Frederick Zimmermann was born on May 18, 1906, in New York City. He was a double bassist with the New York Philharmonic and taught at Columbia University and New York University. He also studied painting with George Grosz at the Art Students' League. In 1954 he helped organize an exhibition of Der Blau Reiter at the Curt Valentin Gallery. In 1931 he married Dorothy Zimmermann with whom he had one son, Edwin. A collection of his papers are at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University. His collection of double bass music is at the Music Division of the New York Public Library.