Faculty Profile

Chris Froh
Lecturer in Music-Percussion

Percussionist Christopher Froh specializes in promoting and influencing the creation of new music through critically acclaimed performances and dynamic lectures. To date, he has premiered over 150 chamber and solo works by composers from 17 countries. His collaborations include some of the most significant composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including Chaya Czernowin, David Lang, Steve Mackey, John Adams, George Crumb, Liza Lim, Matthias Pintcher, and Keiko Abe. Froh has also worked extensively realizing percussion scores of player piano and fixed-media pieces by Conlon Nancarrow, a project that culminated in a solo recital at the Whitney Museum in New York City and featured solo performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 2015.

Froh’s performances have garnered exceptional critical praise. The New York Times heralded his interpretations of modern repertoire as “entrancing,” “alluring,” and “vividly wrought.” The Chicago Tribune has praised his “unfailing virtuosity,” while the San Francisco Chronicle described his performances as “tremendous” and “fierce and uncompromising.” The San Francisco Classical Voice writes of his playing, “percussionist Christopher Froh has been an invaluable presence in the Bay Area for over a decade, enlivening the contemporary music scene with performances of exceptional musicality and virtuosity.” 

Froh has performed works for solo percussion at venues around the world including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the American Academy in Rome, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Harris Theater in Chicago, Hagia Irene in Istanbul, Kennedy Center, and concert halls throughout Japan. He has been featured with leading voices in chamber music including Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music at Menlo, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. As an orchestral musician, he has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

Strongly committed to developing diverse and under-represented voices in the performing arts, Froh has created visionary outreach programs targeting underserved communities. His workshops, lectures, and classes have shared the immediacy and relevance of music with homeless and housing-insecure populations, children of migrant farmworkers, and at-risk youth.  Froh is a faculty member at the University of California at Davis and California State University at Sacramento where he teaches percussion and chamber music.


Samba School
Brian Rice, director

Samba students dressed in Green Shirts with their instruments.

Modeled after the famous baterias of Rio de Janeiro’s renowned samba schools, the UC Davis Samba School performs high-energy music of Brazil’s Carnaval for audiences throughout Northern California. The group was formed in 2004 and has since become a vibrant force in campus life, performing at festivals, fundraisers and community events across the region. A contingent of 25 drummers muscle through traditional material taken from Rio’s major samba schools as well as original music created by the group.


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