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Freedman, Harry

Freedman, Harry

Freedman, Harry, Polish-born Canadian composer; b. 6d, April 5, 1922. He was taken to Canada as a child and became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1931. At 13, he became a student at the Winnipeg School of Art to study painting. At 18, he took up the clarinet, and then studied oboe with Perry Bauman and composition with John Weinzweig at the Royal Cons, of Music of Toronto (1945–51). He also attended Messiaen’s class in composition at the Berkshire Music Center in Tangle-wood (summer, 1949). Freedman began his career performing with and composing for dance bands and jazz ensembles. He played English horn in the Toronto Sym. Orch. (1946–70), then served as its composer-in-residence (1970–71) and was a founder and president (1975–78) of the Canadian League of Composers. In 1985 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In his works, he reveals a fine command of writing in various idioms, ranging from symphonic to jazz scores.


DRAMATIC Opera : Abracadabra (1979). M u s i c a l : Fragments of Alice (1988). B a l l e t : Rose Latulippe (Stratford, Aug. 16, 1966); 5 over 13 (1969); The Shining People of Leonard Cohen (1970); Star Cross’d (1973; rev. 1975; retitled Romeo and Juliet); Oiseaux exotiques (1984–85); Heroes of Our Time (1986); Breaks (1987). ORCH.: Nocturne I (1949) and II (1975); Matinee Suite (1951–55); Images, symphonic suite (1957–58); 3 syms.: No. 1 (1954–60; Washington, D.C., April 23, 1961), No. 2, A Little Symphony (1966), and No. 3 (1983; rev. 1985); Chaconne (1964); Tangents, symphonic variations (Montreal, July 21, 1967); Klee Wyck (The Laughing One [Indian name of the artist Emily Carr]; 1970); Graphic I (Out of Silence…) for Orch. and Tape (Toronto, Oct. 26, 1971); Preludes (1971; orchestrated from Debussy); Tapestry for Small Orch. (1973); Tsolum Summer for Flute, Percussion, and Strings (1976); Royal Flush, concerto grosso for Brass Quintet and Orch. (1981); Chalumeau for Clarinet and String Orch. or String Quartet (1981); Concerto for Orchestra (1982); The Sax Chronicles for Saxophone and Orch. (1984); Passacaglia for Jazz Band and Orch. (1984); Graphic VI (Town), after the paintings of Harold Town (1986); A Dance on the Earth (1988); Sonata for Symphonic Winds (1988); Marigold for Viola and Orch. (1999). CHAMBER: Wind Quintet (1962); The Tokaido for Chorus and Wind Quintet (1964); Variations for Oboe, Flute, and Harpsichord (1965); 5 Rings for Brass Quintet (1976); Monday Gig for Woodwind Quintet (1978); Opus Pocus for Flute, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1979); Blue for String Quartet (1980); Little Girl Blew for Bass Clarinet (1988); other chamber works. VOCAL: 3 poèmes de Jacques Prevert for Soprano and String Orch. (1962); 2 Sonnets of Love and Age for Soprano, Baritone, Woodwind Quintet, and Brass Quintet (1975); fragments of Alice for Soprano, Alto, Baritone, and Chamber Orch. (1976); Nocturne III for Chorus and Orch. (1980); A Time Is Coming for Voices (1982); Rhymes from the Nursery for Children’s Chorus (1986); Borealis for 4 Choruses and Orch. (1997); Voices for Chorus (1999); other vocal works. OTHER: Incidental music; film and television scores.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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