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Paul Frehner

Born in Montreal in 1970 Paul Frehner’s first musical experiences came from playing guitar in several rock and folk music bands. He studied music formally at Marianopolis College and at McGill University where he completed his Masters and Doctoral degrees in composition under the tutelage of Brian Cherney and Denys Bouliane.

Paul Frehner’s works have been performed and broadcast both in Canada and internationally by professional soloists, ensembles and orchestras including, among others, Almeida Opera, the Esprit Orchestra, the Prague Philharmonia, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the North Holland Philharmonic Orchestra, The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, pianists Brigitte Poulin and André Ristic, the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, Le Trio Fibonacci and the Quasar Saxophone Quartet.

In 2001 he was commissioned by the Genesis Foundation to compose Sirius on Earth, a one hundred-minute opera based on a libretto by Angela Murphy. Co-produced by Almeida Opera and Aldeburgh Productions, Sirius on Earth was premiered in 2003 during the Almeida Opera Festival in London, England. It was subsequently toured to Aldeburgh where it opened the 2003 Proms season in Snape Maltings concert hall.

Paul Frehner has received numerous awards and mentions for his compositions both in Canada and on the international scene. Notable among these was the First Prize in the Prague Philharmonia’s Symphony of the Third Millennium Composition Competition for his orchestral work Elixirs. In 2000 he won First Prize in the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra's International Composition Competition for Overture 2000. Recently, his work Lila was awarded the Claude Vivier National Award in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s International Composition Competition. The MSO’s performance of Lila was broadcast live in Canada and throughout the European Union.

Recently completed compositions include: Berliner Konzert (2009) for piano trio and string orchestra, commissioned by Soundstreams Canada and the Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall; Ochus Bochus (2009), a work for orchestra commissioned by the Ensemble contemporain de Montreal and the McGill Chamber Orchestra; God Save the Human Cannonball (2009) for fifteen players; The Seven Last Words of Christ (2008), a cantata for high voice, choir and string orchestra; and Trance (2007), a Radio France commission for string quartet. Several of Frehner’s compositions have recently been released on CD including Finnegans Quarks Revival for solo piano, Quarks Tropes for piano trio and Song of the Soul for two percussionists.

Paul Frehner is on the Faculty of Music of the University of Western Ontario where he teaches composition, orchestration, electroacoustic music and co-directs the Contemporary Music Ensemble. He is also featured as a conductor with Orchestra London.

October 2010

List of Compositions (pdf)

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Canadian Music Centre