Chamber and

Vocal Music

Eos for Flute Choir- Now Available Through ALRY Publications!

Taken from the name for the Greek Goddess of Dawn, Eos paints a musical picture of a sunrise. Starting low with the bass flute and getting passed upwards through the ensemble, the piece represents a spring sunrise. As the sky opens up, broad and blue, nature slowly awakens and the world experiences a sense of rebirth and rejuvenation. Flows bloom, wildlife emerges from hibernation, and new life flourishes. Eos was written for the Ohio State University Flute Troupe, directed by Katherine Borst Jones, and premiered at the 2019 Central Ohio Flute Association Conference.

Drift for Reed Quintet - Now Available Through Cimarron Music Press!

Drift was written for the TIMBER Reed Quintet at the Ohio State University. Upon attending rehearsals and listening to the dynamic of the group, I was fascinated with the way the five instruments blended their sound together and the vast array of timbres that could emerge from the various combinations. This sparked my vision to create a piece that would highlight these abilities. Drift makes use of rhythmic ambiguity and uses a Jazz influence to create a musical idea of drifting along. 

Woodland Dawn for Woodwind Trio - Now Available Through Cimarron Music Press!
Written for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon, Woodland Dawn draws inspiration from Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 "The Pastoral". The piece starts slowly with an upward moving "sunrise theme" that is passed around between the three different instruments before evolving into a faster section inspired by the famous oboe line from Beethoven's work. The music is meant to evoke a peaceful backdrop as nature awakens around you on a hike through the woods at dawn.

Whale Dive for Solo Tuba - Now Available Through Cimarron Music Press!


“Whale Dive” is a series of short musical postcards inspired by observations of whales and their unique movements and abilities. The three movements may be performed together attacca or separately if desired.


The first movement “Surface” follows the massive creatures up from the depths and slowly into view above the water with a long rising theme. As the mammals begin to move about towards the surface, the passages become more intricate but always stay legato displaying the whale’s massive appearance but peaceful nature.

The second movement “Breach” transforms the theme into a fun multi-meter dance as the whales begin to jump and play. This movement uses the entire range of the tuba as the whales jump up and down and should be played as lightly and joyously as possible to show the carefree nature of the animals splashing around.


The third movement “Deep Dive” captures the dramatic yet graceful nature as the whales head back to the depths. The movement builds to several climaxes just as the whales arch their backs, dive down, and flash their tails before disappearing beneath the water in one last “farewell”.

(Full Recording Available on the Cimarron Music Press Website)

The Monarch Flew Twoards Amber Skies... for Piano Trio

Inspired by a visit to the Monarch Butterfly Preserve in Santa Cruz, this music depicts the beauty and grace of these insects. The piece starts with the quiet flutter of a single butterfly emerging from the woods. It is soon joined by more as portrayed in the growing counterpoint between the three instruments and then evolves into a full waltz as the entire flight begins to grace the sky with their seemingly coordinated motion. Finally, as the sun sets giving us an Amber sky, the butterflies move off together becoming one solid shape on the horizon as finally imagined with the homogenous chords. 

Simkhe! for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano

Simkhe! is the Yiddish word for celebration. When setting out to write a piece simply meant to be joyful and celebratory, I drew on my love of the celebration of Jewish life events. While not harmonically similar to much Yiddish music, I did draw upon the rhythmic and dance-like qualities as well as the fanciful clarinet parts of Klezmer.

Riding Waves for Violin and Piano

“Riding the Wave” is a phrase commonly used by surfers to describe the excitement and euphoria of being on top of rushing water. When asked to write a duet for David Kim and Natalie Zhu to open the 30th anniversary season of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, I reflected back on my experiences over the last six years working with and learning from so many great musicians and colleagues. The groundswell of energy and enthusiasm of new and old friends and colleagues returning year after year to make music together was contagious. Much like surfers who catch that perfect wave, the musicians working together are Riding Waves. The piece starts small and grows, just as a wave slowly develops from the vast ocean. As the music grows, more voices join in as people from all over the world come together for each season of the festival. Finally, the music erupts in a joyous fanfare with the excitement and urgency associated with the beginning of each season. From there, the tempo picks up and the music takes us on a journey through faster movement and intense excitement, combined with slower and more peaceful moments of reflection. As it reaches its end, the music slowly becomes small again as each season ends and gets packed away into our memories.

Confluence and Currents of Change for String Quartet

These two string quartets were written for the opening sessions of the International Symposium for The Effects of Climate Change on the World's Oceans and the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas Annual Science Conference, respectively. Both pieces were written to imitate the qualities of water and explore our relationship with nature.

Check out these recordings of Confluence and Currents of Change by the Anacostia String Quartet!















Wilderness for Soprano and Piano
Based on Carl Sandburg's "Wilderness" this collection of seven short songs seeks to embody the character of different animals through music. Consisting of the Wolf, the Fox, the Hog, the Fish, the Baboon, the Eagle and Mocking Bird, and culminating with the Zoo, Wilderness provides unique rhythmic challenges for the singer and enjoyable melodies and laughs for the audience.

Songs in a Time of War for Soprano and Piano
The poet Alfred Noyes was a pacifist who hated war. When he was debarred from service during World War I due to poor eyesight, themes of war and peace became a central theme of his poems. This growing collection of Noyes' poems about war, shows war through the eyes of soldiers, veterans, observers, the victorious, and the defeated. 


In the Trenches for Soprano and Piano - Now Available Through Art of Sound Music!

Poet Isaac Rosenburg fought wit the 12th Bantam Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment during World War I. In 1916, while serving he wrote this set of poems to a friend detailing the War Time (In the Trenches) and Peacetime (Break of Day In the Trenches). Rosenburg was killed just two years later in France at the hands of a German sniper. I have set these poems using bits of British folk songs from the time period, "The British Grenadiers" and "Land of Hope and Glory". 

Surroundings for Soprano and Piano - Now Available Through Art of Sound Music!

Based on six poems by Boston-area poet Amy Lowell, this set aims to capture the visual and emotional surroundings of six different places. From the grandiose feeling of standing in a Temple to the diverse life of an Aquarium, to the charm of a Garden, the piano part is meant to embody each place's visual aesthetics while the voice portrays the narrator's inner feelings.

© 2020 by Zachary Friedland. All rights reserved.