Jefferson Friedman

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    Understanding the Music: Friedman - The Throne of the Third Heaven


Jefferson Friedman was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts in 1974. As a high school student he studied piano and clarinet at the New England Conservatory Extension Division, but never really thought he had a performance career ahead of him. He believed he might have more to say about music and about the world as a composer.

After earning a B.A. in music with honors from Columbia University in 1996, Friedman went on to study intensively under John Corigliano at the Juillard School, obtaining his M.M. degree in 2001. Corigliano taught Friedman that the most important thing is to have a fully formed idea of what you want to do before starting to write a piece—to know where you're starting and know where you're ending and know how you're going to get from the beginning to the end. The only other person to have had such an impact on him was David Rakowski, the man he credits for leading him to a career as a composer. Friedman found his passion after taking an introduction to composition course that Rakowski was teaching.

Friedman's career has included performances in the United States and abroad, including work at the Aspen Summer Music Festival. In 2000, he received a full fellowship to attend the Aspen Music Festival Composition Masterclass Program. Summers there afforded him the opportunity to study with George Tsontakis, John Corigliano, and Christopher Rouse.

Friedman has already been awarded the 2000 ASCAP Leo Kaplan Award, a 2000 BMI Student Composer Award, the 2001 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award and the 2001 Palmer Dixson Prize for his orchestral work, Sacred Heart: Explosion , which was also a 2001 Juillard Orchestra Competition winner. The American Academy in Rome awarded Friedman a Rome Prize Fellowship in Musical Composition for 2003-2004. Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra commissioned Friedman twice. The first piece was performed in 2001; the second will premier in Fall 2004.
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  • Sacred Heart: Explosion
  • The Throne of the Third Heaven
  • March