Kenneth Freudigman, principal cello of the San Antonio Symphony, will debut as director of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) Symphony on Sunday at Roosevelt High School as part of YOSA’s City Series.
Freudigman’s first concert will include pieces from Rossini, Holst and Sibelius and he will guest conduct the Sinfonettia Strings in Beethoven, Mozart, Bernofsky, and Jackson.
He is well known in the San Antonio music scene, having co-founded Camerata San Antonio as well as serving as its artistic director. He is also an adjunct professor of cello at UTSA and is the former Education Director of the Cactus Pear Music Festival.
Freudigman studied cello at Interlochen Center for the Arts and Eastman School of Music. He began his orchestral and chamber music career with the Rochester Philharmonic and as a founding member of the Esterhazy Chamber Ensemble. In 1992, he joined the New World Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. He has also performed with the Grand Rapids, Charleston, and Virginia Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Sarasota Opera and the Mexico City Philharmonic.
He has been working with the 90 young musicians in the Symphony since August and is enjoying it.
“I am looking forward to passing on my passion for music to the next generation. I feel it’s important for professionals to be mentors to young musicians and to pass on the years of training and experience and tradition that we received from our mentors,” says Freudigman. “In many ways, this is an oral tradition that has been handed down from teacher to student for hundreds of years.”
The program, which will be presented this Sunday, November 11 at Roosevelt High School at 5 p.m., was intended to challenge the students.
“There are three works on this program and they’re all about team-building. This program was designed not only for the musical enjoyment of the students, they’re learning ensemble skills within their related sections and throughout the entire orchestra,” Freudigman says. “They’re learning how to listen to each other, fit their parts together and adjust to one another.”
On the program this Sunday are: The Overture to the Barber of Seville by Giacchino Rossini in an arrangement by Merle J. Isaac; St. Paul Suite by Gustave Holst and Finlandia by Jean Sibelius.
Even though he’s only been working with this group of teenagers for three months, they have made quite an impression on Freudigman.
“What would have surprised me is if these kids hadn’t stepped up. I had very high expectations and believed fully that they would step up to the challenge of performing this very challenging program.”
The City Series concert is free and open to the public and will be held in the Roosevelt High School auditorium at 5110 Walzem Road at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 11.