Stefan Freund

Cello, Composer

I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and its music and culture have been a great influence on my life. Another important force in my development as a musician has been my dad, Don, a great composer and pianist. At age five I began playing piano, composing, and improvising. At 10, I switched over to cello since it was easier to read music with one staff rather than two. When I played one of my own pieces for Janos Starker at my IU audition he said I was a better composer than a cellist so I pursued that track in earnest. After winning a couple BMI’s and ASCAP’s I headed off to a Composition Assistantship at Eastman, studying comp with Rouse, Schwantner, Gusty, and others and cello with Steve Doane. Once I finished my DMA, I served on the Eastman faculty for a year before heading out to the University of Missouri.

My music has been played by groups like the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and at places like Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Weill Recital hall, the National Gallery of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

As a founding member of AWS, I’ve played at Merkin Hall, the Miller Theater, and the World Financial Center and recorded on the Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, and I Virtuosi labels.