Lori Freedman was born in Toronto to two musician parents in 1958. She grew up learning piano, guitar, drums, and trombone. In 1977 she began studying clarinet at the University of Toronto, where she graduated with honors in performance in 1981. She continued her studies at the Banff Center for the Arts’ Academy of Woodwinds. In 1981 Freedman attended a workshop with Pauline Oliveros that influenced greatly her understanding of music. Since 1981 Freedman has collaborated with many musicians including Toru Takemitsu, Iva Bittova, John Oswald, Helmut Lachenmann, Joëlle Léandre, Mauricio Kagel, Pauline Oliveros, Ana Sokolovic, Steve Lacy and George Lewis. Her work includes contemporary, improvised and electroacoustic music, as well as frequent collaborations with dance, theatre and visual artists. Over forty-five composers have written solo bass clarinet music for Freedman, and her work has been recorded on 40 CDs released commercially. She teaches bass clarinet, and coaches the contemporary/improvised music ensemble, at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.