Glenn Buhr

Glenn Buhr (b. 1954 – Winnipeg, Canada) is a composer, pianist/guitarist, music curator and producer, 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 100 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 is the current Artistic Director of NUMUS Concerts in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Upcoming Events

Glenn Buhr & the Button Factory Band

Glenn Buhr, piano/guitar/vocals

Victor Bateman, bass/vocals

Brandon Valdivia, drums/percussion


Thursday 10 October 2013 at 7 – 8PM:

Remenyi House of Music

Book Launch & Performance

210 Bloor Street West, Toronto


Friday 11 October 2013 at 8PM:

Gallery 345

345 Sorauren Avenue, Toronto


Saturday 12 October 2013 at 8:30PM:

Waterloo Community Arts Centre (Button Factory)

25 Regina Street South, Waterloo


Friday 8 November 2013 at 8:30PM:

The Jazz Room

59 King Street North, Waterloo


Thursday 14 November 2013 at Noon:

Maureen Forrester Recital Hall

Recital at Noon;

Improvisation Workshop at 2:30PM

Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo


NUMUS Concerts: Hatch / Smith / Buhr

The Penderecki String Quartet performs new and recent works by Glenn Buhr, Peter Hatch and Linda Catlin Smith.


Friday 15 November at 8PM

Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Waterloo Ontario

World Premiere – Groundswell

Groundswell (Manitoba) presents the world premiere of Glenn Buhr’s new work for the Canzona Chamber Choir conducted by Henry Engbrecht, with Lori Freedman (bass clarinet) and Karl Stobbe (violin).


Monday 3 March 2014 at 8PM

Crescent Fort Rouge United Church

525 Wardlaw Ave., Winnipeg

A monk, dancing

Couloir (Ariel Barnes, violoncello & Heidi Krutzen, harp) perform Glenn Buhr’s recent work, A monk, dancing.  Presented by NUMUS Concerts.


Friday 21 March 2014 at 8PM

Maureen Forrester Recital Hall

75 University Avenue, Waterloo

World Premiere – MCO

The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Anne Manson, performs the world premiere of Glenn Buhr’s new work for flutes, percussion and 22 solo strings.


Wednesday 28 May 2014 at 7:30PM

Westminster United Church

745 Westminster Avenue, Winnipeg