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. 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. 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, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the National Arts Center 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. 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. Elroy and his wife Heidi are raising their family of four children in Winnipeg, Manitoba.