Glenn Buhr (b. 1954 – Winnipeg, Canada) is a composer, pianist/guitarist, music curator and producer, songwriter and band leader. He became well known in Canada in the mid-80’s when the Toronto and Montreal Symphony Orchestras first championed his work, and in the mid-90’s as front man – with conductor Bramwell Tovey – of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival. He was Composer-in-Residence with the WSO and curator of the New Music Festival from 1990 to 1996.
Buhr has received commissions from many important performers and ensembles including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Penderecki String Quartet, the Detroit Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Verdi String Quartet, pianist Janina Fialkowska, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Children’s Chorus and the Esprit Orchestra. His music has been performed all over the world by such diverse ensembles as the London Sinfonia, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, pianist Louis Lortie, soprano Tracy Dahl and many others. His 3rd Symphony (a choral symphony) was premiered by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in February 2008 with pop singer Sarah Slean as soloist.
Buhr performed as soloist at the premiere of his jazz-oriented Piano Concerto no. 2 with the Esprit Orchestra in March 2006. The work was remounted by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in February 2008, again with the composer at the piano. He’s toured Canada twice as a jazz artist (pianist/composer), and he released his 3rd jazz CD in March 2007 on the Marquis label. He works with novelist/playwright/lyricist Margaret Sweatman as musical director of their group The Broken Songs Band; that ensemble released its second CD in the fall of 2010. Sweatman and Buhr won a Genie Award for their song When Wintertime from the film Seven Times Lucky.
In 2003, his full length ballet Beauty and the Beast was premiered by the Birmingham Royal Ballet in Birmingham, England. The work has since toured the UK three times for a total of more than 125 performances. The ballet has also toured to Hong Kong (2005), Japan (2008) and to mainland China in 2009. He has also composed a number of scores for film and theatre and has collaborated on several other dance projects. Glenn Buhr’s work and his performances are featured regularly on the CBC. His book Our Native Song – a collection of essays on music – was published in May 2013.
Dr. Buhr is Professor of Music Composition and Improvisation in the Contemporary Music Program at Wilfrid Laurier University. In 1998 he was awarded the University Research Professor Fellowship at Wilfrid Laurier University; it was the first time that the award was given to a creative artist. He is also the founding Artistic Director of the Music in the Ruins Festival at the St. Norbert Arts Centre in Manitoba and the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony’s New Orchestra Series. He was the Artistic Director of NUMUS Concerts in Kitchener-Waterloo from 2009 to 2013.
Thursday, October 30 at Noon
Maureen Forrester Recital Hall
Wilfrid Laurier University
Glenn Buhr performs with:
Paul Pulford, cello
Margaret Sweatman, vocals/harmonica
Mike Anderson, guitar/keyboards/vocals
Music by Buhr, Sweatman, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Arvo Pärt.
Wednesday, November 5 at Noon
Gonrad Grebel College
Glenn Buhr performs an improvisational solo piano concert. The recital also features a collection of his new songs.
Button Factory Band:
Glenn Buhr, guitar/keyboards/vocals
Mike Anderson, guitar/keyboards/laptop/vocals
Victor Bateman, bass/vocals
Brandon Valdivia, drums/percussion
Friday, October 3 2014 at 8pm
Arraymusic Space in Toronto
155 Walnut Ave
A whole evening of new work by the Button Factory Band, featuring eight new songs by Glenn Buhr.
Saturday, October 4 at 7:30pm
Waterloo Community Arts Centre
25 Regina Street
The band hosts its annual Art-Rock event at the Waterloo Community Arts Centre (Button Factory). Featuring the debut of Kat Gimon’s new 6-piece band, Audax. Also on the bill, Daniel Turner and Amanda Lowry’s band Eris. Special Guest: opera singer Kimberly Barber, performing music by Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane. Blues Jam starts at 11:30pm.
Friday, January 16 2015 at 8:30PM
The Jazz Room
59 King Street North
Waterloo, Ontario (Huether Hotel)
Virtuoso violinist, Jerzy Kaplanek (Penderecki String Quartet), joins Glenn Buhr’s Button Factory Band for an eclectic evening of improvisational jazz and song. Sets start at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30.
Wednesday, January 28 at 8PM
Hilldale Lutheran Church
321 Hilldale Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario
The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra performs Glenn Buhr’s Symphony no. 2.
NUMUS Concerts presents Buhr, Sweatman & Johnston
Friday, January 30 2015 at 8PM
122 Frederick Street, Kitchener
Glenn Buhr performs with percussionist Bev Johnston and vocalist/librettist Margaret Sweatman in a program of Words and Music. Bev Johnston performs the world premiere of a new solo work for narrating/singing percussionist written for her by Buhr and Sweatman.