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Myer Fredman (Conductor, Arranger)

Born: January 29, 1932 - Plymuth, Devon, England

The British-Australian conductor, Myer Fredman, studied first at Torquay Grammer school; then harmony, counterpoint and orchestration, keyboard and viola, and taught himself the double-bass followed by a period at the Dartington College of the Arts. In London he then studied at The Opera School with Vilém Tauský and Peter Gellhorn. After completing formal studies he had a number of conducting lessons with Sir Adrian Boult, assisted Sir Charles Mackerras on BBC television operas (Carmen and La Traviata) and Otto Klemperer when he recorded Così fan tutte. He was assistant conductor also to to Vittorio Gui and Sir John Pritchard.

Myer Fredman made his conducting debut in London. From 1959 to 1974 Myer he worked at Glyndebourne initially as Chorus Master, then Conductor culminating in the position of First Conductor & Head of Music Staff (operas by W.A. Mozart, Verdi, Maw and Von Einem). He was instrumental in the formation of Glyndebourne Touring Opera (now Glyndebourne on Tour), of which he was musical director for seven years 1968 to 1974. Concurrently he had conducting engagements in Ireland, Belgium, France, Poland, Romania, Germany, Scandinavia and Canada. He was awarded a medal Per Servizio della Musica e Cultura Italiana in 1970.

During that period his recordings included Inscape by Edmund Rubbra coupled with the Elegie and Concerto for Strings by Robert Still both with Jacques Orchestra for Decca, and for Lyrita he recorded Still’s Symphony No. 4 with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Arthur Benjamin's Overture To An Italian Comedy and Delius' Paradise Garden with London Philharmonic Orchestra; the world première recordings of the 1st and 2nd Symphonies by Arnold Bax and the 6th and 16th Symphonies by Havergal Brian, all with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The Lyrita recordings have now been re-released on CD by Nimbus/Wyanstone.

After moving to Australia and making his debut with the Australian Opera in 1974 in the recently opened Sydney Opera House, Myer Fredman was engaged by the New Opera Company in Adelaide, South Australia as it's first Music Director (1974-1980) and after it became The State Opera of South Australia he conducted the Australian premières of Tippett’s opera Midsummer Marriage (in the presence of the composer), and Benjamin Britten’s opera Death in Venice at consecutive Adelaide Festivals.

From 1980 to 2000 Myer Fredman was Head of the Opera School at the Sydney Conservatorium and regularly conducted the six Australian symphony orchestras in both concerts and recordings as well as conducting for the Australian Opera (now Opera Australia) (1983-1998), of which he was appointed Music Consultant in 1988 and an Artistic Associate in 1992. His Australian recordings include Puccini’s Le Villi with Adelaide Symphony (producer John Culshaw), The Apocalypse by Goossens, Job and the Partita for Double String Orchestra by Ralph Vaughan Williams, The Prima Donna by Arthur Benjamin and world première recordings of Peter Sculthorpe’s Piano Concerto and television opera, Quiros.

With the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Myer Fredman conducted CD’s of works by Benjamin Britten and Delius for Naxos. His other recordings include Ross Edwards: Piano Concerto with Queensland Symphony Orchestra (ABC); Sir Eugene Goosens: The Apocalypse with Sydney Symphony Orchestra (ABC); Edmund Rubbra: Inscape with Jacques Orchestra (Decca); Peter Sculthorpe: Piano Concerto with Melbourne Symphony (ABC); Peter Sculthorpe, the opera Quiros (ABC; also on DVD); Arnold Bax's Symphony No. 3 with Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Ottorino Respighi's Sinfonia Dramatica / Piano Concerto Concerto in Modo Misolidio with Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Naxos), music by Richard Meale, and others.

International invitations have taken Myer Fredman to England, Canada, America, Argentina and Uruguay. He hasa appeared on NNC TV, at Wexford Festival, Perth Festival, Adelaide Festival, Hong Kong Festival, in Poland, Belgium, Romania, Germany, etc. He conducted Cavalli's L'Ormindo in Brussels in 1972, Georges Bizet's Carmen in Hamburg in 1973 and Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Sydney in 1974. For a number of years he was Artistic Director of a Summer School in Salt Lake City. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music and has recently been appointed Artistic Director of the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra.

After 50 years as a Symphonic and Operatic conductor, Myer Fredman is now utilising his considerable experience to enlarge the orchestral and symphonic wind repertoire by arranging, orchestrating and/or transcribing works by such composers as J.S. Bach, George Frideric Handel, Tchaikovsky and Edward Elgar who, like W.A. Mozart, Ravel and Benjamin Britten were pre-eminent in this genre. He also orchestrated and arranged instrumental and operatic music by John Dowland, W.A. Mozart, Donizetti, Tchaikovsky and Puccini. Operatic extracts (without voices) are also included. Some of Myer's early orchestration work includes scoring parts of the film music for Exodus and Lawrence of Arabia.

Myer Fredman is the first person to write extensively of the role of the conductor in the operas of W.A. Mozart. He published: The Conductor's Domain; a guide for aspiring maestri (Thames Publishing/William Elkin Music Services); From Idomeneo to Die Zauberflote; A conductor's commentary (Sussex Academic Press); The Drama of Opera: exotic and irrational entertainment (Sussex Academic Press); Maestro, Conductor or Metro-gnome? Reflections from the Rostrum (Sussex Academic Press). He also wrote articles for Opera Magazine, Twenty-Four Hours, etc.

Source: Myer Fredman Website; Harmonic Services Group Website, Wikipedia Website; International Who's Who in Music & Musicians' Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2009)

Myer Fredman: Short Biography | Orchestral Arrangements: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Myer-Fredman - Conductor (Official Website)
Myer Fredman - Orchestrator, Arranger, Transcriber (Harmonic Services Group)
Myer Fredman Biography (Naxos)

Myer Fredman - Conductor, Author (AAPT)
Myer Fredman (Wikipedia)
The Drama of Opera, Article by Myer Fredman (Sussex Academic)



Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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