Jürg Frey was born in Aarau in 1953. After finishing his studies at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève, he began his career as a clarinetist.
Until the age of 40, his work as a composer remained mostly private, taking a back seat to his activities as a clarinetist, family man, festival organizer and clarinet teacher for children.
In the early 1990’s he became a member of the Wandelweiser composer collective, which has been an experience of inspiration, challenge and long lasting friendships.
Around the same time, he also began his international activities. He developed his own language as a composer and sound artist via the use of wide, quiet sound spaces. His work is marked by a fundamental non-extravagance of sound, a sensibility for the qualities of the material, and a precision of compositional approach. Sometimes his compositions bypass instrumentation and duration altogether, instead touching on aspects of sound art. He has created compositional series, with sounds as well as with language and text.
He has often been the guest of small creative concert organizers such as Klangraum Düsseldorf, music we’d like to hear (London), Ny Musik Boras (Sweden), The Dog Star Orchestra (Los Angeles), heim.art Neufelden (Austria), The Miniaturist Ensemble (New York), Klang im Turm (Munich), a.pe.ri.od.ic (Chicago), Louth Contemporary Music Society (Ireland), the wulf (Los Angeles), and Ordinary Affects (Boston).
Jürg Frey has also received invitations from more established institutions such as MaerzMusik (Berlin), the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), Interpretations (New York), the Centre Culturel Suisse (Paris), Constellations (Chicago), Time:Spans (New York), and Donaueschingen Musiktage (Germany).