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Arts/Culture

Philharmonic Chorus names new director

Freeman,_Erin.jpg
Chris Caya/WBFO News
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After an 18-month search, the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus has found its new music director. Erin Freeman, an assistant conductor of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in Virginia, was named to the post at Kleinhans Music Hall Friday.

“She is simply the total symphonic choral director,” said Brad Felton, BPC vice president, who led the exacting search. “She brings to us a knowledge of repertoire, knowledge of singing, knowledge of orchestral conducting and a readily displayed sense of fun -- all mixed with appropriate professional discipline.”

Freeman, an Atlanta native, was chosen from what was an initial pool of 35 applicants from around the world. That list was narrowed down to six, then three, with each invited to audition with the chorus.

Freeman, 4o, says the 120 members of the chorus will have input in their repertoire.

"I"m really looking forward to listening to them, listening to their voices and also listening to their dreams for the ensemble...as opposed to just coming in and saying 'This is how it should be.' Any kind of ensemble benefits from listening to its musicians," Freeman says.

Freeman is not new to Buffalo, having worked with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra several times last season.

“I am so pleased with the selection of Erin Freeman to lead the BPChorus,” said JoAnn Falletta, Music Director of the BPO. “I am well aware of her fine artistry and extensive knowledge of both the choral and orchestral repertoire. Her ability coupled with her outgoing personality is a perfect fit for Buffalo.”

Along with directing the Chorus, Freeman will also conduct two BPO performances, including the Nutcracker at Shea's.

The Chorus says the 2013-14 season will be a transition year, with Freeman assuming a full-time commitment in the 2014-15 season.