Ariel Friedman is a multi-genre cellist, composer and educator. A winner of ASTA’s Alternative Styles Award, she is steeped both in the music of American roots traditions and a broad range of classical repertoire.  Ariel tours the U.S. and abroad with her sister as Ari & Mia, award-winning songwriters and highly acclaimed as New England’s Americana sister act, and has performed nationally and internationally with many other folk-based groups including Scottish National Fiddle champion Hanneke Cassel, the Sail Away Ladies, Childsplay, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra offshoot ensemble, Classical Tangent. She is the founding cellist of Cardamom Quartet, a Boston-based group of performing and teaching artists who were selected as the first Quartet-in-Residence with El Sistema Somerville in 2014 and spent a week in residence at Avaloch Farm Music Institute in 2015 and 2016. Recent recipients of a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, their current repertoire spans from Beethoven to the present, emphasizing contemporary repertoire including works by Ariel. 

An advocate of new music and a composer herself, Ariel performs with Boston Modern Orchestra Project and has written music for and collaborated with many ensembles and soloists. 2017 season highlights include two world premieres of Friedman’s work: In Question for 12-piece string orchestra, performed by Palaver Strings; and Out of the Flowers for string orchestra, performed by young artists of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Other season highlights include concerts with Semiosis Quartet, as well as Cardamom Quartet's new season of music by all women composers.

In high demand as an educator, Ariel was recently on faculty at Point Counterpoint, teaches at Brookline Music School throughout the school year, and has her own private studio. She spent a number of years as a Resident Artist at Conservatory Lab Charter School and served as cello teacher and director of the cello choir at YoFES (Youth and Family Enrichment Services) from 2013-2015. She has taught at music camps and workshops from New England to New Zealand.

Ariel received her Bachelors of Music from Northwestern University in 2008 and her Masters of Music from New England Conservatory in 2011. Her primary teachers have included Hans Jorgen Jensen, Hankus Netsky, Carla Kihlstedt, and Stratis Minakakis.