"Personable, funny and energetic on stage, Freeman connects easily with audiences of all ages." - Bill Lohmann, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Hailed by the press as engaging, elegant, and entertaining, Erin Freeman holds a joint position sponsored by the Richmond Symphony, where she serves as Director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus, and Virginia Commonwealth University, where she is Director of Choral Activities. This unique position comes on the heels of seven successful years as the Richmond Symphony’s Associate Conductor, and includes overseeing all of the choral ensembles at VCU as well as vocal chamber music, and preparing the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus for all of its performances. Projects for the ‘15-‘16 season include Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a performance and recording honoring the Richmond Symphony Chorus’s founder, Dr. James Erb, and a collaboration with VCU’s Global HIV-AIDS initiative.
In addition to her work in Richmond, Freeman just completed her first season as Artistic Director of Wintergreen Performing Arts, a summer music festival and academy in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her creative and vibrant programming, celebrating the 20th year of the organization, led to record crowds, multiple sell-outs, increased donations, and an endorsement in the Washington Post. Under her leadership, the festival boasted 20 world premieres, including a new score by Daron Hagen to Charlie Chaplin’s The Tramp, conducted by Freeman, and the academy expanded to include voice, conducting, and arts administration programs.
As Associate Conductor and Chorus Director of the Richmond Symphony from 2007-2014, Freeman conducted subscription concerts, led the Pops and Lollipops Series, spearheaded the Symphony’s education initiatives, including its four youth orchestras, and directed the 150-voice symphony chorus. She collaborated with soloists such as Jamie Bernstein, Elena Uriosti, Arturo Sandoval, Marietta Simpson, Joseph Conyers, Arianna Zukerman, Patti Austin, and Maureen McGovern, and in 2012, Freeman prepared the Richmond Symphony Chorus for a historic performance and recording of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with the Virginia Symphony, under the direction of JoAnn Falletta.
In addition to serving as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, Freeman has been a frequent guest conductor with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducting Messiah, Nutcracker, multiple pops shows, and community engagement performances. She has also been a Guest Conductor for the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Savannah Symphony, the Richmond Ballet, and other ensembles in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Missouri, and Illinois. In summer 2015, she made her debut with Berkshire Choral International and the Springfield Symphony, conducting Dvorak’s Stabat Mater. This upcoming season, Freeman will guest conduct two honors ensembles in the region, will lead several performances by the Richmond Symphony, and will continue her association with the Richmond Ballet.
Passionate about making classical music accessible to all, Freeman has led programs from the Richmond Symphony’s ground-breaking Come and Play, resulting in a community orchestra of over 650, to Celebrity Maestro, for which she taught conducting lessons to such notables as Miss America Caressa Cameron and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones. She has served as Director of Orchestras at Baltimore School for the Arts and American University, Conductor at Northwestern University’s National High School Music Institute, Lecturer for the National Philharmonic and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Richmond Philharmonic, and Resident Conductor at Peabody Conservatory. She has instructed national seminars for the Conductor’s Guild and serves on their board of directors as vice president.
Winner of numerous awards, including the Women’s Philharmonic Conducting Scholarship, Freeman was selected by Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly as one of Virginia’s 50 most influential women. She holds a Bachelor of Music Performance from Northwestern University, a Master of Music from Boston University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Peabody Conservatory. Teachers and masterclass instructors include with Gustav Meier, Victor Yampolsky, Markand Thakar, Helmuth Rilling, Murry Sidlin, and Robert Shaw.