Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Harry Freedman (1922-2005)

Musician, composer, educator.

Born in Poland on 5 April 1922, his family immigrated to Canada in 1925 and settled at Medicine Hat, Alberta where his father worked in the fur trade. They relocated to Winnipeg in 1931 and, four years later, he enrolled at the Winnipeg School of Art to study painting. His was a musical household, his father being the principal clarineticist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, he began learning to play the clarinet and took music lessons starting around 1940. His training was interrupted with service in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1941 to 1945, after which he enrolled at the Royal Conservatory of Music and studied there until 1951.

In 1946, he began performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, playing the English horn, and stayed with the orchestra until 1971. He wrote several symphonic works, including film scores, and he composed music for ballets, an opera, and choral songs. He helped to found the Canadian League of Composers in 1951 and served as its President from 1975 to 1978. He held a number of performing and teaching position through the 1970s to 1990s. His service to Canada's musical community was recognized by induction into the Order of Canada (1984) and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).

He died on 16 September 2005.


This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 January 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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