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York University music Professor Christina Petrowska Quilico, a world renowned pianist, will give a signature performance Feb. 8 at York University, from 12:30 to 1:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, 112 Accolade East at York University’s Keele campus.

The concert is part of the Faculty Spotlight series offered by the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design at York University.

With the intriguing title “Global Sirens,” the concert will feature Petrowska Quilico performing an eclectic program featuring composers around the world. The concert is free and open to the public.

Possessing passion and sensitivity, phenomenal technique and “dazzling virtuosity” (New York Times), Petrowska Quilico is a compelling force, whether she is playing a Liszt piano solo, a Mozart chamber work, the Grieg concerto or the premiere of a new work by a living composer. CBC Music named her one of 20 “can’t-miss classical pianists” of 2014 and one of Canada’s 25 best classical pianists in 2015.

Born in Ottawa, Petrowska Quilico studied at Juilliard, and went on to study in Paris and Germany with Ligeti and Stockhausen. Her professional career has taken her across the U.S. and Canada, as well as to Taiwan, the Middle East, France, Germany, Greece and Ukraine. She has appeared in recitals in Carnegie, Alice Tully and Merkin Halls, and as a soloist with most of Canada’s leading orchestras and the symphony orchestras of Greek Radio and Taipei.

She also collaborated frequently in concert and recorded four CDs with her late husband, the famed Metropolitan Opera baritone Louis Quilico. As well, she is a passionate interpreter of the music of her first husband, the celebrated Quebec composer Michel-Georges Brégent.

Petrowska Quilico has premiered close to 200 works. Of the more than 35 concertos she has performed with orchestra, 19 were contemporary, 10 of these premieres. Composers Pierre Boulez and John Cage gave her special coaching prior to her performances of their music.

In recorded output, few artists can match Petrowska Quilico, particularly for contemporary repertoire. Among her more than 47 CDs are five albums comprising eight Canadian piano concertos, and solo and chamber works by contemporary Canadian and international composers. Along with these, she has recorded the likes of Chopin and Debussy; Tangos Brasileiros, for the 150th anniversary of composer Ernesto Nazareth in 2013; and her highly praised Liszt bicentennial CD (“Quilico plays exquisitely … brilliance without ego” – Fanfare magazine).

Christina Petrowska Quilico with compser Ann Southam. Photo by Andre Leduc

Four of Quilico’s CDs of Canadian music have earned Juno Award nominations, three of them for concerto CDs and one for the solo piano cycle Glass Houses Revisited by the late Ann Southam (1937-2010). Petrowska Quilico is very closely associated with the music of the Southam and has devoted six CDs in three albums to Southam’s music, including the piano cycles Rivers, Glass Houses and Pond Life. The CD Glass Houses Revisited was highly lauded, named one of “30 best Canadian classical recordings ever” by CBC Music, and remains one of Centrediscs’ all-time bestsellers. In March 2016, Petrowska Quilico performed selections from Rivers and Glass Houses to an enthusiastic audience at Montreal’s Innovations en concert.

She has also garnered praise for her Centrediscs recording of Michel-George Brégent’s 16 Portraits, which the composer had described as “études romantiques.” The SRC’s Espace Musique called it Une véritable révélation!, while Fanfare magazine termed the études “‘studies’ in the emotional or intellectual sense.”

In addition to her concert career, Petrowska Quilico is a professor of piano and musicology at York University in Toronto and a published author and artist. At York University, she formed a duo with her colleague, Professor Jacques Israelievitch, former concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In addition to many joint performances, they recorded the Canadian music CD Fancies and Interludes for Centrediscs and the complete Mozart sonatas for violin and piano, on the Fleur de Son label, a project finished only months before Israelievitch’s death in 2015.

Among Petrowska Quilico’s upcoming projects are a two-CD Centrediscs set comprising Classics with a Twist, which includes Montreal composer John Rea’s Las Meninas; and Worlds Apart, which features, among other works, Michel-Georges Brégent’s Geste and Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux’s Assemblages.

  • Global Sirens: A Free Concert at York University February 8
    PIANIST CHRISTINA PETROWSKA QUILICO PLAYS
    RARELY HEARD MUSIC BY WOMEN COMPOSERS
    Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico showcases rarely heard and forgotten music by women composers from around the world in a concert titled Global Sirens,

    Thursday, February 8, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

    at the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, 112 Accolade East Building, York University
    (in front of the York University subway station).
    Admission is free.
    The concert is part of the Faculty Spotlight Series presented
    by York University’s School of the Arts, Media,
    Performance & Design, at which Quilico is a full professor.
    The concert website is
    Christina-leg-up-on-piano-by-Bo-Huang-55
    For more  information, call Judy Karacs at 416.736.2100 ext. 20054, or
    email jkaracs@yorku.ca.
    Renowned for her interpretations of contemporary and unusual repertoire, as well as the classics, Quilico describes her recital as “only a fraction of the scope and breadth of works that have been rarely played or forgotten.” The music ranges from the mid 1900s to the present, featuring composers from Canada, the U.S, Russia, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Australia and France. Traditional, impressionist, 12-tone, minimalist, folk, ragtime and romantic treasures are reflected in a kaleidoscope of musical styles. There is a composition for left hand alone, a Wireless Rag by American composer Adaline Shepherd ((1883-1950), and quirky and edgy works. “From waltzes and rags, women show their
    enormous strength and wealth of compositional creativity,” said Petrowska Quilico.
    The concert is being recorded for an upcoming CD.
    UPCOMING SOUTHAM CD LAUNCH: Later this season will see the release of
    Soundspinning, Quilico’s latest CD in her series of the music of Ann Southam, on the
    Centrediscs label.
    More information on Christina Petrowska Quilico and her recordings is available at
    www.petrowskaquilico.com and www.christinapetrowskaquilico.com.
    – 30 –
    Repertoire list available.
    For further information, contact:
    Linda Litwack or Amy Stewart Publicist
    Linda Litwack Publicity York University AMPD
    416-782-7837 416.736.2100 ext. 44044
  • Email: lalitwack@rogers.com Email: jkaracs@yorku.ca
    Pronunciation:
    Petrowska Quilico – pet-TROV-ska (e as in get) KWIL-i-koh

This all-Canadian program—curated by renowned conductor and Canadian music champion Victor Feldbrill—explores Canada’s rich history of classical composers. Notable Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico is the featured soloist in the Romantic-style Piano Concerto by Québec composer Claude Champagne. (Pictured: Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano)

Purchase tickets

Concert Dates

Saturday, October 21, 2017 – 7:30pm

Program

Nicolas Gilbert: UP!: Sesquie for Canada’s 150th [2′]
Somers: Passacaglia and Fugue [11′]
Freedman: Tableau [9′]
John Beckwith: Flower variations and wheels [12′]
Intermission
Champagne: Piano Concerto [15′]
Archer: Poem for Orchestra [11′]
Weinzweig: Symphonic ode [9′]

Performers

Victor Feldbrill
conductor & host
RBC Resident Conductor
Christina Petrowska Quilico
piano

Venue

Roy Thomson Hall

60 Simcoe St
Toronto, ON
M5J 2H5

Venue Information

Sunday, October 22, 2017 – 3:00pm

Program

Somers: Passacaglia and Fugue [11′]
Freedman: Tableau [9′]
John Beckwith: Flower variations and wheels [12′]
Intermission
Champagne: Piano Concerto [15′]
Archer: Poem for Orchestra [11′]
Weinzweig: Symphonic ode [9′]

Performers

Victor Feldbrill
conductor & host
RBC Resident Conductor
Christina Petrowska Quilico
piano

 

Original article: https://www.tso.ca/concert/glowing-hearts

 

 

CHRISTINA PETROWSKA-QUILICO: AN AWARD-WINNING CHAMPION OF CANADIAN MUSIC

Story by Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco | September 29, 2017

Original article 

When Ottawa-born pianist Christina Petrowska-Quilico was only 10 years old, she performed Joseph Haydn’s Concerto in D Major with Toronto’s Conservatory Orchestra – and amazed the audience. By the time she was a teen, the New York Times was using such descriptors for her talent and skill as Promethean, phenomenal, “dazzling virtuosity” and “playing to perfection.”

Quilico went on to become the extraordinary adult talent one imagines possible when listening to a child prodigy perform. The praise and accolades, including four JUNO nominations, have continued to flow throughout the almost six decades she’s been recording and performing a diverse repertoire of solo, orchestral and chamber music on four continents.

Quilico’s music travels to space
In 2006, the tribute to her talent went out of this world. One of her 50 albums, a recording of the piano concerto written by David Mott specifically for Quilico, debuted in outer spacewhen astronaut Steve MacLean took it with him on the space shuttle Atlantis. It became the first CD to put human music in the heavens. Quilico, who’s also a professor of piano performance and musicology at York University, walked into her class the morning the debut was reported in the news. “All the students were clapping,” she says. “I asked them what I had done. They said, ‘You didn’t see the newspaper?’  I had no idea. It was very exciting.”

The focus of her excitement now is in anticipation of her scheduled soloist performance of Claude Champagne’s piano concerto with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and maestro Victor Feldbrill on Oct. 21 and 22, 2017, at Roy Thomson Hall. Curated by Feldbrill and called With Glowing Hearts, the program explores Canada’s rich history of classical composers.

“The concerto I’m playing was written in 1948 and it’s wonderful,” says Quilico, who’s performed more than 35 concertos. “I get to do flashy stuff, and romantic stuff, and it’s nice to be able to play music that reflects that era of Canadian music. I love all music, but I really love playing concerto. I get a real high with an orchestra.”

The concerts also bring together two of the most respected champions of Canadian contemporary composers: Feldbrill and Quilico, who has premiered more than 150 contemporary pieces, including the work of such renowned Canadian SOCAN member composers as Violet Archer and John Weinzweig. That devotion earned her the 2007 Friends of Canadian Music Award from the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) and the Canadian League of Composers. And in 2010 she received the inaugural Harry Freedman Recording Award for composers as a co-recipient with composer Constantine Caravassilis. “I’ve wanted to support Canadian music because there are so many wonderful composers who get lost by the wayside,” says Quilico, who’s been especially recognized for her virtuosity in interpreting challenging contemporary compositions.

PULL QUOTE: ““I’ve wanted to support Canadian music because there are so many wonderful composers.”

In turn, Canadian composers have been so taken with her interpretation of their works that many, including SOCAN members Mott, Larysa Kuzmenko, Steven Gellman and Heather Schmidt, have written music specifically for her. The late Ann Southam, known for her minimalist style, was another composer who trusted Quilico profoundly with her compositions. “I really fought to have her music in the beginning, because music has its flavour of the year and at the time, and in the 1980s the flavour wasn’t minimalist,” said Quilico. The two first collaborated in 1982 when Southam asked Petrowska Quilico to do a demo recording of Rivers. “I found it quite slow,” said Quilico. “I was seven or eight months pregnant at the time, so I figured she wouldn’t yell at a pregnant lady. I called her and said, ‘You know, I’ve changed your stuff around quite a bit.’ She said, ‘Well, let me hear it.’ She just loved it and said ‘You can do whatever you want with my music.’”

The two developed a 30-year friendship and collaboration. In 2018, Quilico will be releasing an album of Southam’s early work. “There are some really neat surprises that are going to happen on that album, and it shows the wealth of her creativity,” says Quilico – who, between teaching, performing, and recording, keeps a hectic schedule.

As of September 2017, Quilico had already performed more than half-a-dozen-times in the year, including a recital featuring the solo piano works by her late first husband, Michel-Georges Brégent, at the 50th anniversary celebration of Montréal’s Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec. She released Worlds Apart, a double-album recording celebrating Canadian composers. She’ll also give a concert of solos by women composers for Winnipeg’s Groundswell series, Global Sirens, on November 28, 2017.  And she’s working with David Jaeger, who’s setting to music a selection of poems she wrote in her youth.

It turns out the child prodigy was also a talented poet, whose work was published in the New York Times. “I did speak to one of the editors, who said, ‘You have to make up your mind. I love your writing, but if you go into writing, then you can’t also be a concert pianist,’” she says.

Luckily for Canadian composers and the classical music genre, Quilico chose to be a concert pianist. “I found playing was really easy so I just went along with it,” she says. “Music is sound and emotion and there are no boundaries. It’s always changing. I like it. It gives me a sense of adventure.”

When Ottawa-born pianist Christina Petrowska-Quilico was only 10 years old, she performed Joseph Haydn’s Concerto in D Major with Toronto’s Conservatory Orchestra – and amazed the audience. By the time she was a teen, the New York Times was using such descriptors for her talent and skill as Promethean, phenomenal, “dazzling virtuosity” and “playing to perfection.”

Quilico went on to become the extraordinary adult talent one imagines possible when listening to a child prodigy perform. The praise and accolades, including four JUNO nominations, have continued to flow throughout the almost six decades she’s been recording and performing a diverse repertoire of solo, orchestral and chamber music on four continents.

Quilico’s music travels to space
In 2006, the tribute to her talent went out of this world. One of her 50 albums, a recording of the piano concerto written by David Mott specifically for Quilico, debuted in outer spacewhen astronaut Steve MacLean took it with him on the space shuttle Atlantis. It became the first CD to put human music in the heavens. Quilico, who’s also a professor of piano performance and musicology at York University, walked into her class the morning the debut was reported in the news. “All the students were clapping,” she says. “I asked them what I had done. They said, ‘You didn’t see the newspaper?’  I had no idea. It was very exciting.”

The focus of her excitement now is in anticipation of her scheduled soloist performance of Claude Champagne’s piano concerto with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and maestro Victor Feldbrill on Oct. 21 and 22, 2017, at Roy Thomson Hall. Curated by Feldbrill and called With Glowing Hearts, the program explores Canada’s rich history of classical composers.

“The concerto I’m playing was written in 1948 and it’s wonderful,” says Quilico, who’s performed more than 35 concertos. “I get to do flashy stuff, and romantic stuff, and it’s nice to be able to play music that reflects that era of Canadian music. I love all music, but I really love playing concerto. I get a real high with an orchestra.”

The concerts also bring together two of the most respected champions of Canadian contemporary composers: Feldbrill and Quilico, who has premiered more than 150 contemporary pieces, including the work of such renowned Canadian SOCAN member composers as Violet Archer and John Weinzweig. That devotion earned her the 2007 Friends of Canadian Music Award from the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) and the Canadian League of Composers. And in 2010 she received the inaugural Harry Freedman Recording Award for composers as a co-recipient with composer Constantine Caravassilis. “I’ve wanted to support Canadian music because there are so many wonderful composers who get lost by the wayside,” says Quilico, who’s been especially recognized for her virtuosity in interpreting challenging contemporary compositions.

“I’ve wanted to support Canadian music because there are so many wonderful composers.”

In turn, Canadian composers have been so taken with her interpretation of their works that many, including SOCAN members Mott, Larysa Kuzmenko, Steven Gellman and Heather Schmidt, have written music specifically for her. The late Ann Southam, known for her minimalist style, was another composer who trusted Quilico profoundly with her compositions. “I really fought to have her music in the beginning, because music has its flavour of the year and at the time, and in the 1980s the flavour wasn’t minimalist,” said Quilico. The two first collaborated in 1982 when Southam asked Petrowska Quilico to do a demo recording of Rivers. “I found it quite slow,” said Quilico. “I was seven or eight months pregnant at the time, so I figured she wouldn’t yell at a pregnant lady. I called her and said, ‘You know, I’ve changed your stuff around quite a bit.’ She said, ‘Well, let me hear it.’ She just loved it and said ‘You can do whatever you want with my music.’”

The two developed a 30-year friendship and collaboration. In 2018, Quilico will be releasing an album of Southam’s early work. “There are some really neat surprises that are going to happen on that album, and it shows the wealth of her creativity,” says Quilico – who, between teaching, performing, and recording, keeps a hectic schedule.

As of September 2017, Quilico had already performed more than half-a-dozen-times in the year, including a recital featuring the solo piano works by her late first husband, Michel-Georges Brégent, at the 50th anniversary celebration of Montréal’s Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec. She released Worlds Apart, a double-album recording celebrating Canadian composers. She’ll also give a concert of solos by women composers for Winnipeg’s Groundswell series, Global Sirens, on November 28, 2017.  And she’s working with David Jaeger, who’s setting to music a selection of poems she wrote in her youth.

It turns out the child prodigy was also a talented poet, whose work was published in the New York Times. “I did speak to one of the editors, who said, ‘You have to make up your mind. I love your writing, but if you go into writing, then you can’t also be a concert pianist,’” she says.

Luckily for Canadian composers and the classical music genre, Quilico chose to be a concert pianist. “I found playing was really easy so I just went along with it,” she says. “Music is sound and emotion and there are no boundaries. It’s always changing. I like it. It gives me a sense of adventure.”

 

 

 

  • CRITIC’S PICKS |

    10 Concerts You Should Absolutely See This

    Week

    By Joseph So on September 18, 2017

    Critic’s Picks (Sept. 18-24)

    CMC_Concert_Sept_2017

    Sunday 24

    Canadian Music Centre | Christina

    Petrowska Quilico and Hye Won Cecilia

    Lee. 3:30 p.m. Canadian Music Centre 20

    St. Joseph St. (416) 961-6601 x202 $20

    students $10

    Canadian pianists Christina Petrowska

    Quilico and Hye Won Cecilia Lee perform

    jazz-inspired contemporary Canadian

    compositions by Masamitsu Takahashi,

    Michel-Georges Brégent, William Westcott,

    Art Tatum, Phil Nimmons, and Dani Oore,

    plus selections for piano four-hands by

Two-CD album an homage to fallen colleagues

Christina-leg-up-on-piano-by-Bo-Huang-55

PHOTO COURTESY BO HUANG

STORMY NIGHT: Christina Petrowska Quilico launched Worlds Apart in April as an homage to some of her fallen colleagues.

Engage Christina Petrowska Quilico in a conversation about the creative arts, and she’ll take you on a tour of her paintings in her Yorkville home.

Two of those paintings, Light and Dark, were used in crafting the cover of her two CD album, World Apart.

“I do a lot of painting. It’s important to have this inter-relation of arts,” she says, with a teacup Yorkie in her lap. A pug runs around at her feet, adding a splash of grey on a white-on-white décor.

Mixing arts is the foundation of her work these days. Worlds Apart pays tribute to both literature and the classic composers. Those arts provided the inspiration.

The first CD is Classics with a Twist, and features the romantic, light side of her piano work. Compositions by John Rea, Peter Paul Koprowski and Steven Gellman. The second CD is Worlds Apart, the same as the collection, and features works by David Jaeger, Michel-Georges Brégent, Patrick Cardy, Diana McIntosh and Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux. It’s the dark half to the first.

Petrowska Quilico shares a happy anecdote about her late mother sharing a moment with Koprowski when he paid Quilico a visit. Being of Ukrainian, Polish and Hungarian ancestry, her mother could speak with Koprowski, who was Polish.

“Before he came, but I used to play pieces for her and she had the best objective criticism. She either got or she didn’t,” Quilico recalls. “She said that sounds a lot like Chopin.”

Of course, Koprowski’s piece is “Rhapsody on a Theme of Brahms”, so Petrowska Quilico shrugged it off.

“My mother chatted with him in Polish, and they’re both looking at me smiling, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, no’,” she says. “And then the composer said to me, ‘You know your mom is right, it is Chopin’.”

There are plenty of stories from her past that bubble to the surface, and are pleading to be told. She restrains herself, but remembers the highlights.

She performs one song, “Geste” by her first husband, Brégent, who died at the age of 45.

Cardy and Saint-Marcoux are two other composers, and close friends, who died young.

She falls into a rueful moment, remembering another fallen colleague Jacques Israelievitch, as the two had recorded plenty of sonatas during Fancies and Interludes. More music will be released from the seven and a half hour sit down, which was first launched in June, 2015.

“I was glad to have continued with Mozart,” she said.

She’ll be performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, which will be another tough moment, as the last time she performed Israelievitch was the concertmaster.

Still, she’s warm in knowing she’s accomplished her homage to some of her friends and past collaborators.

“What I enjoy is doing things by hand. My art is not working with computers, but with hands,” she says. “There needs to be something said about just the purity of music, and just reading a book.”

 

Christina Petrowska Quilico: Worlds Apart (Centrediscs)

MyScena

Worlds Apart
Christina Petrowska Quilico
Centrediscs, 2017. CMCCD 23717, 2 CD. 88 min 13 s.

 

Christina Petrowska Quilico dropped a new album today – a cross-section of Canadian piano repertoire – that features a wide variety of post-modern compositional techniques. In this two-CD set, the first disc is entitled Classics with a Twist – a way to dip your big toe in the pool before jumping in headfirst in the second. With overt references to the titans of Romantic piano repertoire – Schumann, Brahms, and Chopin – Rea, Koprowski, and Gellman dish up the familiar in surprising ways. The second CD features the namesake of the collection, Worlds Apart by Diana McIntosh, as well as “edgier” and darker works by David Jaeger, Michel-Georges Brégent, Patrick Cardy,Diana McIntosh, and Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux.

John Rea’s Las Meninas – named after a Velázquez painting that depicts the aritst in the act of capturing the likeness of Philip IV and his wife, Mariana of Austria who are only seen reflected in a mirror – is a series of 21 variations in 13 movements on Schumann’s “Scenes from Childhood.” Each a slight view into a different perspective of composers past and present, the variations achieve a lot with very little. The second homage in the set is to fellow Canadian composer Alexina Louie directly quotes Debussy’s “Pagodes.” An allusion to her Chinese heritage, perhaps? Though, I have to admit that’s when I gave up the game – aside from the obvious and often literal references, I don’t have nearly an encyclopedic enough knowledge of piano repertoire to trace the origin of every thread found in Rea’s rich tapestry. Petrowska Quilico has a wonderful touch in these miniatures, an intrinsic understanding of voicing that lends itself well to creating each atmosphere with due expediency.

Published around the same time, Peter Paul Koprowski’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Brahms was premiered by Petrowska Quilico at the Winnipeg New Music Festival back when she was known only by one name. The Brahms theme, his Lullaby, is well-hidden in the weeds of elaborate neo-Romantic Chopinesque figurations, handily executed by Petrowska Quilico without becoming too overwrought. Written for Angela Hewitt, Steven Gellman’s Fantasia on a Theme by Schumann has a French air to it like the previous two works, but has much more in common with the overtly pianistic Rhapsody than Rea’s take on Schumann. It’s also the darkest of the three, with tremolo bass that leads well into the second disc.

David Jaeger’s Quivi Sospiri for piano and synth, composed in the ‘70s but revised in 2014, is a dark and otherworldly depiction of Canto 3 of Dante’s Inferno, in which there is no light but only sound. Geste by Petrowska Quilico’s late first husband, Michel-Georges Brégent, is an aleatoric work with graphic notation and mobiles reminiscent of Alexander Calder that resists fixity with broad dramatic gestures. Cardy’s The Masks of Astarte draws on the myth of the ancient Middle Eastern goddess of fertility, who some believe was the prototypical Virgin Mary. The masks here are fleeting glimpses of truth, musical lines that point to something larger but which turn away at the last moment and become something else entirely.

Diana McIntosh’s Worlds Apart also evokes the celestial with water-droplets of colour that gain a compelling rhythmic vitality before gradually receding into the same ether from which it emerged, barring the abrupt perfect fifth ending devoid of a tonal centre. The final piece, Assemblages by Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux is taken from a 1972 archival recording of Petrowska Quilico at a SMCQ concert. With indeterminate pitch and rhythmic elements, it is in much of the same spirit as Geste and is very evocative of Morton Feldman’s work.

Though all the pieces featured in this collection are Canadian works and “contemporary” by most standards, I found it stunning I am the same age or younger than each. Yet, in several cases, Petrowska Quilico is still the only recording artist to devote studio time to these works, all of which deserve second, third, multiple hearings. For this, the collection is not only a great service to the Canadian musical landscape, but a testament to Petrowska Quilico’s sweeping vision.