It is with great sadness that the Office for the Arts at Harvard notes the passing of Fred Ho ’79, baritone saxophonist, composer, writer, producer, political activist and leader of several musical ensembles. Jon Pareles of the New York Times once praised Fred for his “audacious integrity,” a trait that was always evident in his prodigious output which included multimedia works, scores for dances, oratorios and operas, and several books. Speaking of his work, Fred always enjoyed quoting visionary composer, performer and band leader Sun Ra: “Everything possible has been tried and nothing has changed. What we need is the impossible.”
In a post on this blog, OFA Director of Programs Cathy McCormick reported on Fred’s final public performance: The Sweet Science Suite: A Scientific Soul Music Honoring of Muhammad Ali at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival in October of last year.
In this clip, from the November 2009 ceremony honoring Fred as recipient of the Harvard Arts Medal, he offers his thanks with an extraordinary performance on his baritone sax.