Glenn Buhr

(b. 1954, Winnipeg, Manitoba).

Canadian composer of mostly orchestral, chamber and choral works that have been performed in Europe and North America.

Prof. Buhr studied composition with Lawrence Ritchey and Casey Sokol at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where he received his BMus in 1979, and with William Benjamin and Stephen Chatman at the University of British Columbia, where he earned his MMus in 1981. He then studied composition with William Albright, Leslie Bassett and William Bolcom at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and there earned his DMA in 1984.

Among his honours are the Prix de la SOCAN (for Beren and Lúthien), a prize in the competition for young composers of the CBC (for le rêve rêvient...), the Premio Pro Loco Corciano in Italy (for Epigrams), and First Prize in the competition of the American Harp Society (for Tanzmusik). He has also received the Prairie Music Award for Outstanding Classical Recording of the Year (2000, for the recording of winter poems on CBC Records). Other CDs featuring his music have earned him three nominations in the Juno Awards.

He is also active in other positions. He co-founded with Bramwell Tovey the Winnipeg New Music Festival in 1990 and served as its curator from 1990–96. He also served as composer-in-residence to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra from 1990–96 and has served as its Artist Laureate since 1996. He served as music director of the St. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre in Winnipeg and as artistic director of the festival Music in the Ruins in Manitoba. He has served as director of new music for the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony since 2002.

He has taught as Professor of Composition and University Research Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario since 1998.

His publisher is Counterpoint Music Library Services.

In addition to the works listed below, he has composed numerous scores for dance, films and stage productions.


E-mail address:

E-mail address for consulting scores:



Flux (musical), 2001

Beauty and the Beast (ballet), 2002–03


Epigrams, symphonic band, 1982

Beren and Lúthien, large orchestra, 1984

Lure of the Fallen Seraphim, large orchestra, 1986–87

Ecstasy, 1988

Akasha, 1989 (may be performed as a section of The Cycle of Spring)

Jyotir, 1989 (may be performed as a section of The Cycle of Spring)

Concerto, trumpet, orchestra, 1990

Three Pieces, string orchestra, 1991 (its three sections may be performed separately or in any paired combination)

Double Concerto, flute, harp, orchestra, 1991

Concerto, piano, orchestra, 1992

winter poems, large orchestra, 1994

Concerto, viola, orchestra, 1994

faust flying, large orchestra, 1996

Symphony No. 1, 'shift' (original subtitle 'de joie'), 1997, revised 2002

Triple Concerto, clarinet, violin, piano, orchestra, 1999

Ricercare, string orchestra, 2000

Concerto, violin, orchestra, 2000

in gloriam, cello, orchestra, 2000 (also version for trumpet, Baroque orchestra [flute, oboe, 2 French horns, guitar, harpsichord, percussion, strings], 2010)

Serenade for J, small orchestra, 2001

Symphony No. 2, 'Adagio pathétique', 2001

Two Songs with Doubles, violin, cello, orchestra, 2001

Chant of Wind and Thunder, string orchestra, 2007

Chant of Water and Sky, string orchestra, 2007

...this is the murmur of yearning, small orchestra (piccolo, flute, crotales [+ vibraphone], 22 strings), 2009

Concerto No. 2 (melodrama in 3 acts), bassoon, Baroque orchestra (flute, oboe, 2 French horns, guitar, harpsichord, percussion, strings), 2010


The Ebony Tower, alto saxophone, double bass, piano, 1985

Danses Abstraites, flute, harp, 1986

Tanzmusik, harp, 1986

Variazioni, viola, piano, 1989

String Quartet No. 1, 1992

Interiors, flute, 1993

Sonata, violin, 1993

String Quartet No. 2, 'sixblues', 1996

...through the heat we're barely moving, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 1997

Licht und Schatten Fantasie, flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, 1999

Chronicles and Laments, clarinet, string quartet, 2001

String Quartet No. 4, 'The Seasons', 2010


The Cycle of Spring (text from the Upanishads [translated by the composer]), mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1988 (may be performed with Akasha and Jyotir; two of its sections may be performed separately: Ananda, mixed chorus, orchestra; Aviravirmayedhi, mixed chorus, orchestra)

Kamamaya (texts from books in Sanskrit), mixed chorus, piano, 1989

Season of Spring Days (text by Matsuo Bashō), girls' chorus, piano, 1993

Cathedral Songs (text by Margaret Sweatman), children's chorus, distant brass ensembles, percussion ensemble, large orchestra, 1995

Agnus Dei (text from the Mass), mixed chorus, piano, 1996

Ritchot Mass, mixed chorus, string quartet, 1997 (also version for mixed chorus, 1997)

Three Songs (text by Margaret Sweatman), mezzo-soprano, string quartet, 1998

Gloria, soprano, mixed chorus, orchestra, 2000


The Tale of Tinúviel (text by J. R. R. Tolkien), tenor, harp, 1986

Lacrimosa (text by the composer), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1989

Níniel (text by the composer), soprano, flute, oboe, violin, cello, piano, 1990

The Jumblies (text by Edward Lear), soprano, orchestra, 1993

Red Sea (Song of the Earth) (text by Margaret Sweatman), mezzo-soprano, small orchestra (flute [+ piccolo], oboe [+ English horn], clarinet [+ bass clarinet], bassoon, French horn, piano, timpani, 2 percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass), 2010


le rêve rêvient..., 2 pianos, 1981

foxnocturne, 1996

Two Pieces (after Präludium und Fuge in G-moll from Das wohltemperierte Klavier, BWV 861 [Johann Sebastian Bach]), 2000


Mozart Themes arranged (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), saxophones (1 player), cello, double bass, piano, drum kit, 2005

Yakeenan (Kiran Ahluwalia), soprano, ensemble from eastern India, string orchestra, 2007

Jo Dil (Vithal Rao), female voice, ensemble from eastern India, string orchestra, 2007


Concerto (piano). Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano; Bramwell Tovey/Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (CBC Records: SMCD 5141)

winter poems; The Jumblies; Concerto (viola); Beren and Lúthien. Tracy Dahl, soprano; Neal Gripp, viola; Bramwell Tovey/Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (CBC Records: SMCD 5184)

Improvisational suite. Glenn Buhr, piano (CBC Stereo-Weekender: WKD R001)

The Tale of Tinúviel; Variazioni; Ananda from The Cycle of Spring; Kamamaya. Anne-Marie Donovan, mezzo-soprano; William Sperandei, trumpet; Neal Gripp, viola; Glenn Buhr, piano; Victor Martens/Laurier Singers (Gandharva Editions: GECD 9001)

Tanzmusik. Judy Loman, harp (Marquis Classics: MAR 165)

Three Songs; String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2; Ritchot Mass (original version). Anne-Marie Donovan, mezzo-soprano; Penderecki String Quartet; Henry Engbrecht/University of Manitoba Singers (Marquis Classics: MAR 237)

Danses Abstraites. Nora Shulman, flute; Judy Loman, harp (Marquis Classics: MAR 297)

foxnocturne. Shirley Sawatsky, piano (NamEditions: NMM003)

Broken Songs. (Staccato Chapbooks: 001)

Akasha; Jyotir; The Cycle of Spring; Lure of the Fallen Seraphim. Bramwell Tovey/Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO Records: WSOCD-9201)