Frederick Stocken’s music ranges from two symphonies, a violin concerto and a ballet, to organ and choral pieces. He is also an organist, teacher, musicologist and author of tutors.
His orchestral works have been performed at the Royal Albert Hall, St John’s Smith Square and the Barbican. They have been conducted by Charles Hazlewood, John Lubbock and Vernon Handley. Orchestras that have played his music include The New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, the Sarajevo Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Frederick’s music first reached a wide audience with the recording of Lament for Bosnia for strings. The work was inspired by the memory of his grandmother, Rosa, who perished in Auschwitz. He conducted it at the opening of the permanent Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum with the strings of the Royal Academy of Music.
His organ music has been performed in recitals at King’s College, Cambridge, and it has been played by Tom Bell, Paul Greally, Gordon Stewart, William Whitehead and Jeremiah Stephenson. His choral music has been sung by the choirs of Chichester Cathedral and the London Oratory.
Frederick’s music has been broadcast on Classic FM and BBC Radio 3 and recorded on the Priory label. Banks Music has published choral and organ works, and a piece for flute and piano is published by OUP. He has had commissions from The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, The Worshipful Company of Musicians, Rikkyo University Tokyo, the Stadttheater in Giessen, Germany, and Southern Cathedrals Festival.
Frederick invented a diagrammatic method for learning keyboard scales, published as Scale Shapes - using the Stocken Method (Chester Music), now in its third revised edition.
As co-author with Anne Marsden Thomas he produced the two-volume Graded Keyboard Musicianship (OUP) and The New Oxford Organ Method (OUP). For both publications he composed all the original music, which included 60 studies in The New Oxford Organ Method.
Frederick was Organist of St George's Cathedral, London, for a decade and also taught in the organ department of the Royal Academy of Music, where he still teaches organ in the Junior Academy. He also teaches and examines for the Royal College of Organists.
Frederick Stocken 'has chosen to write accessible, beautiful music which is unashamedly passionate and melodic.'
A. N. Wilson reviewing Lament for Bosnia,
London Evening Standard
"Frederick Stocken has written a surprisingly melodic score specially for this entertaining spectacle, reminiscent of the late romantics.."
Thomas Schmitz-Albohn reviewing the ballet, Alice, Giessener Anzeiger
"Most striking amongst all the confidently delivered and firmly led choir contributions was the first performance of Come to your Heaven, ye heavenly choirs, last year's commission, fulfilled by Frederick Stocken.”
Graham Matthews, Preserve Harmony, the journal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians
"Stocken has an individual voice. He writes with clarity, economy and a good grasp of idiom. His music is refreshingly free from grandiose complexity.”
Thomas Leech reviewing Archangels, The Organists' Review
"The brief Bagatelle (2008) by Frederick Stocken is a bittersweet treat, fully expressed in tonal terms. One can almost taste Tanner’s enjoyment.”
Colin Clarke, Fanfare
"Stocken's work will also prove popular with players for he has written very much a showpiece for the violin."
Paul Cutts reviewing Violin Concerto, The Strad
"Stocken has managed to create something like a 'symphony of the city' that is relevant for our time, which make you feel breathless but sometimes invites you to rest."
Guntram Lenz reviewing the ballet Alice, Wetzlauer Neue Zeitung
"The Agnus Dei of his Mass was beautiful and quite striking with ladders of woodwind rising against the sound of solo singers, soon to be shattered by the sound of war."
John Amis, reviewing Missa Pacis, The Tablet
"This is deeply felt and thoughtful music.”
Huw Morgan reviewing Faith, Love, Hope, Church Music Quarterly
Frederick’s compositional studies at Cambridge University continued with a PhD from The University of Manchester on harmonic theory, published as Simon Sechter’s Fundamental Bass Theory and its influence on the music of Anton Bruckner.
“Stocken’s study … makes a vital contribution to both Bruckner and Sechter studies, and, as such, should become an important text for scholars in both fields”. Prof. Julian Horton, The Bruckner Journal
As a musicologist Frederick has published articles in The Musical Times and Music & Letters. He has given pre-concert talks on Bruckner’s symphonies for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
He presented the RCO’s first live webinars, and he has examined for ABRSM in numerous countries, also training ABRSM examiners.
As Organist of St George’s Cathedral Frederick played for broadcast services on BBC radio and television, and as organ accompanist of the choir made recordings for the Priory and Regent labels. He has given organ recitals at King’s College Cambridge, St John’s Smith Square, and in Germany and Japan.
Frederick first learnt the organ with Kenneth Beard while a chorister at Southwell Minster. At Chetham’s School of Music he won five prizes at ARCO as a student of Derrick Cantrell and a further three prizes at FRCO. As Organ Scholar of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge he studied with Peter le Huray and Peter Hurford. His compositional mentors in the early years of his career were Margaret Hubicki and Howard Ferguson.