Jay Friedman

Principal Trombone
The Lisa and Paul Wiggin Principal Trombone Chair

Jay Friedman attended Yale University on a scholarship and later 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 (CSO) in 1962 and was appointed principal trombone in 1964. He has been featured as soloist with the CSO on several occasions, including the 1989 world premiere of a Trombone Concerto by Ellen Taafe Zwilich with Sir Georg Soti. In 2018, Friedman, along with his fellow section members, gave world premiere performances of Jennifer Higdon’s Low Brass Concerto with Riccardo Muti at Orchestra Hall and in tour performances at Carnegie Hall and several other venues.

An active conductor, Friedman was named music director of the Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest in 1995. In 2002, he was chosen Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras. 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 2010, Friedman conducted Mahler’s Eight 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 Univrsity and the Oak Park Children’s Choir. Other guest conducting appearances include those with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Berlin Staatskapelle, Zurich Opera and National Orchestra of Mexica, among others. At the invitation of Riccardo Muti, he conducted Glière’s monumental Symphony No. 3 (Ilya Murometz) in 2016 with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and in 2017 Mozart’s Haffner Symphony and Bruckner Symphony No.7. In 2018, he conducted the Civic Orchestra Brass in Wagner’s Ring Cycle and in 2019, led Sibelius’s Lemminkäinen Suite and Wagner’s Preludes to Lohengrin, Tristan and Isolde and Parsifal with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.


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