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IAN FRASER (conductor/musical director/composer of Simeon’s Gift) was born and educated in England. He came to New York in 1962 with Anthony Newley’s Stop the World, I Want to Get Off, for which he was musical director and arranger of both the original London and Broadway productions. He has lived in the United States since then. His musical association with Julie Andrews began in 1972 as vocal arranger for her Emmy-winning ABC-TV weekly variety series. He became her musical director the following year, when they recorded the first of their two Christmas albums. He returned to Broadway with Andrews after an absence of 30 years to conduct Victor/Victoria. Her book, Simeon’s Gift, for which he composed and performed music to her narration for the accompanying CD, was a 2003 children’s bestseller. In 2006, he and lyricist John Bucchino composed the songs for the children’s musical version of Simeon’s Gift, leading to tonight’s symphonic performance. His 1995 and 1997 Broadway albums with Andrews on Philips Classics were both Grammy nominees.
In 1977 he received his first Emmy award for the musical direction of America Salutes Richard Rodgers, beginning what was to become one of the longest runs of individual Emmy nominations, ending in 1999, when he received his 23rd consecutive nomination. He received his 28th nomination in 2005, and was awarded his 11th Emmy for the 52nd Presidential Inaugural Gala. He conducted the orchestra for the 1984 Academy Awards show, and the 1984, 1993, and 2002 Emmy shows. His film scores include Hopscotch, First Monday in October, and Zorro the Gay Blade. He received an Academy Award nomination for the musical film Scrooge, starring Albert Finney. In 1992 he made his debut as a guest conductor with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.
He and his wife Judith, a marriage and family therapist, writer, and actress, reside in Los Angeles. Their daughter Tiffany is a noted Los Angeles Anusara Yoga teacher, and their son Neal is the chef and owner of GRACE, one of Los Angeles’ leading restaurants. In July 2006, Neal and his wife Amy opened their second restaurant, BLD.