Don Freund

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Don Freund
Don Freund at Home.jpg
Background information
Origin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Genres Classical Music
Occupations Composer

Don Freund (born 1947, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American composer and Professor of Composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His over 100 performed works, include solo, chamber, and orchestral music, live performance with electronic instruments, large theatre works.

He stud­ied at Duquesne Uni­ver­sity (BM ‘69), and earned his grad­u­ate degrees at the East­man School of Music (MM’70, DMA’72). His com­po­si­tion teach­ers were Joseph Will­cox Jenk­ins, Dar­ius Mil­haud, Ralph Freund, Wayne Bar­low, War­ren Ben­son, and Samuel Adler. From 1972 to 1992 he was chair­man of the Com­po­si­tion Depart­ment at Mem­phis State Uni­ver­sity. As founder and coor­di­na­tor of Mem­phis State University’s Annual New Music Fes­ti­val, he pro­grammed close to a thou­sand new Amer­i­can works; he has been con­duc­tor or pianist in the per­for­mance of some two hun­dred new pieces, usu­ally in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the composer.

Fre­und has received two grants from the National Endow­ment for the Arts (Cello Con­certo; Pas­sion with Tropes), grants from Jacobs School of Music to com­pose the bal­let Madame Bovary and Earth­dance Con­certo. Com­mis­sions includ­ing the Ten­nessee Arts Com­mis­sion with Opera Mem­phis (Opera: The Bishop’s Ghost), Ten­nessee Music Teach­ers Asso­ci­a­tion (Pas­toral Sym­phony), the Mem­phis City Schools (Vista for Three String Orches­tras), the Mem­phis in May Inter­na­tional Fes­ti­val (Spring­songs), the Verdehr Trio (Tri­omu­sic), the Ten­nessee Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion (Jug Blues & Fat Pickin’ for the Governor’s School Wind Ensem­ble), the Pitts­burgh New Music Ensem­ble (Hard Cells), the Jubal Trio (Back­yard Songs), Mem­phis Bal­let (Alice in Won­der­land), the Inter­na­tional Viola Con­gress (Fan­fare for Vio­las), the Pas­tiche Ensem­ble (Rough and Tum­ble), Florida State Uni­ver­sity and Indi­ana Uni­ver­sity (Beyond the Brass Gates), the Rodrigo Riera Inter­na­tional Gui­tar Fes­ti­val (One Singer, Two Voices), Baldwin-Wallace Con­ser­va­tory (Pri­mav­era Dou­bles), Voces Novae (Child­hood Awak­en­ing), Robert and Sara LeBien (Quilt Hori­zon), Ger­man­town Sym­phony Orches­tra (Pre­ludes for Orches­tra), What­com Sym­phony Orches­tra (Word on the Street), Ensem­ble Zel­lig (Crunch Time), and the Indi­ana Music Teach­ers Asso­ci­a­tion (Autumn­songs). Prizes include the Wash­ing­ton Inter­na­tional String Quar­tet Com­po­si­tion Com­pe­ti­tion, the Inter­na­tional Soci­ety for Con­tem­po­rary Music/League of Com­posers Inter­na­tional Piano Music Com­pe­ti­tion, the AGO/ECS Pub­lish­ing Award in Choral Com­po­si­tion (God’s Grandeur), the Rodrigo Riera Inter­na­tional Com­pe­ti­tion for Gui­tar Com­po­si­tion (Stir­rings), the Han­son Prize, the McCurdy Award, the Aspen Prize, 25 ASCAP Awards, and a Mac­ge­orge Fel­low­ship from the Uni­ver­sity of Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia. In 2005, Fre­und was also awarded a Guggen­heim Fel­low­ship for Romeo and Juliet: A Shake­spear­ian Music-Drama, which was given its pre­miere pro­duc­tion by the Bloom­ing­ton Play­wrights Project in 2008.


  • New Music From Indiana University Vol 4 - Don Freund Madame Bovary Suite, Soft Cells, Concerto for Viola, Dissolving Music:Indiana University Concert Orchestra, Indiana University New Music Ensemble, Indiana University Chamber Orchestra conducted by Don Freund, David Dzubay, and Paul Biss. Indiana University 10.


As Pro­fes­sor of Com­po­si­tion at Indi­ana Uni­ver­sity Jacobs School of Music since 1992, teach­ing com­po­si­tion con­tin­ues to be a major com­po­nent of Freund’s career. Freund’s stu­dents from 30 years of teach­ing con­tinue to win an impress­sive array of awards and recog­ni­tions. He has also served as guest com­poser at a vast array of uni­ver­si­ties and music fes­ti­vals. He has served as composer-in-residence at the Aus­tralian National Acad­emy of Music, the Bow­doin Inter­na­tional Music Fes­ti­val, and the Bre­vard Music Cen­ter and has given lec­tures and mas­ter classes at Royal Con­ser­va­to­ries in Brus­sels, Prague, Vienna, the Hague, the Royal Acad­emy of Music in Lon­don, and Tan­gle­wood Music Cen­ter.

He hosts two large parties a year for composers in his department, known as "Freundfests". Composition students are invited to enjoy croquet, football, Freundburgers, Cheezfreundburgers, Veggiefreundburgers, and yes, even Cheezfreundveggieburgers. Attendees are heavily and repeatedly advised, as an inside joke, to bring their drinks.[1][not in citation given]


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