Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico performs virtuosic Canadian works for York U Faculty Concert Series


TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2013 – Renowned pianist, York University music Professor Christina Petrowska Quilico is a longstanding champion of contemporary and Canadian music. She headlines York’s Faculty Concert Series November 14 with a program of solo piano works by rising Canadian composer Constantine Caravassilis and Ann Southam (1937-2010), one of Canada's first prominent female composers.

Petrowska Quilico’s selections for the concert include three compositions from Caravassilis’ Visions: The Complete Books of Rhapsodies and Fantasias, a suite of works that she premiered at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio and recorded on the Centrediscs label earlier this year with the support of the inaugural Harry Freedman Award, which she received jointly with the composer.

The title Visions took inspiration from Caravassilis’ synaesthetic “visions”, connecting colours to sound. In response, while in the process of recording, Petrowska Quilico created more than 100 paintings to accompany the music.

Her recording and subsequent performances of Visions have met with rave reviews. The Wholenote lauded Petrowska Quilico’s playing as "immensely delicate but also very forceful, while never betraying any sense of effort."

Petrowska Quilico’s recital will also feature a selection of new interpretations of Glass Houses, a spellbinding suite of piano pieces composed by Southam in 1981. Petrowska Quilico, who collaborated musically with Southam for nearly three decades, continued to develop the original series with the late composer’s blessing. She recorded Glass Houses Revisited in 2010 and is now preparing the 2009 version of the cycle, as revised by Southam, for release in 2014. She will premiere excerpts from this new collection in the concert.

“The Glass Houses are fiendishly difficult etudes,” said Petrowska Quilico. “Fingers become whirling dervishes entering a mystical and ecstatic trance through suddenly shifting patterns and moods. The dizzying tempi, speed and control required from the performer make them extremely demanding, requiring virtuosic pianistic skills.”

Petrowska’s performances and recordings of Southam’s Glass Houses have earned high critical praise. The Toronto Star hailed Glass Houses Revisited as “nothing short of miraculous…. Christina Petrowska Quilico elevates to poetry the complex musical loops created by Ann Southam...That [she] can perform these … pieces is an achievement in itself; that it makes for mesmerizing listening is the magic of art."

Teaser: Listen to Christina Petrowska Quilico performing Ann Southam’s “Glass Houses Revisited #5"

Petrowska Quilico has been a professor of piano performance and musicology at York since 1987. In a professional performance career spanning five decades and four continents, she has appeared on some of the world’s most prestigious concert stages. She has premiered more than 100 works, including 16 piano concerti, and has recorded some 30 CDs featuring concerti, solo and chamber works by contemporary Canadian and international composers as well as standard classical repertoire. Four of her recordings of Canadian music have earned Juno nominations. She was honoured with the 2007 Friends of Canadian Music Award from the Canadian Music Centre and Canadian League of Composers.

Petrowska Quilico’s recital is the second of four performances in the 2013-14 Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University. Upcoming concerts will feature jazz artists Ron Westray (trombone) Jan. 16 and Sundar Viswanathan (saxophone, flute) Feb. 27, 2014.

What:  York U Faculty Concert Series presents Christina Petrowska Quilico
When:  Thursday, November 14 at 7:30pm
Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St.  | [Map]
$15 | students & seniors $5
Box Office:
416.736.5888 | finearts.yorku.ca/perform/box-office

Media contact:

Amy Stewart, Communications, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University
416-650-8469 | amy.stewart@yorku.ca