Freedman, Lori

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Freedman, Lori

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1958 -

History

Lori Freedman was born in 1958 in Toronto and is a composer and clarinetist. Having parents who were both musicians, from a very early age Freedman began to learn numerous musical instruments: piano, guitar, drums, and trombone. It is her mastery of the clarinet that has catapulted her to international acclaim and what she is most notably sought after and known for playing. Her compositions and performances have led Freedman to become a member of the international group known as “the renaissance musicians.”
Freedman studied clarinet at the University of Toronto, and after graduating in 1977 she continued her studies at the Academy of Woodwinds at the Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta. In 1981, two musicians, Pauline Oliveros and Eric Dolphy, would inspire her with their spontaneity and improvisation that would change her outlook on music completely. Their comfort with taking risks in their music would inspire her to begin studying with Larry Combs at the Chicago Civic Orchestra when she first started improvising with her own music. Improvisation would become a central component in her compositions and live performances of the clarinet and would bring her high acclaim.
Freedman has performed in over 100 cities in over 20 countries all around the world. With a packed touring performance schedule, it is not uncommon for her to have more than 75 shows in a single year. In the midst of her own full performance schedule tour, recording, and workshops, she also has been commissioned by numerous contemporary artists to create music for them to perform. She also composes musical scores for dance, theatre, cinema, and other visual arts. One of her accolades includes the Freddie Stone Award in 1988 for the “demonstration of outstanding leadership, integrity and excellence in the area of contemporary music and jazz.” In 2003, 2004, and 2006 she was awarded "Clarinetist of the Year" at the National Jazz Awards. Most recently, in 2017, she was elected to be a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada for “outstanding artistic achievement.” In addition, she has taught at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal where she conducted classes on bass clarinet and coached the contemporary/improvised music ensemble.

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