Claudia Friedlander is a voice teacher and fitness trainer based in New York City. Born in Queens and raised in New Jersey, she began her musical studies as a clarinetist. Her passion was fueled by her early experiences playing in the Young Artists Orchestra at Tanglewood under the batons of Seiji Ozawa and Leonard Bernstein. This led to private studies with Richard Stoltzman, a Master’s degree in Clarinet from Peabody Conservatory, and a brief stint as the principal clarinetist of Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México.
During her undergraduate studies at Bennington College, she was encouraged to study singing by longtime faculty member Frank Baker. She sang while continuing to play her instrument, earning a Master’s degree in Voice at Peabody simultaneously with her clarinet degree. Eventually, her fascination with the physiological process of singing eclipsed her passion for clarinet. In 1995, she began doctoral studies in vocal performance and pedagogy at McGill University, which she completed in 1999.
In 2002, Dr. Friedlander moved to New York City, apprenticed herself to renowned pedagogue W. Stephen Smith, and established her voice studio. In her first few years of teaching, frustration with her inability to address the mechanical dysfunction some of her students possessed in a methodical and rigorous way motivated her to study kinesiology. After receiving her certification as a personal trainer from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, she became inspired to apply the concept of sport-specific training to the professional voice.
Dr. Friedlander has presented workshops on vocal fitness for The Voice Foundation and the Performing Arts Medicine Association, and was an invited panel discussant on health and wellness for OPERA America. Her students have performed on Broadway, and at leading opera houses including The Santa Fe Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. She is the author of the monthly column “Musings on Mechanics” for Classical Singer Magazine as well as a widely read and cited blog on vocal technique and fitness, The Liberated Voice. In 2008, she joined the faculty of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, where her most recent project was the development, in collaboration with Joyce DiDonato, of The Singer’s Audition Handbook, an interactive online career development guide for young singers.