FREEDMAN, HARRY


FREEDMAN, HARRY
FREEDMAN, HARRY (1922– ), composer, English hornist. Born Henryk Frydmann in Lodz, Poland, Freedman was raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta, from 1925, and from 1931 in Winnipeg, where he studied painting and clarinet and became involved in big band jazz. After service in the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II, he settled in Toronto, studying composition with John Weinzweig at the Royal Conservatory (1945–51) and with Olivier Messiaen and aaron copland at Tanglewood (1949) and Ernst Krenek in Toronto (1953). From 1945 he studied oboe with Perry Bauman and played English horn in the Toronto Symphony in 1946–70. The Toronto Symphony's first composer-in-residence (1969–70), Freedman taught and was also composer-in-residence at the Courtenay Youth Music Centre, 1972–81. In 1989–91, he taught composition and orchestration at the University of Toronto – in 1990–91 as the Jean A. Chalmers Visiting Professor of Canadian Music. Exceptional for his prolific output in a wide variety of musical idioms and genres, Freedman has written several   works for film, theater, and ballet, including the electronic music for The Shining People of Leonard Cohen (1970). Also representative of his breadth are Psalm 137: Al Naharot Bavel (1974) for tenor and organ, Celebration: Concerto for Gerry Mulligan (1977), And Now It Is Today Oh Yes (1982), a musical entertainment for soprano and chamber players based on Gertrude Stein's Everybody's Autobiography, and A Time Is Coming (1982) for chorus based on Amos 9:13ff. In 1970 he won an Etrog Award for best music in a Canadian feature film (Act of the Heart starring Donald Sutherland and Geneviève Bujold). The Canadian Music Council named Freedman Composer of the Year in 1980 and he was installed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1984. The recording of his 1989 Touchings by the Esprit Orchestra and the Nexus percussion ensemble won a Juno Award in 1996, and his Borealis for four choirs and orchestra was cited for "freshness of ideas and beauty of sound" at the 1998 International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. In 1998 he also received the Canada Council's Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. Dixon, The Music of Harry Freedman (2004). (Jay Rahn (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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