Eugene Friesen Music
Eugene Friesen Music

Special classes for musicians and music students can be combined
with concerts and assembly programs in schools to create community-wide residencies.

Workshops and Master Classes
Free Improvisation

Improvisation is the realm in which performance and composition meet.
Beginning improvisers are given a relaxed context for taking their first steps into improvisation, while advanced players learn to expand their comfort zones into new musical territory. The rule here is: "there are no wrong notes" and players are encouraged to move between playing rhythmic and soloistic roles in order to imitate, converse musically and interact using basic human gifts of listening, leading and following. Techniques to enhance skills in free improvisation are discussed and demonstrated.

String Jazz Ensemble
Drawing from the repertoire of his Berklee Jazz String Orchestra in Boston, Eugene leads string players into the details of playing swing and rhythmically oriented music. New music is used to introduce skills specific to playing jazz in an ensemble setting, to create exciting accompaniment to soloists, and to feature the rhythmic capabilities of strings.

The "New" Cello
This class explores the expanding possibilities of the cello as a solo instrument, as well as new techniques for accompanying more rhythmically and harmonically. New pizzicato techniques, expressive uses of vibrato and non-vibrato, ornamentation, vocal-style phrasing and glissandi, and other techniques are demonstrated. Use of the metronome and practice techniques from the world of jazz are introduced and discussed.

Letters from participants:

“Eugene's String Institute was the best pure music-making I have experienced in many years. His openness, depth of knowledge, and mastery of the cello led everyone to unlock doors to personal expression that will stay open for a long time. This weekend was a gift.”

- Crispin Campbell,
Interlochen Arts Academy, MI

“I just wanted to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to conduct our District 2 orchestra this past weekend. It was a real honor to work with someone of your talent and get the chance to see you perform live. Hope to see you in Maine again soon and I love your new album!”

- Dana, South Paris, ME

“Eugene, thank you so much for spending just that little amount of time working with me and the others in your master class at Camp Allegro, we all really appreciated it. The things you taught me, even in so little time have inspired me beyond what I could even imagine on my cello. My playing has improved tremendously, I cannot wait till I have the honor to meet with you again. Till then, play on and be brilliant!”

- Audra, Wichita, KS

“Oh, I see how this works.
Yesterday you couldn't get me to play a solo, and today you can't get me to stop!”

- Janet Haarvig, cellist, composer,
Proctor, MT

Composer/Performance Residencies:
Eugene’s compositional credits Include five albums of original music; GRASSLANDS, a symphony premiered on the Kansas prairie in 1997; EARTH REQUIEM: STORIES OF HOPE, an oratorio first performed in 1991; THE BREMENTOWN MUSICIANS with Bob Hoskins for Rabbit Ears Productions in 1992; SABBATHS, settings of poems by Wendell Berry premiered in Vermont in 1999; and numerous scores for film. Eugene's music can also be heard on the recordings of Trio Globo, which he founded in 1992 with Howard Levy and Glen Velez. Eugene was the 1999 recipient of grants from the Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Fund and Continental Harmony to compose a symphonic setting of Carl Sandburg's PRAIRIE, which was premiered in June of 2001 at PrairieFest in Kansas.

“Friesen’s music has shape and substance,
tension and power.
It’s serious but not self-conscious.
And it has feeling, real human feeling.”

- Middletown, NY Record




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