Paul Frehner

Born in Montréal in 1970, Paul Frehner completed his Doctorate in music in 2004 at McGill University where he studied composition with Denys Bouliane. During his Master’s degree at McGill, completed in 1998, he studied composition with Brian Cherney and orchestration with Bengt Hambraeus.

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 CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, pianists Brigitte Poulin and André Ristic, the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, le Trio Fibonacci and Quasar.

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 the 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, a work for large orchestra. Most recently, his work Lila was awarded the Claude Vivier National Award in the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s International Composition Competition. The MSO’s performance of Lila was broadcast live in Canada and throughout the European Union.

Recently completed compositions and projects include: The Seven Last Words of Christ, a cantata for high voice, choir and string orchestra, Trance, a Radio France commission for the Quatuor Castagnéri; two piano trios for the Trio Fibonacci; Ke-Te, a piece for solo tablas written for Shawn Mativetsky; Lila, a work for two spatially-separated orchestras commissioned by the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal and Bit 20 Ensemble (Norway); Sanctuary, a twenty-five minute orchestral work commissioned by the Esprit Orchestra. In early 2008 pianist Brigitte Poulin released Frehner’s Finnegans Quarks Revival on CD.

Upcoming commissions include a concerto grosso for Canada’s Gryphon Trio and Germany’s Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn and a piece on the theme Ma mere l’oye for the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal and the McGill Chamber Orchestra.

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Paul Frehner

Montréal (Québec), 1970

Residence: London (Ontario, Canada)

  • Composer

On the web

On disc


  • Trance (2006-07)
    string quartet

Past concerts

25 Apri 2009
Série QB
In person
Montréal (Québec)
22 Marc 2009
In person
Paris (France)
18 Marc 2009
In person
Lyon (Rhône, France)
15 Marc 2009
In person Free admission
Montpellier (Hérault, France)