Music Director James Richard Frieman received his D.M.A. in 1999 from Stanford University and holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in music from San Francisco State University and Temple University, respectively. He studied conducting with Kerry Stratton (Toronto Concert Orchestra), Mitchell Sardou Klein (Peninsula Symphony), Robert Page (Temple University) and William Ramsey (Stanford University). He has been a participant and conducting fellow with numerous conducting institutes and master classes, including the Herbert Blomstedt Institute, the Orchestral Institute of America, Conductors Guild workshops and American Symphony Orchestra League workshops, where his master teachers have included Kirk Trevor (Knoxville Symphony), Tsung Yeh (South Bend Symphony), Jon Robertson (Redlands Symphony), Daniel Lewis (The Colburn School of Music and University of Southern California), and Kenneth Kiesler (University of Illinois Symphony and University of Michigan).
From 1999 through 2002, he served as Music Director of the San Diego Master Chorale, where he conducted and prepared choruses for the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Chamber Orchestra. During this time, he was also Assistant Conductor of the Huntsville Festival Orchestra in Canada. For ten years, he served as Music Director of the San Francisco Concert Chorale and orchestra, where his artistic partners included the Fremont Philharmonic and Women’s Philharmonic orchestras, Kronos Quartet, and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company.
Over the past few years, Dr. Frieman has served as Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master with West Bay Opera, Fremont Opera and Berkeley Opera. He studied viola with Mimi Dye but points out that she is not to blame for his playing. Currently, he enjoys conducting the Palo Alto Chamber Chorale, playing string quartets, skiing, and herding his two cats.