Freeman, Betty

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Betty Freeman was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1921 and was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She was graduated from Wellesley in 1942, where she had studied music. She later took classes at the Juilliard Institute.

Freeman began her activities as a philanthropist and supporter of musicians in 1961 by contributing to a young musician's legal defense. Since then, she has assisted more than 30 contemporary composers. Beginning in 1964, Freeman served on the board of "Encounters," the Pasadena Art Museum's concert program, and beginning in 1981, she hosted her Monday Evening Musicales, a venue for the new works of composers, in her Beverly Hills home. She served on the board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, having supported for over a decade the orchestra's New Music Group until its close in 1991.

Betty Freeman was an accomplished photographer. Her exhibit "Music People," a collection of photographs of leading figures in the world of contemporary music, toured internationally and was published as a book entitled Music People and Others (1987). She also produced a documentary film about Harry Partch entitled The Dreamer That Remains: A Portrait of Harry Partch (1972).

Freeman died in January 2009, at the age of 87.

From the guide to the Betty Freeman Papers, 1965 - 2008, (Mandeville Special Collections Library)


Otto Rothschild was a Los Angeles commercial photographer and the official performing arts photographer for the Los Angeles Music Center, Hollywood Bowl, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Otto Rothschild Collection is housed in the Los Angeles Music Center Archives.

Betty Freeman, 1921-2009. Betty Freeman was an American philanthropist, arts patron, photographer, film/record producer, and impresario. As an individual patron of contemporary composers she was perhaps the most generous and influential force during the second half of the twentieth century.

From the guide to the Records of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Archives, 1919-2001, (Los Angeles Philharmonic Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn The Mel Powell Papers, 1942-1991, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Papers of Alfonso Ossorio and Edward Dragon Young, 1902-2000 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Records of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Archives, 1919-2001 Los Angeles Philharmonic Archives
referencedIn Teale, Edwin Way, 1899-1980. Papers, 1799-1995 and undated Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries
creatorOf Betty Freeman Papers, 1965 - 2008 Mandeville Special Collections Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, John, 1947- person
associatedWith Amirkhanian, Charles person
associatedWith Boulez, Pierre, 1925- person
associatedWith Cage, John person
associatedWith Cope, David person
associatedWith Cunningham, Merce person
correspondedWith Edward Dragon Young, 1921-2011 person
associatedWith Erickson, Robert, 1917-1997 person
associatedWith Feldman, Morton, 1926-1987 person
associatedWith Glass, Philip person
associatedWith Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003 person
associatedWith Los Angeles Music Center Archives corporateBody
associatedWith Los Angeles Philharmonic corporateBody
associatedWith Mel Powell person
associatedWith Oliveros, Pauline, 1932- person
correspondedWith Ossorio, Alfonso, 1916-1990 person
associatedWith Partch, Harry, 1901-1974 person
associatedWith Reich, Steve, 1936- person
associatedWith Rorem, Ned, 1923- person
associatedWith Rothschild, Otto, 1906-1981 person
correspondedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
correspondedWith Teale, Edwin Way, 1899- person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989 person
associatedWith Wilson, Robert, 1928- person
associatedWith Young, La Monte person
associatedWith Zukofsky, Paul person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Avant-garde (Music)--United States--20th century


Birth 1921-06-02

Death 2009-01-03




Ark ID: w63w1kr0

SNAC ID: 49831380