updated 10 July 2019
© Urs Graf

Jürg Frey

Swiss composer born 15 May 1953 in Aarau.

Jürg Frey was born in Switzerland in 1953. He studied clarinet with Thomas Friedli at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève and composition with Urs Peter Schneider in Bern. He began his professional life as a clarinetist before devoting more of his time to music.

In 1991, he won the Boswil International Composition Competition (Switzerland).

Since 1993, he has been a member of the Wandelweiser Komponisten Ensemble, an instrumental formation of composer-musicians that has performed for more than fifteen years in Europe, North America, Japan.

He has been invited to give composition workshops at the Universität der Künste Berlin, the Universität Dortmund and on several occasions at Northwestern University (Illinois) and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). In 2015, he was composer-in-residence at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, where several of his recent compositions were performed.

His pieces have been performed at the Düsseldorf Kunstraum, Wandelweiser in Residence in Vienna, the Rheinisches Musikfest (Cologne), MaerzMusik (Berlin), Ny Music Boras (Sweden), Q-O2 (a laboratory for experimental music and sound arts in Brussels, Belgium), and the Other Minds Festival of New Music (San Francisco).

In addition to his work as a composer and performer, Jürg Frey teaches clarinet and organizes Les Moments Musicaux, a forum for contemporary music in the city of Aarau, where he makes his home.

His musical language is made up of vast soundspaces in which silence is an essential component.

His music is published by Wandelweiser.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2017

Catalog sources and details

Site de l’éditeur.

Catalog source(s)

Site de l’éditeur.

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en juillet 2019).


  • Jürg FREY, Klaviermusik 1978 - 2001, par John McAlpine : piano, 1 cd Wandelweiser, 2002, EWR 0201.
  • Jürg FREY, String Quartets, par le Quatuor Bozzini, 1 cd Wandelweiser, 2006, EWR 0410.
  • Jürg FREY, L’âme est sans retenue III, 1 cd B-Boim Records, 2008, 016.
  • Jürg FREY, Landschaft mit Wörtern, 1 cd B-Boim Records, 2009, 020.
  • Jürg FREY, Weites Land, Tiefe Zeit, Räume 1 - 8, 8 cds B-Boim Records, 2010.
  • Jürg FREY, Metal, Stone, Skin, Foliage, Air, par Nick Hennis : percussion, 1cd L’innomable, 2011.
  • Jürg FREY, mémoire, horizonExtended Circular Music No. 1Extended Circular Music No. 2Extended Circular Music No. 5 ; Extended Circular Music No. 6 ; extended circular music no. 3 ; extended circular music No. 7Architektur Der Empfindungen, 1 cd Musiques Suisses, 2014, MGB CTS-M 144.
  • Jürg FREY, More or less normalCanones incerti60 pieces of sound, 1 cd New Focus Recordings, 2014, FCR151.
  • Jürg FREY, String Quartet No. 3Unhörbare Zeit , 1 cd Wandelweiser, 2015, EWR 1507.
  • Jürg FREY, grizzana dnd other pieces 2009-2014, 2 cds Anoter Timbre, 2015, at86x2.
  • Jürg FREY, In Memoriam Cornelius Cardew ; circular music No.5 ; extended circular Music no.2 ; pianist, alone (2) ; miniature on five parts ; extended circular music Nno.9, 1 cd Another Timbre, 2015, at91.
  • Jürg FREY, 24 Wörter, 1 cd Wandelweiser, 2015, EWR 1407.
  • Jürg FREY, guitarist, alone, 2 cds Another Timbre et Cathnor Recordings, 2016.
  • Jürg FREY, ephemeral constructions ; circular music #7 ; circular music #6, 1 cd Wandelweiser, 2017, EWR 1709.
  • Jürg FREY, «L’âme est sans retenue », 5 cd Erstwhile Records, 2017, ErstClass 002-5.
  • Jürg FREY, Late Silence, dans « Early To Late », 1 cd Another Timbre, 2018, at121.
  • Jürg FREY, 60 Pieces of sound ; L’âme est sans retenue II, dans « 120 Pieces Of Sound », 1 cd Elsewhere, 2018, Elsewhere 003.


  • Nicholas MELIA, Stille Musik, « Wandelweiser and the voices of ontological silence », Contemporary Music Review, vol. 30 Issue 6, 2011, p. 471-496.