Dr. Elroy Friesen

Described as “innovative, expressive, and dynamic,” Elroy Friesen is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba where he conducts numerous choirs, and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and music education.  He has recently been Artistic Director of Canzona, Winnipeg’s professional Baroque choral ensemble, and he actively researches Baroque performance practice.  Elroy has also published his research on the choral music of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara and pursues his passion of study and performance of new Nordic repertoire – especially new Canadian works.  His award-winning ensembles tour nationally and internationally, and are frequently recorded and broadcasted by the CBC.  They enjoy collaborating with many outstanding local and national arts organizations, including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, WSO New Music Festival, Soundstreams Canada, Groundswell, Vancouver Chamber Choir, MusikBarock Ensemble, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and the Latvian Radio Choir.

Dr. Friesen studied at the University of Manitoba (B. Mus., B. Ed., M. Mus.) and at the University of Illinois (DMA) receiving numerous scholarships and grants from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Foundation for Choral Music in Manitoba.  Elroy is a co-founder of fikamusik (an intensive professional choral conducting program), the founder and past Artistic Director of Prairie Voices, and has recently appeared as guest conductor with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe.

elroy wso

Education Dr. Friesen studied at the University of Manitoba (B. Mus., B. Ed., M. Mus.) and at the University of Illinois (DMA) receiving numerous scholarships and grants from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Foundation for Choral Music in Manitoba.
Performance Highlights

He is the Founder and past Artistic Director of Prairie Voices and has held positions of Artistic Director of the Mennonite Community Orchestra, Director of Choirs at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Urbana, and Director of the University Chorus in Champaign, Illinois. He is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor throughout Canada, the United States, and Northern Europe.

  • Canzona and Musik Barock - Judas Maccabaeus, Handel (Guest conductor)
  • Canzona and Musik Barock -  Missa Votiva, Zelenka (Guest conductor)
  • Unisong Festival with National Arts Centre Orchestra - Ottawa (Guest conductor)
  • Numerous national collaborations with Soundstreams Canada (Toronto)
  • University of Manitoba Singers - Requiem, Mozart
  • University of Manitoba Singers - Messiah, Handel
  • Founder and Past Artistic Director of Prairie Voices
  • Founder and Director of Winnipeg Soloists Choir
  • Frequent performer for WSO New Music Festival and CBC
  • Recent Choral Performance Tours:
    • Iceland
    • Sweden/Finland
    • Paraguay/ Argentina
Awards and Recognition

His award-winning ensembles tour nationally and internationally, and are frequently recorded and broadcasted by the CBC. They enjoy collaborating with many outstanding local and national arts organizations, including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Canzona, WSO New Music Festival, Soundstreams Canada, Groundswell, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Musik Barock Ensemble, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

  • University of Manitoba Faculty of Music Endowment Fund
  • Sweden/Finland Performance Tour
  • Saskatoon ACCC Podium Tour
  • Mozart Requiem Project
  • Foundation for Choral Music in Manitoba
  • Rautavaara's Vigilia concert
  • Women's Chorus Festival
  • DMA Study Support
  • Prairie Voices Start-up Grant
  • Manitoba Arts Council
  • Commission Grants Michael Matthews, Sid Robinovitch, Bruce Carlson
  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Collaborative Touring Project Grant with Soundstreams, Canada
  • National Graduate Studies Award 2005
  • Rh Award, Creative Works Category 2013
Ongoing Research & Creative Activity

Recently publishing his research on the choral music of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, Elroy continues to pursue his passion of study and performance of new Nordic repertoire – especially new Canadian works.

  • The Choral Works of Einojuhani Rautavaara
  • Lyric Diction of Nordic Languages
In the Faculty

Director of Choral Studies
Musical Education
Graduate Choral Conducting
Undergraduate Conducting
Choral Repertoire
Choral Techniques
fikamusik
University of Manitoba Singers
University of Manitoba Women's Chorus
Cantata Singers

Committees:

  • Graduate Committee
  • Ensemble Committee
  • Curriculum Committee
  • Education Committee 
elroy teach

B. Mus., B. Mus. Ed., M. Mus (University of Manitoba), D.M.A. (Illinois)

Short CV (pdf)
Bio (pdf)

elroy

Choirs blogspot: uofmchoirs.blogspot.ca

Contact:
Room T225
Desautels Faculty of Music
University of Manitoba
136 Dafoe Road
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada
Phone: 204.474.6016
Email

Publications:

Recordings:

Discography:

  • Do You Want What I Have Got? -Veda Hille (University of Manitoba Singers live performance recording of "Raft of the Medusa" - world premiere)
  • Immortal - Prairie Voices
  • Salseo - Prairie Voices
  • Fall 2013:  Woodsmoke & Oranges - University of Manitoba Choirs

In 2013 Dr. Friesen was honoured with the Rh Award for Creative Works. The Rh Award honours researchers for current success and future research advancements. 
Read about this award on page
12 of the Bulletin here.