Fran Richard. Photo courtesy of ASCAP.

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, has posted an obituary tribute to Frances Richard, its former vice president and head of its Concert Music department for many years. Fran Richard “passed away February 8 at the age of 87. Fran joined the ASCAP management team in 1985 and was a fierce advocate for and mentor to contemporary composers. A cellist and musicologist, she had a deep understanding of music and guided many of today’s leading American composers in their careers, championing their work and helping them to succeed…. Fran was [previously] a founding Director, Vice President of Meet the Composer, and chaired the Board of Directors. Fran served as Executive Director of the National Council for Arts and Education, where … she led a national campaign to gather support and generate funds for Arts and Education. Fran was a cellist, with training as conductor and musicologist. In addition to her degrees in music, she earned a master’s degree in Urban Studies and City Planning … She served as grants adjudicator; score competition and commissioning panelist for the NEA, state and private foundations and agencies … She served on the Board of New Music USA, and on the Advisory Boards of numerous composer and new music organizations.”