Jay Friedman joined the Chicago Symphony in 1962 and was appointed principal in 1965. He has been soloist with the orchestra numerous times, including a concerto commissioned by the Chicago Symphony, composed by Ellen Zwilich, conducted by Sir Georg Solti. He received the prestigious International Trombone Association award in 2004, and in 2006 an honorary Doctor of Musical Arts from Dominican University. Mr. Friedman attended Roosevelt University, played 4 years in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and two seasons in the Florida Symphony before joining the CSO. He has presented master classes all over the world, and orchestral seminars in the art of ensemble playing, with such orchestra's as the Gothenburg Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Norrkoping, Sweden Symphony, Malmo and Helsingborg Orchestras.
Active as a conductor, he is Music Director of the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois, Principal Guest Conductor, professor of trombone and head of the brass department, at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University. In 2000 Mr. Friedman was named conductor of the year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras. At the invitation of Daniel Barenboim he conducted the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in Act 1 of Wagner's Die Walkure, and a public mastercass of Mahler's 5th Symphony. In May 2007 Mr. Friedman conducted the Italian Radio Orchestra (RAI) with Daniel Barenboim as piano soloist. In January 2008 he conducted the Festival Orchestra of Santa Catarina, Brazil, with players from orchestras such as the Concertgebow, Berlin Philhormonic, Stuttgart Radio, Chicago Symphony, Paris Opera, in a performance of Strauss' Ein Heldeleben.