he overarching goal of my life has been the pursuit and assimilation of knowledge. Since I taught myself to play a little portable organ at age five I've never stopped feeding my imagination and seeking out opportunities that allowed me to further my intellectual pursuits and artistic objectives. I'm thrilled to be in music full time. It is, always has been—and always will be—my life.
After more than one decade away from scholarly research and publication I've started writing again. I've had two articles published: "Who Actually Sang Cantata 51: Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen” and "Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz: Conducting, Interpretation and Two Underappreciated Legacies."
Lexington Books (division of Rowman-Littlefield) willl publish my books on 19th-century choral music in early 2022, Choral Treatises and Singing Societies in the Romantic Age and Sing Romantic Music Romantically.
Naturally I’ve had a great deal of assistance along the way—from friends and family, mentors, professional colleagues and sometimes folks with whom I don’t even have a relationship. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my life is that if I’m brave enough to ask for help I almost never get turned down. Asking for help isn’t particularly difficult for me and I’m grateful that there have been people who made sure that their hands were always extended.
This little badge was given to me by Trey Benson, the first boy I trained to sing the lead in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors in 1982. I've worked with singers of every skill level, age and ability. My goal is to find that one position that will enable me to finish my career in a place where people value music, and where I can help others sing in.a healthful, beautiful manner.
This montage of conducting comes from my years at the University of Miami, 2003–2006. It includes works ranging from Mozart Ave verum corpus to Liszt Bells of the Strasbourg Cathedral to Schoenberg Sechs Stücke für Männerchor.
These are two reviews of concerts given during Spoleto International that were published in the Charleston Post-Courier.
Ein Deutsches Requiem (German Requiem) by Johannes Brahms has been performed so regularly that it’s easy to forget that it’s awfully hard. I’ve done this piece so I’m not unsympathetic to the difficulties—and there are many—that Brahms places on the human voice.
The sopranos and tenors are stretched to their limits by sustained high notes; the impracticalities of the German language don’t help either. Still, the men and women of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Westminster Choir did an outstanding job Tuesday night at the Gaillard Center. In fact, the chorus was the undisputed star: altos had a rich, easy tone and basses sang clear low notes with solid leaps. I hope Joe Miller, conductor of the concert and leader of the Westminster Choir, bows down to his tenors every day because they deserve it.
It’s well known that music through Schubert does not incorporate continuous vibrato. Less well known is that continuous vibrato didn’t come into widespread use until the 1920s; thus Schumann, Liszt, Wagner—and, yes, Brahms—should be played and sung without vibrato if historically informed performance is the goal.
Period instruments of the time were different than their modern counterparts: oboes sounded darker; clarinetists were expected to use the indicated transposed instrument. Brahms was particularly fond of the peculiar timbre of stopped notes in natural horn. Valves weren’t invented to move quickly from key to key but to obviate crooks; players depressed the appropriate valve, held it, then used their hand and lips to change notes.
Orchestral placement also was different. Violins sat facing each other, double basses stood at the back of the orchestra and woodwinds and brass sat on elevated platforms. Choruses were placed in front of the orchestra, allowing them to be heard above heavy orchestrations.
Truth is I’ll sit through the whole piece for the high A the sopranos sing at the end. Ladies, you made my evening: it soared. Maestro Miller did everyone—chorus, orchestra, himself and Brahms—proud.
—Charleston Post & Courier,
June 7, 2018
Click here to read more newspaper concert reviews.
University of Miami, from the undergraduate student—and erstwhile roommate—who most assisted me in the creation of Christus, 2005.
David served as a friend, teacher, conductor and mentor as I was gathering much needed experience in the post college music field. I apprenticed with him as a live-in assistant during the “year of Christus” and I accompanied for the Ocean Reef chapel choir under his direction. I am currently making a living using the skills that were developed during my studies with David, who is a true scholar. The meticulous editing that went into the project was no small task. Through David I learned the "do"s and "dont"s of musical formatting, editing and copy work. Skills I had no idea would be so valuable as I currently apply these skills on a regular basis. It is by David’s work that I learned attention to detail and developed an eye for editing and music notation, not to mention lightning speed notation input. Looking back, I’m not sure how he ever managed to put up with me as a young inexperienced musician. I know he must have had high levels of patience and confidence in me and for that I am truly grateful.”
—John Loren Fairbanks,
accompanist & chief
aide producing Christus
The Citadel, Catholic Cadet Choir, 2014–2017
“I came to The Citadel with no choir experience and in a short time David was able to help me not only sing well as part of the group, but develop my confidence by teaching me to cantor and sing solos that I otherwise wouldn’t have taken on. Singing was something I had never done before and thanks to him and the choir it became a very large part of my college experience.”
—1LT Timothy Behnke,
cadet choir commander
University of South Carolina Upstate, Chamber Choir, Spring 2013
“10/10. Always helpful to me, very intelligent. I’m going to miss you next year.”
University of Miami, Chamber Singers, Spring 2006 & Christus, 2005
“As if his degrees weren’t enough evidence, a simple conversation or rehearsal would illuminate the amount of thought, knowledge, and dedication David Friddle has for musicianship. Each rehearsal was meticulously planned for maximum efficacy, a skill that is emulated in my own rehearsals today. Beyond singing in his choir, my fondest memories of Dr. Friddle were getting to know him beyond the stand as I was on the team that helped him edit the Bärenreiter publication of a work by Liszt. Not only was he a brilliant man, but was also full of compassion and care.”
—Eric Firestone, assistant with
Christus, choir member & now
a middle school choral director
Click here to read more student & professional observations.
Here is a multimedia lecture for "Introduction to Music," which I can teach without the assistance of a textbook.
Along with a "Timeline of Music History" that I devised for use in undergraduate classes.
Click here to view more documents, including syllabi and official university student reviews.