Jay Friedman attended Yale University on scholarship and
majored in composition at Roosevelt University. After four years with the Civic
Orchestra of Chicago and two years with the Florida Symphony, he joined the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1962 and was appointed principal trombone in
1964. He has soloed with the CSO on several occasions, including a concerto by
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.
Friedman recently released The Singing
Trombone, a solo CD designed to assist trombone students. He has
taught trombone privately for many years, and his students hold positions in
major orchestras such as the Gothenburg Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Friedman currently serves as professor of trombone,
principal guest conductor and head of winds and brass at the Chicago College of
Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He also has been artist-in-residence
at Indiana University. Friedman was invited to hold master classes and perform
at the International Trombone Camp in Fossano, Italy, in 2002, and in Limone,
Italy, in 2003. That same year, he also performed at the International Trombone
Association in Helsinki, Finland. In 2006 Friedman held master classes in Vigo,
An active conductor, Friedman was named music director of
the Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest in 1995. At the invitation of
Daniel Barenboim, Friedman conducted the Civic Orchestra in act 1 of Wagner’s Die
Walküre,in a performance the Chicago
Sun-Timescalled “the best Civic concert
in the past 30 years.” In 2002, he was chosen Conductor of the Year by the
Illinois Council of Orchestras.
In 2001, Friedman combined his passion for brass and
conducting by organizing the Chicago Symphony brass and alumni in a concert at
Symphony Center benefiting the Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest and
honoring Adolph “Bud” Herseth. This all-brass concert, Brass Buddies, featured
Friedman’s own arrangement of Strauss’ An Alpine
Friedman’s conducting career has included guest appearances
with orchestras around the world, including the Orchestra of the Italian Radio
(RAI), Malmo Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s annual donor concerts.
In April 2005, he conducted three concerts with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of
Rome. In March 2006, he conducted the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in a public
master class of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony at Symphony Center, and in May 2007 he
conducted the RAI orchestra in Italy with Daniel Barenboim as piano soloist.
Friedman’s articles on conducting and orchestral style have
been published by The Instrumentalist magazine.
These articles currently are being used as a curriculum at leading universities
and can be accessed on his website at jayfriedman.net.
In 2010 Friedman conducted Mahler’s Eighth symphony (Symphony
of a Thousand) at Symphony Center, with the Symphony of Oak Park and River
Forest, the choirs of the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, Chicago
Concert Chorale, Concordia University and The Oak Park Children’s Choir, with
soloists Nancy Pifer, Marcy Stonikas, Elizabeth Norman, Deborah Guscott, Tracy
Watson, Kurt Hansen, Douglas Anderson and Peter Van De Graaf. In 2011 he
conducted the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, Symphony Chorus and
Chicago Chorale in a performance of Beethoven's Missa solemnis at Symphony Center. Guest conducting engagements for
2012/13 include the Louisiana Philharmonic, Berlin Staatskapelle, Zurich Opera
and National Orchestra of Mexico. Visit Friedman at jayfriedman.net.