Office of the Interim Director

Photo of Gwendolyn Freed

Gwendolyn Freed
Interim Director

The School of Music welcomes Gwendolyn Freed as its interim director. Freed comes from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where she served as director of development. Her appointment is effective through June 2022.

“Gwen has established a track record of positive, creative, and collaborative leadership throughout her career,” said College of Liberal Arts Dean John Coleman. “I am delighted that the School of Music will benefit from her experience and expertise.”

An oboist and English horn player, Freed holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Oberlin Conservatory. She earned a PhD in Higher Education Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota. She participated in the Aspen Music Festival and New York String Orchestra, and served on the faculty of Greenwood Music Camp in Western Massachusetts.

Freed continued her arts career as a journalist, working on staff at the Star Tribune, serving as editor-in-chief of Chamber Music magazine, and contributing arts articles to such outlets as the Wall Street Journal and Newsday. She is the author of a book on educational programs in music, along with other publications, and was editorial advisor for a book on preventing musicians' overuse injuries. In recognition of her contributions to the field, Gwen was awarded a National Arts Journalism Fellowship at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Turning to higher education, Freed was the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota; Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle; and Executive Director of the Twin Cities scholarship organization Wallin Education Partners. Freed has also been an instructor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and for the Arts and Cultural Leadership Program in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. 

“I look forward to leading the School of Music this year,” said Freed. “It will be a privilege to work with students, faculty, staff, community partners, and other friends to help guide the School’s continued strong trajectory.”

For general questions about admissions and the many opportunities in the School of Music or at the University of Minnesota, contact the School of Music Student Services Office at For more detailed information about a specific program, we encourage you to communicate directly with faculty members in your area(s) of interest. We look forward to meeting with you and to discussing the many factors that make the School of Music the choice for pursuing the enhancement of your musicianship and academic skills.