Erin R. Freeman

Director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus & James Erb Choral Chair

Versatile, engaging, and spirited, conductor Erin Freeman serves in multiple positions throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and maintains a national presence through guest conducting engagements. Freeman holds a joint position as Director of the award-winning Richmond Symphony Chorus and Director of Choral Activities at Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, she is the Artistic Director of Wintergreen Music, which presents the annual Wintergreen Music Festival in Blue Ridge Mountains, and Resident Conductor of the Richmond Ballet, the State Ballet of Virginia.

Guest conducting engagements include the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, South Carolina Philharmonic, Savannah Symphony, Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and additional ensembles in Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, and Illinois. She has conducted at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and has conducted and/or prepared the Richmond Symphony Chorus for multiple recordings, including the 2019 release of Mason Bates’ Children of Adam on the Reference Recording label. The 2018-2019 season included her debut at Boston Symphony Hall with Berkshire Choral International, a performance with the Orchestre Symphonique Bel’Arte and an internationally assembled chorus at La Madeleine in Paris, choral preparation for the Defiant Requiem Foundation, multiple engagements with the Richmond Symphony, and three productions with the Richmond Ballet. In 2019-2020, Freeman premiered with the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, conduct the Richmond Ballet in three grand productions, led the Richmond Symphony, and prepared the Richmond Symphony Chrous for performances with Marin Alsop and George Manahan.

Adapting quickly to the reality of the pandemic, Freeman created and led a 10 week Online Community with Wintergreen Music, including classes, interactive performances, musician-led masterclasses, special interest sessions, and a rare family conversation with Arianna Zukerman and Pinchas Zukerman. She also revamped Fall semester to create a choral film project called Adaption, led voices in Black Lives Matter protests and events, and overhauled the Richmond Symphony Chorus’s schedule to keep singing alive and well in the city of Richmond.

A recent finalist for Performance Today’s Classical Woman of the Year, Freeman has also been named one of Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s “50 Most Influential Women in Virginia” and an “Extraordinary Woman Leader” by the VCU School of Business. Freeman holds degrees from Northwestern University (BMus), Boston University (MM), and Peabody Conservatory (DMA). Instructors include Gustav Meier, Victor Yampolsky, Helmuth Rilling, Murry Sidlin, Ann Howard Jones, and Robert Shaw.

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