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Paul Douglas Freeman

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Information about Paul Douglas Freeman

Profile image of Paul Douglas Freeman

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Orchestra Conductor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black, White
Favorite Food:
Chinese Food
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Chicago, Illinois, Victoria, British Columbia
Favorite Quote:
Convert your energy into the positive approach as opposed to using or wasting time thinking in a negative way, it will make not only a stronger person, but will help you accomplish.

Birthplace

Born:
1/2/1936
Birth Location:
Richmond, Virginia

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Orchestra Conductor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black, White
Favorite Food:
Chinese Food
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Chicago, Illinois, Victoria, British Columbia
Favorite Quote:
Convert your energy into the positive approach as opposed to using or wasting time thinking in a negative way, it will make not only a stronger person, but will help you accomplish.

Birthplace

Born:
1/2/1936
Birth Location:
Richmond
See how Paul Douglas Freeman is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born in Richmond, Virginia, maestro Paul Freeman made a global impact with his symphonic direction. Freeman attended the Eastman School of Music, where he earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, with his principal instruments being the clarinet and the cello. Following the completion of his Ph.D., Freeman received a Fulbright Scholarship for two years of study at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, and then studied under conductor Pierre Monteaux at the American Symphony.

Freeman began his conducting career with the Opera Theater of Rochester, New York, where he worked for six years. Following his term at the Opera Theater, Freeman served as the associate conductor of the Dallas and Detroit symphonies, and went on to become the principal guest conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1979, Freeman joined the Victoria Symphony in Canada, where he served as music director until 1989. In 1987, Freeman founded the Chicago Sinfonietta, where he served as conductor; in 1996 he was appointed the music director and conductor of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Freeman served in both posts concurrently.

After the 1970s, one of Freeman's passions became exposing audiences to black composers. To achieve this aim, the Sinfonietta produced numerous shows highlighting the works of black composers; during the 1970s Freeman released nine albums on Columbia Records to highlight some of the most notable names. In 1975, Time listed Freeman's recordings of the first four volumes in its top ten classical records of all time.

Freeman conducted seven productions for national television; conducted five productions for international audiences through Czech national television; and was involved in more than 200 recordings. Freeman was the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Mitropoulos International Conductors Competition; the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds Award; and the Jubilate Award, Canada's highest award for music education. In total, Freeman conducted over 100 orchestras in twenty-eight countries.

Paul Freeman passed away on July 22, 2015, at the age of 79.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paul Freeman interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paul Freeman gives basic information on his parents and siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paul Freeman's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paul Freeman remembers his grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paul Freeman talks about his relationship with his mother and siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paul Freeman recalls early experiences with music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paul Freeman discusses studying music as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paul Freeman talks about the lives and careers of his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paul Freeman remembers performing with his brother and talks about other musical family members
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Paul Freeman briefly recalls his elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paul Freeman remembers experiences during elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paul Freeman discusses his interests during junior high and high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paul Freeman explains his first maestro experience and transition into music school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paul Freeman talks about why he attended Eastman School of Music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paul Freeman recalls experiences abroad and difficulties he faced when returning to the United States
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paul Freeman recalls how he discovered a new way of using religion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paul Freeman talks about obtaining an assistantship at Eastman School of Music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paul Freeman tells of ways he and his wife made extra money while at Eastman School of Music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paul Freeman discusses couples in the music profession
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paul Freeman discusses his first jobs as a conductor in North America
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paul Freeman describes race discrimination he experienced in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paul Freeman recalls the various moves his family made for his career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paul Freeman tells of his son's upbringing and interests
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paul Freeman remembers meeting and performing with Marian Anderson
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paul Freeman explains overcoming segregation in classical music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paul Freeman discusses meetings with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paul Freeman reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paul Freeman talks about youth's perception of orchestral music
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paul Freeman recalls researching and performing the works of black composers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paul Freeman discusses the art of choosing and sequencing selections for a performance
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paul Freeman explains how he has integrated other art forms into his orchestra concerts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paul Freeman talks about his syndicated radio program, 'Global Maestro'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paul Freeman speaks about the influence of various black composers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paul Freeman discusses issues in interpreting others' compositions
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paul Freeman considers his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paul Freeman talks about his relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paul Freeman reflects on his current successes
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Photo - Paul Douglas Freeman, ca. 1945
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Paul Freeman's son, Douglas Cornell Freeman, ca. 1972
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Paul Freeman with his wife and son, ca. 1980
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Second copy of Paul Douglas Freeman, ca. 1945
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Paul Freeman's son and daughter-in-law on their wedding day, ca. 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Paul Freeman's son Douglas and wife Cornelia, Detroit, Michigan, ca. 1977
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Collection of classical music compact discs featuring Paul Freeman