About Frank – Biography

[short bio]

Frank Horvat – composer & pianist

Frank Horvat - composer, pianistStep into the enchanting world of Frank Horvat, a visionary multi-genre composer who weaves stories with his melodies, harmonizing emotions and captivating audiences around the globe. With an uncommon ability to transcend boundaries and connect deeply with the human spirit, Horvat’s compositions take us on an exhilarating journey through the depths of emotion, leaving an indelible mark on our hearts and souls.

Frank Horvat is one of the most inventive songwriters to come out of the contemporary scene in Canada. Horvat’s work is exquisitely eventful and almost insidiously effective (WholeNote Magazine), he has made the tricky musical leap that allows him to pursue a niche of his own (Edmonton Journal).

Within the vast array of his compositions, Frank Horvat fearlessly explores a myriad of themes, ranging from love to the environment and mental health. In a world that moves at breakneck speed, his music serves as a sanctuary, inviting audiences to pause, reflect, and find solace. With each note, he shares his deeply personal stories, while leaving ample room for listeners to contemplate their own. Horvat has carved a niche for himself among today’s composers, wearing his fragile heart on his sleeve (CBC Classical).

Born with an insatiable curiosity for sound and the symphony of life that surrounded him, Horvat has embarked on a lifelong quest to channel these harmonies into his own unique language. His compositions are a sanctuary where he pours his joys, sorrows, and aspirations, forming vivid landscapes and a symphonic tapestry into his soul.

Horvat’s music has graced over twenty albums, showcasing his versatility across labels such as ATMA Classique, Azul Music, Leaf, and Centrediscs. His compositions have premiered on concert stages spanning four continents, resonating through theater, film, and the airwaves. From the prestigious BBC Radio 3 to Bravo, CBC, CBS, Discovery, HBO, and Vice, his music has woven its way into the fabric of our cultural consciousness. Gramophone, The Strad, BBC Music Magazine, and Toronto Star have acclaimed his work, recognizing the profound impact of his artistry.

In 2021, Frank Horvat delivered a powerful testament with the album “Music for Self-Isolation”, hailed as one of CBC Classical’s top five classical albums of the year and Ludwig van Toronto’s ‘Year In Review: Classical Gems’. His other release that year, “Project Dovetail”, garnered acclaim as a ‘must-hear’ album on CBC Music’s Fall selection.

As an artivist, Frank Horvat uses his craft as a catalyst for change. Deeply moved by the injustices and conflicts that plague society, he is on a mission to inspire unity and empathy through his compositions. From poignant reflections on human resilience to passionate calls for social justice, Horvat’s music has become a resounding voice, igniting conversations and inspiring change. He ignores boundaries and isn’t afraid to mix politics with art (Ludwig van Toronto).

His environmental projects include his sustainably-minded, 60+ stop, North American “Green Keys Tour”, and his social media campaign “#music4HRDs” and album, “For Those Who Died Trying”. The resulting [musical] tributes are poignant (BBC Music Magazine). The music looks at the stories of murdered environmental activists. Dozens of string quartets participated in the ensuing awareness campaign including: Juilliard, Merel, Mivos, MR., Utrecht, and Zemlinsky Quartets as well as members from orchestras around the world including the London Symphony.

His mental health projects include his “Piano Therapy Concerts”, and the social media campaign and album recorded at Roy Thomson Hall, “Music for Self-Isolation”. A masterpiece of creative invention (Vancouver Sun), BBC Radio 3 noted, “it takes a special skill to be able to create a whole atmosphere in a work that is just 2 minutes long”. The album reminds us that music is among the most mysterious and highest order of human skills (WholeNote Magazine). Over 150 soloists from around the world have participated online and on the album. “Music for Self-Isolation” was CBC In Concert’s “Record of the Week”. Truly a record of our times (CBC’s Paolo Pietropaolo).

In his early career, Horvat fearlessly ventured into uncharted territory, breaking away from traditional musical boundaries and embracing innovative styles. His compositions became a harmonious fusion of classical grandeur, improvisation, and contemporary influences, captivating listeners with their distinctive blend of audacity and vulnerability. His fearless experimentation pushes the boundaries of music, encouraging audiences to experience the world through a new auditory lens.

Born in Ottawa, a graduate in composition from the University of Toronto, he now lives by the lake in Toronto with his wife/manager. Frank is an Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre, a member of the Canadian League of Composers, and the inaugural recipient of the Kathleen McMorrow Music Award for contemporary composition. He has been invited to residencies around the world including The Banff Centre For Arts and Creativity, The Arctic Circle, and Dorland Mountain Arts in California. His work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, FACTOR, New Music USA and the SOCAN Foundation.

Frank is currently working on several exciting collaborative projects including with Swedish-Canadian filmmaker, Gunilla Josephson; Canada’s Thin Edge Music Collective; piano/percussion duo, SHHH!! Ensemble; soprano, Meredith Hall; chamber orchestra, Sinfonia Toronto; pianist, Christina Petrowska Quilico; and harpist, Sharlene Wallace on Trees.Listen, a project inspired by the work of Dr. Diana Beresford-Kroeger.

Embark on a musical journey where borders dissolve, emotions run deep, and stories unfold with breathtaking ingenuity. You are invited into Horvat’s inspiring sonic world at frankhorvat.com to experience the transformative power for yourself.