Fred Fox – A Whiplash Story Without the Whip


Last Updated on July 27, 2021

Sony Pictures – © 2014

The Academy Award winning movie Whiplash would have you think that it takes insults, abuse and a chair tossing or two to create great musicians. Fred Fox would prove otherwise.

This legend of the french horn is inspiring the next generation of greats to maximize their full potential using critique, technique and encouragement as his teaching tools. He is able to communicate, and relate to his students in a unique and powerful way. Oh, and Fred Fox also happens to be 100 years old.

As a teacher, Fox is demanding, disciplined and energetic. He has a way of connecting with his students, and in many cases in a few short moments he has them playing better than ever, motivated and eager to learn even more.

Fox recently spent time lending his expertise at the University of Arizona School of Music. He and his family were quite impressed with the program, the staff and the students, so much so that his son has made a contribution to the school of $20-million dollars. In return, the school will change it’s name to the Fred Fox School of Music.

The Growing Bolder part of the story is that this honor comes to Fox not for what he did over his 100 years, but what he is doing now. He loves to teach, loves to inspire and loves making a difference. He says it’s what’s motivated him throughout his life and is what has kept him healthy, vital and energetic to this point.

Unlike the movie Whiplash, none of the horn players have to play till their lips bleed to win Fox’s approval. He says desire, relentless determination and true love for the art of creating music obtain the same result and who can argue?

At the age of 100 and still going strong, it certainly has worked for Fred Fox.