Kenneth Freed, who joined the Minnesota Orchestra’s viola section in 1998, is also a conductor: he has been music director of the Mankato Symphony since 2006 and held the same post with the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2006. During 2005-06 he served as an assistant conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra. He participates regularly in Orchestra chamber concerts, most recently performing Fauré’s Second Piano Quintet at Sommerfest 2010.
Before arriving in Minnesota, Freed performed with the New York Philharmonic as a substitute in the viola section and played in the Manhattan String Quartet. From 1992 through 1994 he was principal viola of the Richmond Symphony. Freed also served as conductor of the Norwalk Youth Symphony in Connecticut for two years and was assistant conductor of the Greater Richmond Youth Symphony.
Freed’s passionate interest in children’s music education led him to found a non-profit company, Learning Through Music Consulting Group, which seeks to give music a central role in every child’s education.
Freed holds degrees in literature and music from Yale University. He and his wife, Gwen, have three children: Zachary, Nellie and Jonah.