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British musician who developed from a rudimentary guitarist and improviser to a composer for guitar and string quartets and theatre and film music. He is also in demand as a performer on other people's records. At the beginning of '99 the Asko Ensemble performed his composition Weatherwise Or Otherwise, after which he was invited to teach composition at Mills College in Oakland in '01.
With Chris Cutler, Frith formed the group Henry Cow in '69, which expressively blends classical music, jazz, folk and political engagement. Subsequent collaborations with Peter Biegvad's Slapp Happy result in timeless, inventive pop songs. An important Henry Cow offshoot in which Oak Frith plays an important role is Art Bears. From '03 onwards Frith re-releases his old albums on Fred Records.