Eugene Friesen
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Eugene Friesen


Band Classical Jazz


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"Fury and Virtuosity"

"Never before have I seen a musician play the cello with such a fury and virtuosity. A whirlwind...incredible." - El Heraldo de Aragon, Spain

"Rhythm Cello"

"Friesen uses the cello as a biting, crunching rhythm instrument." - The Miami Herald

"Intimacy and Depth"

“Friesen is a cellist of perfection, a player with technique in abundance who keeps it in check. Playing with delicacy, intimacy and depth, he’s got chops, but places the music first.” - Option Music Alternative

"Musical Rapture"

"Friesen’s frenzied bowings and soaring melodies... sent many in the audience home in a state of musical rapture. " - The Washington Post

"From a friend..."

"The music is beautiful and so is the playing ." - Yo-Yo Ma

"Solid Soloist"

“Friesen shows the kind of playing that makes him such a solid soloist. His tone is rich and his melodic phrasing is well formed. His presentation of a musical thought is never overstated, but it is never lacking, either.” - The Pittsburgh Press

"Transcending Categories"

"Transcending all categories, Friesen's music stirs the soul with a passion and sense of 'bright moments' that are nothing less than inspiring." - Jazz Times

"A Cello Beyond"

"Friesen takes the cello beyond its traditional home of the classical ensemble, opening the door to a new era for the soulful instrument." - Digital Audio


New Friend - 1986
In the Shade of Angels - 2003
Sono Miho - 2005
Colorful Transitions - 2009



A graduate of the Yale School of Music where he studied with Brazilian cellist Aldo Parisot, Eugene Friesen is active internationally as a concert artist, composer, conductor and teacher. In 1995, 2006 and in 2007 Eugene won Grammy Awards for musical contributions to three Paul Winter Consort albums, “Spanish Angel," “Silver Solstice,” and "Crestone." He has worked and recorded with such diverse artists as Dave Brubeck, Toots Thielemans, Betty Buckley, Will Ackerman, Joe Lovano and Dream Theater.

Eugene's passion for the responsive flow of improvisatory music has been featured in concerts all over the world with the Paul Winter Consort and with Trio Globo (Friesen, Howard Levy and Glen Velez). He has performed as a soloist at the International Cello Festival in Manchester, England; Rencontres d'Ensembles de Violoncelles in Beauvais, France; the World Cello Congress in Baltimore, Maryland; and the Rio International Cello Encounter in Rio de Janeiro.

A love for children and music education led Eugene to create his popular program for young audiences, CelloMan, and has fueled his work teaching new cello techniques and improvisation in the United States, Asia, Europe and South America.

Recording credits include five albums of original music: New Friend, Arms Around You, The Song of Rivers, In the Shade of Angels and Sono Miho.

Eugene is an artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He lives in Vermont with his wife Wendy and four children.

Eugene Friesen with Tim Ray
Musical passion, sweeping melody and rocking rhythm mark the one-of-a-kind evenings of The Cello/Piano Project. Contemporary jazz, Brazilian classics and American folk tunes are the soil from which the duo’s joyful interplay blooms, and chamber music is changed forever.

As featured players with the likes of Paul Winter, Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Raitt and others, both Friesen and Ray have cultivated unique styles of accompanying and soloing. At their duo concerts, audiences are treated to the full range of their remarkable abilities in living color.

While some musicians may whither in the shade of musical luminaries, The Cello/Piano Project reveals the ground-breaking instrumental mastery and compositional maturity Friesen and Ray have each developed and fostered during years on the road.

The melodic and emotional facets of Eugene Friesen’s cello have been well documented on hundreds of commercial CDs and film scores. Less known are his unbridled improvisations featuring an almost percussive use of the cello, or his unique pizzicato techniques derived from African folk traditions. Friesen’s use of his voice, doubling his cello lines in perfect intonation and nuance, is another distinctive sonic signature.

Tim Ray has appeared on Jay Leno, and has been featured on national tours with Lyle Lovett. Fluent and brilliant in a myriad of American pop, folk and swing styles, Tim is also highly regarded as a jazz performer and composer. Though a dazzling soloist, Tim is equally creative as an accompanist and producer and has served as musical director for singer/songwriters Jane Siberry and Victoria Williams on the road and in the recording studio.

Compared with a classical chamber music duo, Friesen and Ray offer a distinctive new body of repertoire to the genre. While honoring the sonorities and dignity of classical music, The Cello/Piano Project enlivens the form with bright rhythms, exotic scales, new colors, familiar melodies, spontaneity and improvisation.

Playing music by Jobim, Miles Davis, Egberto Gismonti, and Thelonius Monk as well as innovative compositions by both Friesen and Ray, The Cello/Piano Project traces a wideranging musical gamut in a program which is simultaneously imaginative, immediate and original.