Harry Freedman (b Henryk Frydmann). Composer, english hornist, educator, b Lodz, Poland, 5 Apr 1922, naturalized Canadian 1932, d Toronto 16 Sep 2005.
Raised from the age of three in Medicine Hat, Alta, where his father was engaged in the fur trade, Freedman moved with his parents to Winnipeg in 1931. He enrolled at the Winnipeg School of Art at 13 to train as a painter. Attracted also to big band jazz, he began clarinet lessons at 18. His teacher - Arthur Hart, the leading local orchestral clarinetist, later principal of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra - introduced him to symphonic music. Painting and jazz remained influences in Freedman's composition. After serving in the RCAF in World War II Freedman settled in Toronto, where he studied composition 1945-51 with John Weinzweig at the Royal Conservatory of Music and oboe with Perry Bauman. He also took summer classes with Messiaen and Copland at Tanglewood. He joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 1946 as english horn and remained with the orchestra for 25 years, serving during his last year as the orchestra's first composer-in-residence. In that capacity, he produced orchestral arrangements of 'O Canada' and 'God Save the Queen,' short pieces for small ensembles to play in the schools, and the large work Graphic I ('Out of Silence ... ') for the orchestra's 50th-anniversary celebrations. After 1971 Freedman devoted himself almost entirely to composing, though every summer 1972-81 he also taught and served as composer-in-residence at the Courtenay Youth Music Centre, which commissioned his Graphic II for the Purcell String Quartet, Encounter for the violinist Steven Staryk, a fanfare for the opening of the summer festival, and the one-act jazz opera Abracadabra. He taught orchestration and composition at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, for two seasons 1989-91, the second as Jean A. Chalmers Visiting Professor of Canadian Music.