Philip Frohnmayer, age 66, died from complications of peritoneal mesothelioma in the early hours of Friday, September 27, 2013. Son of the late Otto and MarAbel Frohnmayer, he was a loving husband for 34 years to Ellen Phillips Frohnmayer and an adoring father to Anne Marie Frohnmayer, their daughter. He is also survived by his siblings, Mira Frohnmayer, David Frohnmayer, and John Frohnmayer, all residents of Oregon.
Professor Frohnmayer was a revered, award-winning teacher; internationally accomplished vocal performer; a writer, lecturer, and essayist; and a mentor and role model to generations of young musicians. Born in Medford, Oregon, Professor Frohnmayer was a graduate of Harvard University, University of Oregon, and the Stuttgart Hochschule fr Musik. He won top prize in the 1976 Munich International Competition and began his European career singing leading roles in Mozart and Verdi operas in Germany, Luxembourg, and Holland. While in Europe he met and married Ellen Phillips, and together they sang recitals and opera in the Republic of Georgia, France, and Latin America and throughout the United States.
Professor Frohnmayer was a regular soloist with the Louisiana Philharmonic and the New Orleans Opera for many years. In 1990 he and his wife Ellen discovered an unpublished set of love duets by British composer Vaughan-Williams, and gained permission from composer's widow to record them on their acclaimed CD, The Flowering of English Song.
Professor Frohnmayer joined the faculty of the Loyola University College of Music in 1982 as the Chair of Vocal Studies, and during his tenure was awarded the Dux Academicus for excellence in teaching. He held the Mary Freeman Wisdom Distinguished Professorship of Opera. Prior to joining the faculty at Loyola, he taught at Humboldt State University and University of Utah, where he was Chair of the Voice Faculty. During the Hurricane Katrina evacuation in the fall of 2005, he and his wife were invited to teach at the University of Oregon. He also taught for several summers on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School and gave many master classes, notably for the Schmidt Awards for young singers. In 2012 he was recognized as Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, an award previously won by his sister and his mother.
Professor Frohnmayer was witty, irreverent, generous, fiercely loyal, and a man of great spiritual faith. To his students, Professor Frohnmayer would instruct by saying, Breathe and tell a story, a phrase that became the title of an online book of his engaging and profound essays on life, music, and learning. His gifted instruction launched the careers of national and international opera stars, who have joined the rosters of the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and Covent Garden. Others have become valued teachers and mentors in their own right. He was selfless in sharing his gifts with hundreds of students, many of whom joined in a 2011 benefit gala at Loyola University to establish the Frohnmayer Legacy Fund, which supports the vocal department. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts to this fund, which may be mailed c/o the Loyola School of Music and Fine Arts at 7214 St. Charles Avenue, Box 909, New Orleans, LA 70125.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 5, at 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Avenue, in New Orleans. Visitation will be held at the church beginning at 9:30 a.m. To view and sign the guest book, visit www.lakelawnmetairie.com.