Trevor Grahl

Main subject teacher Composition

Born in 1984, Trevor Grahl hails from the small town of Rankin, Ontario. His formal training began at McGill University, with teachers John Rea, Brian Cherney and Jean Lesage for composition, Sean Ferguson for electronic music, and Tom Plaunt for piano. Master’s studies took him to the University of California at San Diego, where he studied composition with Roger Reynolds, Philippe Manoury, Chinary Ung and Rand Steiger. On a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, he undertook additional studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, working with Richard Ayres.

Trevor’s music is characterised by referential layers, and often, the sound of other musics is an integral factor in his compositions. His works have been performed by groups across North America, Europe and China and by soloists including the trombonist Jörgen van Rijen and organists Hans-Ola Ericsson and Olivier Latry, and have appeared in many festivals including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Gaudeamus Muziekweek and Gaudeamus Montréal. His double cello concerto Lightweight (based on Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being), composed for Asko|Schönberg and cellists Sebastiaan van Halsema and Lidy Blijdorp and premiered at the Cello Biennale Amsterdam in October 2022, was acclaimed by De Volkskrant for its dramaturgy, superb treatment of the soloists and sense of ‘joyful wonder’. Ephemerides, written for Quatuor Bozzini and Les Boréades de Montréal and inspired by Johannes Kepler’s Harmonice Mundi, was lauded for its daring invention and its cohesiveness with John Dowland’s Lachrimae Pavans, to which it serves as a companion piece. A recent collaboration with the baritone Thomas Hampson and Klangforum Wien, reimagining songs by Mahler and Charles Ives, led to performances in Vienna and Japan and received a five-star review in the Wiener Zeitung.

Trevor is a tireless advocate of the (hyper)organ, and in his function as the artistic assistant of Amsterdam’s Orgelpark has introduced countless composers and makers to its myriad creative possibilities. Trevor currently lives in Amsterdam and teaches composition at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague.