Frederick J. Maroth ’52

Frederick J. Maroth ’52, founder of the Music & Arts record label, died November 22, 2013, in Berkeley, Calif. He was born on June 12, 1929, in Budapest, Hungary, prepared for college at Lutheran Secondary School, and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of nineteen. He attended Bowdoin for the 1948-1949 year, as well as the Universities of Minnesota and Oregon. Music & Arts was established in its final iteration in 1984, but the roots of the company reach back to his radio shows, produced between 1964 and 1966 for Berkeley’s KPFA radio, a publicly supported centerpiece of 1960s political and artistic causes, where he produced a series of major radio programs called The Art of the Performer. He had a talent for digging up sensational, otherwise-unavailable performances by major artists, and the program soon became an international hit. At its peak, it was carried on 150 public stations around the U.S., in addition to several Canadian and European stations. He searched for material that had not previously appeared in commercial recordings, often excavating performances no one knew existed. He also became known for lengthy, in-depth looks at a single composer—for example, a series of ten programs, with fifteen hours worth of music, on Stravinsky performances. He got so many requests for recordings of his collections that he decided in 1968 to cut his own albums. He produced them through the non-profit Educational Media Association of America, Inc., as a public service project. Music & Arts grew out of that effort.


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