Friday, December 11, 2009

Leonard Friedman

 Leonard Friedman (Leonard Matthew Friedman) was a Russian violinist and conductor born on December 11, 1930 (Heifetz was 29 years old.) He attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London) and made his debut in 1938 (at 8 years of age) and again in 1949. Beginning in 1966, Friedman spent much time in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a member of various orchestras - including the English Chamber Orchestra - and was, for a time, Associate Concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic, as well as concertmaster of other orchestras. In 1969, he founded the Scottish Baroque Ensemble (now the Scottish Ensemble) and in 1974 co-founded the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he also founded the Camerata of St Andrew. He was known to have a quirky personality. There are several recordings of him either playing or directing. After playing as soloist with orchestra, he used to sometimes sit in with the players of the orchestra and play the second half of the program - just as Gil Shaham does nowadays - for the pure fun of it.  Friedman died on May 11, 1994, at age 64.


  1. ...a quirky personality yes, but no airs and graces, and a great kindness towards his students. He lived in a flat below me in Edinburgh for several years.
    Pippa Catling

  2. According to John Calder's 1994 Obituary to Friedman in the Independent, Friedman was born in London of Lithuanian parents. He was not Russian as your article indicates.

  3. A compassionate and passionate man.
    A grandfather figure to me.
    I think of him from time to time, with smiles.

    1. Very sweet of you to write this. Of course, there was much more to Friedman than my short profile can possibly show. Thank you so much for your comment.