The Van Cliburn Competition…The Boston Pops…22 albums… 10 original revues…reams of critical raves… unprecedented return engagements. Accolades abound; but the most revealing accomplishment of Mac Frampton’s career is the bond he has created and continues to sustain with thousands of audiences the world over.
Born in South Carolina, the son of a Presbyterian minister and a mother who sang her way through college during the Depression, Mac started playing the piano at the age of three. His formal training began at five and he was eight years old when he made his professional debut. After his musical studies at Erskine College, he did graduate work at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he received the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts. While a student, Mac gained national prominence as a medal-winning semifinalists in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
It was at the Cliburn Competition that Mac began to seriously consider an alternative to a classical career. “I was at a farewell reception and some of the contestants who knew I improvised pop and jazz asked me to play a few tunes. I had just started when Van Cliburn himself walked in. He told me he was impressed with my arrangements and that I should consider doing them professionally. With that kind of endorsement, I had to think seriously about going into the pop arena. I went home and started booking myself with a backup group and found I really loved it.”
The unique style Mac evolved during that period has proved extremely durable. Based on classical technique, drawing liberally from jazz and rock idioms, the “rock-alternative” sound of Mac Frampton continues to build a wider audience with every concert. Over the past twenty-four years, Mac and his group have played over 3000 concerts in the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, and the Mideast. He holds the record for return engagements at many locations, having appeared as many as twelve times on a single stage. He has teamed with Bill Cosby, Roberta Flack, Victor Borge, Louis Nye, The Fifth Dimension, and Metropolitan Opera star Roberta Peters, among others.
Mac is also a successful producer of revues. Over the years he has mounted productions on the music of Cole Porter and George Gershwin, as well as several Broadway shows. In 1995 he found The Hollywood Hills Orchestra, a 16-piece ensemble dedicated to the performance of great cinematic music.