CHRISTINA PETROWSKA QUILICO: A PIANIST’S PIANIST COVERS THE REPERTOIRE
A LEADING ADVOCATE FOR NEW & RARELY HEARD MUSIC
Possessing passion and sensitivity, phenomenal technique and “dazzling virtuosity” (New York Times), pianist Christina 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, Canada, Petrowska Quilico trained in the grand Russian and European traditions at Juilliard, and went on to studies 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 recital in Carnegie, Alice Tully and Merkin Halls, and with most of Canada’s leading orchestras and the symphony orchestras of Greek Radio and Taipei. Some of these performances were with her husband, the late, famed Metropolitan Opera baritone Louis Quilico.
She has premiered some 150 new works. Of the more than 35 concertos she has performed with orchestra, 19 were contemporary, 10 of these premieres. During her career, she also received coaching from composers Pierre Boulez and John Cage prior to performing their works.
The CD Glass Houses, launching in November 2015 on the Centrediscs label, combines her two successful CDs Glass Houses Revisited and Glass Houses Volume 2 – making a total of eight CDs and fifth album title on the Canadian Music Centre’s Centrediscs label devoted to the piano music of Ann Southam (1937-2010). The previous two feature Southam’s major cycles Rivers (Canadian Composers Portraits: Ann Southam), (CMCCD 10505) and Pond Life (CMCCD 14109). Petrowska Quilico is credited for revising and editing on her Glass Houses Revisited recording, and received Southam’s enthusiastic blessing after performing them at the composer’s house shortly before Southam’s death. The album has become one of Centrediscs’ all-time best sellers. In 2014, CBC Music named it one of “30 best Canadian classical recordings ever.” She has also included Southam pieces in four general compilation CDs.
In 2012, she performed selections from Southam’s Rivers cycle live for Toronto Dance Theatre’s premiere of Christopher House’s work of the same title, in Toronto and on tour to Oakville ON and St. John’s NL – a collaboration she repeated in a 2014 Canadian Maritime tour to Halifax, Fredericton and Saint John.
Open to musical adventures and collaborations, she was one of nine virtuosi in Soundstreams’ eclectic Piano Ecstasy extravaganza at Toronto’s Koerner Hall in 2013. The Shostakovich Concertino for Two Pianos was “brilliantly performed by two of the great pianists of our time, the Gryphon Trio’s Jamie Parker and the wonderful Christina Petrowska Quilico,” wrote Robert Harris in the Globe and Mail.
In a duo with the late violinist Jacques Israelievitch, she performed a wide range of repertoire. In June 2015, just three months before his death, they launched the Centrediscs CD Fancies and Interludes, featuring four Canadian compositions. Their recordings of the complete Mozart violin sonatas, first performed as a daylong marathon, will begin release in 2016 on the Fleur de Son label.
In recorded output, few artists can match Petrowska Quilico, particularly in contemporary music. Among her 37 CDs are five albums comprising eight Canadian piano concertos; and solo and chamber works by contemporary Canadian and international composers, along with 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).
Her music is sometimes literally out of this world. Her recording of David Mott’s world music inspired concerto (written for her), debuted in outer space when astronaut Steve MacLean brought it on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis. MacLean also took her recording of Alexina Louie’s Star-Filled Night on his first mission on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1992.
Four of Petrowska Quilico’s Canadian music CDs have earned JUNO Awards nominations, three of them for concerto CDs, and one for Glass Houses Revisited. Petrowska Quilico received the 2007 Friends of Canadian Music Award from the Canadian Music Centre and Canadian League of Composers, and together with composer Constantine Caravassilis was named winner of the 2010 Harry Freedman Recording Award, from the CMC’s Harry Freedman Fund.
That award resulted in the well-received January 2013 launch of her Centrediscs two-CD set of Caravassilis’ Visions: The Complete Books of Rhapsodies & Fantasias. Also a gifted painter, Petrowska Quilico was inspired by the music to create some 100 canvases, which are now projected in synch with her live performances of the work.
Petrowska Quilico’s writing talent and art come together in her book Opera Illustrated: An Artistic Odyssey, featuring her drawings of operatic legends and set designs. She is also author of Mr. Rigoletto: In Conversation with Louis Quilico (both published by Captus Press and critically well-received).
Petrowska Quilico also founded The Christina and Louis Quilico Award, to discover and encourage young operatic talent. It is administered by the Ontario Arts Council Foundation, and was most recently held under the auspices of the Canadian Opera Company.
In addition to her concert career, Christina Petrowska Quilico is a Full Professor of Piano and Musicology at York University, Toronto.
Christina Petrowska Quilico is represented by Dulce Horta, Alfama Arts Management, www.alfamaarts.com.
For more info, visit www.petrowskaquilico.com.
PIANO CONCERTI PREMIERED OR PERFORMED BY CHRISTINA PETROWSKA QUILICO
Alexina Louie (1949- ): Piano concerto performed by Christina Petrowska Quilico at the National Arts Centre with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Alex Pauk conductor, June 21, 1986. Petrowska Quilico also performed the concerto with the Esprit Orchestra, Alex Pauk, conductor, in Toronto December 7, 1986. 32 minutes
Violet Archer (1913-2000) Piano Concerto performed by Christina Petrowska Quilico with the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, John Eliot Gardiner, conductor on May 1981 for the CBC. 18 minutes
Divertimento for piano and strings performed by Petrowska Quilico with the University of Ottawa string orchestra, David Currie, conductor, September 20, 1986. North American premiere. 17 minutes
Divertimento for piano and strings performed with the Koffler Chamber Orchestra, November 24, 2013 at the Music Gallery, Toronto
Larysa Kuzmenko (1956- ) piano concerto commissioned by the CBC and written for Christina Petrowska Quilico. World premiere with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor, on January 23, 1996. Performed by Petrowska Quilico in a newer version with the Toronto Symphony, Jukka Pekka Saraste, conductor, October 10, 1996. 21 minutes 3 Concerti Centrediscs CD, nominated for a JUNO, 2010.
The Alexina Louie, Violet Archer and Larysa Kuzmenko piano concerti were released on a Centrediscs CD in 2009.
Glenn Buhr (1954- ) piano concerto: world premiere recording, 1993 by Christina Petrowska Quilico and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor, for CBC Records’ Contemporary Piano Concerti. nominated for a Juno award. 24 minutes
Healey Willan (1880-1968) piano concerto performed by Christina Petrowska Quilico with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Victor Feldbrill, conductor, in Taipei, Taiwan, December 5, 1998. Recorded for CD (True North Festival, SOCAN) and also featured in a documentary, True North Festival, shown on Bravo TV numerous times. 26 minutes
Heather Schmidt (1974- ) Concerto No. 2, commissioned by the CBC for Petrowska Quilico and given the world premiere by her on May 4,2001 with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Daniel Warren, conductor. 28 minutes. Centrediscs nominated for a JUNO
Performed Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Koffler Chamber Orchestra, Jacques Israelievitch, conductor, November 24, 2013, The Music Gallery, Toronto
Performed Piano Concerto No. 4 (Phoenix Ascending) with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra, Kristian Alexander, conductor, June 25, 2015, Markham ON
David Mott (1945- ) Concerto for piano and world music ensemble, written for Christina Petrowska Quilico, who gave the world premiere on March 20, 2006 at the Accolade East Centre, York University, with Mark Chambers, conductor. The CD, named Eclipse on Centrediscs, debuted in outer space on the Shuttle Atlantis with astronaut Steve MacLean. 30 minutes.
Ted Dawson (1951- ) piano concerto commissioned by the Laidlaw Foundation for pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico and given its world premiere with the Thunder Bay Symphony, Geoffrey Moull, conductor, January 16, 2003.
Steven Gellman (1947- ) written for Christina Petrowska Quilico, commissioned by the Canada Council. World premiere at the National Arts Centre with the Ottawa Symphony, David Currie, conductor, May 4, 1993. 43 minutes
George Fiala (1922- ) concerto for piano and choir written for Christina Petrowska Quilico and given its world premiere at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, November 8, 1987.
Simon Bainbridge (1952- ) concerto for oboe, piano and orchestra performed by Petrowska Quilico with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Serge Garant, conductor, in Ottawa and Montreal 1985.
George Koumendakis (1959- ) piano concerto premiered by Christina Petrowska Quilico at the Athens Music Festival with the Array Ensemble, Henry Kucharzyk, conductor, Athens, Greece, July 29, 1989. Broadcast on Greek radio
Claudio Ambrosini (1948- ) North American premiere by Christina Petrowska Quilico with the SMCQ (Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec), Walter Boudreau, conductor, December 9, 1993.
Luis de Pablo (1930- ) Concierto da Camera, North American premiere, Montreal, December 11, 1981 with the SMCQ orchestra, Serge Garant, conductor. Luis de Pablo dedicated his second piano concerto to Christina Petrowska Quilico.
R.Murray Schafer (1933- ) harpsichord concerto performed by Petrowska Quilico with the CJRT Orchestra, James McKay, conductor, January 27, 1988.
Michael Matthews (1950- ) Christina Petrowska Quilico performed his piano concerto Landscape with the Royal Conservatory of Music Orchestra, Gary Kulesha, conductor, in Toronto July 6, 1991.
Classical Concerti - include over 26 performances of:
Bach D minor concerto, the Brandenburg No. 5
Haydn D major concerto
Mozart piano concerti, notably K. 488
Beethoven, the Emperor
Chopin E minor
Prokofieff concerti no. 1, 2 and 3
Bartok No. 1 and 3
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
CHRISTINA PETROWSKA QUILICO - DISCOGRAPHY
47 CDS RECORDED
4 JUNO NOMINATIONS
8 CANADIAN PIANO CONCERTI RECORDED
MOZART SONATAS FOR PIANO AND VIOLIN Volume one on Fleur de Son (Naxos) released June 10, 2016, volumes 2,3,4,5 to be released later
GLASS HOUSES (BOX SET, Volume one and two) On Centrediscs
FANCIES AND INTERLUDES: Centrediscs with Jacques Israelievitch, violin
GLASS HOUSES VOLUME 2 Music by Ann Southam on Centrediscs (Canadian)
TANGOS BRASILEIROS A two CD set of Tangos by Ernesto Nazareth on Marquis Classics.
VISIONS A two CD set of the complete Rhapsodies and Fantasias by Constantine Caravassilis on Centrediscs (Canadian)
TAPESTRIES Piano concerti by Heather Schmidt and George Fiala with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Warren, conductor and the Canadian Ukrainian Opera Chorus, Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, conductor, on Centrediscs (Canadian)
3 CONCERTI Piano concerti by Violet Archer, Larysa Kuzmenko, and Alexina Louie with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor; the Toronto Symphony with Jukka Pekka Saraste, conductor; and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Alex Pauk, conductor, on Centrediscs (Canadian)
CONTEMPORARY PIANO CONCERTI Piano concerto by Glenn Buhr with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor on CBC Records (Canadian)
ECLIPSE Piano concerto by David Mott with the World Chamber Ensemble, Mark Chambers, conductor. Also, solo piano music by David Mott on Centrediscs (Canadian). This CD was debuted in space by astronaut Steve Maclean on the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
TRUE NORTH FESTIVAL Piano concerto by Healey Willan with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Victor Feldbrill, conductor. Recorded on location in Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. on True North Festival Records (Canadian)
GLASS HOUSES REVISITED Solo piano music by Ann Southam featuring 9 revised Glass Houses recorded on Centrediscs (Canadian) One of the all-time best selling CDs for Centrediscs
POND LIFE A 2 CD set of music by Ann Southam recorded for Centrediscs (Canadian)
CANADIAN COMPOSER PORTRAITS: ANN SOUTHAM A 3 CD set of RIVERS on Centrediscs (Canadian)
16 PORTRAITS A 2 CD set of the Romantic Etudes of Michel-Georges Brégent on Centrediscs (Canadian)
INGS A 2 CD set of music by Ann Southam, Alexina Louie, David Jaeger, William Westcott, and Omar Daniel (Canadian); and Gavin Bryars, Pierre Boulez, Toru Takemitsu, Lowell Liebermann, Henry Cowell, David del Tredici, Frederick Rzewski, Masamitsu Takahashi and Art Tatum on Welspringe Records
MYSTIC STREAMS Solo piano music by Steven Gellman, Ann Southam, and Peter Paul Koprowski (Canadian); and Gyorgy Ligeti, Toru Takemitsu, and Frederick Rzewski on Welspringe Records
NORTHERN SIRENS Solo piano music by Ann Southam, Alexina Louie, Larysa Kuzmenko, Heather Schmidt and Diana McIntosh (Canadian) on York Fine Arts Record Label
GEMS WITH AN EDGE Solo piano music by Michel-Georges Brégent and Micheline Coulombe Saint Marcoux (Canadian), and Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez and Mario Davidovsky on Welspringe Records
VIRTUOSO PIANO MUSIC OF OUR OWN TIME Solo piano music by Ann Southam, Alexina Louie (Canadian), and Henry Cowell, Olivier Messiaen, Barbara Heller, Lowell Liebermann, Frederick Rzewski, George Gershwin and Art Tatum on JLH Lasersound. This CD debuted in space with astronaut Steve MacLean.
SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A FUGUE 2 Preludes and Fugues by Kati Agocs and Ana Sokolovic (Canadian) on Centrediscs
CHRIS PAUL HARMAN One major solo piece Globus Hystericus (Canadian) on Centrediscs
CATBIRD SEAT One major solo piece by David Jaeger (Canadian) with the Canadian Electronic Ensemble on Trappist Recordings
GEMS One Trio by Bengt Hambreaus (Canadian) with Joseph Petric on Conaccord Records
THE LISZT ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION Solo piano music by Franz Liszt on Welspringe Records
CHOPIN & LISZT Solo piano music by Chopin and Liszt on Welspringe Records
ROMANTIC GEMS A collection of romantic music by classical composers such as Rachmaninoff, Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, etc. on Welspringe Records
DEBUSSY A collection of solo piano music by Debussy including Book Two of the Preludes on Welspringe Records
VOCAL GEMS A live recital from New York with Louis Quilico, baritone, in a program of Verdi, Duparc, Debussy, Hahn, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Loesser and Italian songs on Welspringe Records
MR. RIGOLETTO: MY LIFE IN MUSIC A compilation with Louis Quilico, baritone on Analekta records
CHANTS FRANCAIS ET RUSSES A recital of French and Russian songs with Louis Quilico, baritone on Welspringe Records
TWO OF A KIND A recital of arias and songs from opera and lieder with Louis Quilico, baritone, on York Fine Arts Label
CD TO BE RELEASED
MOZART VIOLIN SONATAS: Recorded with violinist Jacques Israelievitch. (Fleur de Son label)
IN PRAISE OF WOMEN A collection of solo piano pieces by women composers from around the world.