Meet the Conductor

In addition to being the founding director of SONAM, Allan Friedman is the music professional at Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, NC, and the artistic director of the Women's Voices Chorus. From 2004 to 2012 he served as the associate conductor of Duke Chapel Music, directing the Duke Vespers Ensemble and the Duke Divinity School Choir.

Friedman is also an active music teacher and clinician in the Triangle, teaching music history courses for retirees, working with the KidZNotes program in East Durham, and leading choral clinics and workshops throughout the state.

In addition to conducting and teaching, Friedman is an accomplished composer and arranger, having studied composition with Marjorie Merryman at Boston University and Steven Jaffe at Duke University. He has enjoyed several successful performances of his choral compositions and arrangements, most notably his Holocaust cantata With Perfect Faith and his choral cycle Songs of Radiance, which WVC premiered in 2010.

Originally from Duluth, Minnesota, Friedman earned his BA in music at Duke, where he studied conducting with Rodney Wynkoop. In the fall of 1997, he studied at the University of Natal, Durban in South Africa, where he learned choral music from Joseph Shabalala, leader of Ladysmith Black Mombazo, renowned for their work on Paul Simon’s album Graceland. In 2001 Friedman graduated with a Master in Musicology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he wrote his thesis on South African choral competitions. While at UNC he also conducted the Collegium Musicum and the Harambe Choir. In the spring of 2005, Friedman earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts from Boston University, where he studied conducting with Ann Howard Jones and David Hoose. During his time at BU he conducted the BU Women’s Chorus and the BU Repertory Chorus, and wrote his dissertation on Russian Jewish Choral Music from St. Petersburg circa 1905-1925.

In his spare time Friedman enjoys being with Katie and Daniel, his wife and son.