Canadian composer Alex Pauk

Canadian composer Alex Pauk

One of Toronto’s finest composers and conductors, Alex Pauk specializes in taking Canadian music to the international scene. His ensemble, the Esprit Orchestra, promotes contemporary classical music, having commissioned works from over 60 composers. In addition, the programming for Esprit concerts is typically 80% Canadian music. Pauk has also recorded six albums of Canadian music for the CBC Records and has composed several film scores, including the score to The Five Senses (1999). Esprit Orchestra’s community involvement includes the Toward a Living Art education programme and the In Your Space outreach initiatives. Pauk’s work gained recognition for Canadian composers Chris Paul Harman and Brian Current.


Born October 4, 1945, Alexander Peter Pauk received a B. Mus from the University of Toronto in 1970 and a B. Ed from the same university in 1971. Before Pauk founded Esprit Orchestra in 1983, he conducted the Vancouver Youth Orchestra. He also conducted the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Sample Compositions

Alex Pauk’s style utilizes ethereal, minimalistic sound washes. His inspiration comes from popular music, jazz, and world music.

Scan (1973): This short piece is for solo flute.

Echo Music Isle (1983): This piece was influenced by Pauk’s study of gamelan music.

Cosmos (1983): Gongs and percussion simulate the “ringing of the spheres” in this piece commissioned by the Quebec Symphony Orchestra.

Mirage (1984): This piece is based on Balkan and Middle Eastern rhythms and harmonies.