Born in Bielitz, Austro-Hungary, Frederick "Fritz" Neumann studied the violin from early childhood. Following the completion of his Ph.D. from the University of Berlin and a brief career as an export-market analyst in Prague, he returned to the study of the violin and became a United States citizen in 1943. By 1952, he completed an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Music Education at Columbia University.
Appointed to the music faculty of the University of Richmond in 1955, Neumann taught violin, founded the University Symphony, and was concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony. He retired from the University in 1978.
From the mid 1960s, Neumann occupied himself principally with the research of authentic performance practice, particularly of the 17th and 18th centuries, a career that was furthered by grants from the American Philosophical Society, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The American Musicological Society presented Frederick Neumann with the prestigious Otto Kinkeldey Award in 1987 for the volume Ornamentation and Improvisation in Mozart.