree studies at Yale and University of California, Berkeley, La Rocca came to see this approach as a barrier to authentic musical expression, and spent many years in search of a personal creative language. His catalog includes works in all genres, with an emphasis on a cappella sacred choral works. At a recent University of Notre Dame conference, "James MacMillan: The Musical Modes of Mary and the Cross",
La Rocca presented a talk entitled, "The Apologetics of Beauty: a Musical Theology of the Incarnation", based upon his choral work O Magnum Mysterium.
He is published by Boosey and Hawkes, Walton Music, Santa Barbara Music and Lumen Verum Music.
photo: Mark Miller