John Friesen is known for his exciting and passionate performances. He has appeared in New York, Washington, D.C., Moscow, Montreal and Tokyo. His solo recordings have received critical acclaim for their beauty of tone and depth of expression. Of his playing, the Seattle Times wrote, “Friesen has the technique to negotiate Bach’s demands with relative ease, he plays with obvious enjoyment and commitment, letting Bach speak through his strings.”
John Friesen has won prizes at the Montreal Symphony Competition and the Eckhardt-Grammatte National Music Competition. He is a recipient of Canada Council Awards and the Lincoln Center Fund Awards and has been heard on CBC national radio and television, CTV national television, WNYC Radio, New York and BBC Radio (UK).
Aside from the world of classical music, John has collaborated with musicians in popular and commercial music. This includes performing solo cello on several kd lang albums, notably, the Grammy award-winning album, “Ingenue.” Music from John’s album, “Sotto Voce,” appeared in Oscar award winning actor, Ben Kingsley’s movie, “Fifty Dead Men Walking.” John also performed the solo cello parts in Amy Grant’s movie, “A Song from the Heart,” which is a film about a blind cello professor. Additionally, John has experimented with improvisation, most notably appearing in the electronic music genre with Corey Fuller on the New York based 12K label as well as Dragon’s Eye Recordings.
After earning a bachelors degree at the University of British Columbia with Eric Wilson he obtained a masters degree at the Juilliard School in New York under Harvey Shapiro and Channing Robbins. He went on to complete a doctorate at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with Lynn Harrell. Besides performing, John is active as a teacher, clinician and adjudicator. He is currently a Visiting Associate Professor of Music at the University of British Columbia as well as Associate Professor of Music at Western Washington University.