Peter Racine Fricker (5 September 1920 – 1 February 1990) was an English composer who lived in the United States for the last thirty years of his life. He was born in London, and studied with R. O. Morris and Ernest Bullock at the Royal College of Music. After serving in the Royal Air Force during World War II, Fricker undertook a period of study with Mátyás Seiber. He held a post as professor of composition at the Royal College of Music in London, and in 1952 he became director of music at Morley College, succeeding Michael Tippett. He composed for many combinations of instruments including a few works for organ.
Stylistically his music was significantly different from the mainstream English school of the middle 20th century; instead of following in the lyrical, folk-song influenced tradition of Holst, Vaughan Williams and others, he wrote music which was chromatic, contrapuntal, and acerbic—more akin to Schoenberg, Bartók, and Hindemith than to any of his English contemporaries. Unlike Schoenberg, however, he never abandoned tonality altogether, preferring to work in a dissonant idiom which retained a tonal basis—a position considered to be conservative in the musical milieu of the 1950s and 1960s.
Fricker became visiting professor of music at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1964. Six years later, he took a permanent position at this university; he became chairman of the Music Department in 1970, and was appointed "faculty research lecturer" in 1979, the highest academic honor which the university bestows on its faculty. From 1984 to 1986 he was president of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music and Literature in England.
He was a descendant of the French playwright Racine.