Jefferson Friedman

American composer JEFFERSON FRIEDMAN was born in 1974 in Swampscott, Massachusetts. His music has been called “impossible to resist” byThe New York Times, and Sequenza 21 reports, “[Mr. Friedman] goes a lot further toward sustaining interest and tension than composers twice his age (and with Pulitzer Prizes).” His work has been performed throughout the United States and abroad, most notably at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, the Bowery Ballroom, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and the American Academy in Rome. His piece, String Quartet No. 3, was nominated for a Grammy for "Best Contemporary Classical Composition of the Year," recorded as part of the Chiara String Quartet's 2011 New Amsterdam Records album.

Mr. Friedman has been commissioned three times by Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra; his works MarchThe Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly, and Sacred Heart: Explosion were all written for the NSO. March is a brief closing piece, commissioned by the orchestra as part of the Hechinger Encores series. The Throne and Sacred Heartare the second and third sections of a planned orchestral trilogy entitled In the Realms of the Unreal, each movement of which is based on the life and work of a different American “outsider” or “visionary” artist.

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Albums by Artist


In addition to his works for orchestra, Mr. Friedman has written three string quartets for the Chiara Quartet. His String Quartet No. 2 is published by G. Schirmer, Inc. as part of their New American Voices series, and was recorded by the Corigliano Quartet for their Naxos debut CD. String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3 are performed frequently. String Quartet No. 2 was featured with new choreography by Brian Reeder at Columbia University’s Miller Theater, and selections from both String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3 were performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as part of a festival honoring John Corigliano for his 70th birthday. In addition, the quartets have been featured regularly on the Wordless Music Series in New York, which brings together classical and indie rock or electronica artists for shared concerts. Of a performance of String Quartet No. 3 at the Tribeca New Music Festival opening concert in 2009, The New York Times reported it to be, "a vital, imaginative 30-minute score, packed with unusual timbres, unabashedly rich melodies (played meltingly by Ms. Cuckson and Ms. Sirota) and carefully worked-out themes. Mr. Friedman’s quartets are finding plenty of performances; they already deserve to be heard as classics of this decade." String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3 have been recorded by the Chara Quartet, released in 2011 by New Amsterdam Records.


Mr. Friedman’s honors and awards include the Rome Prize Fellowship in Musical Composition, the ASCAP Leo Kaplan Award, the BMI Student Composer Award, the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the Palmer-Dixon Prize, and the top prize in the Juilliard Orchestra Competition. He received his M.M. degree in music composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied with John Corigliano, and his B.A. from Columbia University, where his teachers included David Rakowski and Jonathan Kramer. His has also studied with George Tsontakis and Christopher Rouse.

In addition to his work as a composer, Mr. Friedman has performed with a number of rock bands, including Shudder To Think, and recently collaborated with the electronic music duo Matmos, contributing string arrangements for their album The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast.

Mr. Friedman lives and composes in Los Angeles, CA. With the exception of String Quartet No. 2, his catalog is self-published by Montana 59 Music.