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Constructing Thought, One Note at a Time

Three Commissions for the 2013 Klein International String Competition

Tomorrow Never Knows

Fallings (Workshop Excerpts)


Gravity of Honey

Concerto (In the Form of Variations) for Viola and Orchestra

The Emily Songs

Lord of Misrule

Elastic Band

What the Living Do

Pas de Deux

Red Ice

Personals – I Think You Should Know

T Tables

Hey Ho, the Wind and the Rain!

Latest News

Musically, I am a “synthesist” - someone who is fascinated by all types of music regardless of genre or style, or whether it is narrative or abstract in nature. When I was a kid, I loved jazz and rock and later discovered classical music. But, as a composition student, I was urged by several of my teachers to specialize among my musical activities – to choose between musical theater/rock or concert music. I resisted and instead resolved to synthesize, rather than compartmentalize my creative work. I have composed music for the concert hall (small and large ensembles), and for musical theater, opera, dance, film, jazz, and rock. My thinking is constantly refreshed through collaborations, teaching activities, and new creative projects.

Movable Home + SONYC + National Sawdust – what a combo!

3rd February 2016 By joel

It’s drawing nearer! Next week, Friday, February 12th, is the East Coast Premiere of my string orchestra piece Movable Home by the String Orchestra of New York City (SONYC) at National Sawdust under the aegis of “Jeffrey Zeigler presents.” The fabulous program also includes Aaron Jay Kernis’ “Sarabanda in Memoriam,” Reena Esmail‘s “Teen Murti” and Randy Woolf‘s “Blues for Black Hoodies.” Tickets are available here. @GreyBirdMuse @jzcello @NationalSawdust @randywoolf @monikarl1

A nice review of the NYC premiere of When The World Disintegrates Before Your Eyes!

3rd January 2016 By joel

George Grella of New York Classical Review had some very nice things to say about Andrew Gonzalez and my “fierce little viola piece!” “Joel Friedman’s solo viola work, When the World Disintegrates Before Your Eyes, brought more intensity and emotional darkness. This is a technically and expressively demanding piece, ably played by Andrew Gonzalez. The piece uses material from the scherzo of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as a jumping-off point. Friedman puts that into minor key, adds dissonances, repeats interior fragments, then uses the same techniques to spiral into more broad-limbed writing. The obsessive and interesting, off-kilter quality of the music was apparent, even without Friedman’s remarks about the personal turmoil that marked his compositional process.”

My National Sawdust Debut!

19th December 2015 By joel

I’m thrilled that on January 13th Irving M. Klein International String Competition will be presenting a concert – “A CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP” – of California-related works performed by illustrious Klein alumni INCLUDING 2 of my 2013 Klein Competition commissions “Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle” for solo violin (East Coast Premiere performed by Kevin Lin, Curtis Institute) and “When the World Disintegrates Before Your Eyes” for solo viola (performed by Teng Li, viola, Principal Viola, Toronto Symphony). Tickets here.