LSM Newswire

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

York's Petrowska Quilico premieres Ann Southam cycle

Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico launches York U Faculty Concert Series

Toronto, September 16, 2008: Christina Petrowska Quilico, renowned pianist and champion of Canadian music, launches the 2008-09 Faculty Concert Series of York Universitys Music Department on October 7 in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall at York. Her concert, titled Pond Life, will feature the Toronto premiere of Creeks and Rivers, a new cycle of 17 solo piano movements written especially for her by noted Canadian composer Ann Southam.

Building on the success of an earlier collaboration titled Rivers, which Petrowska Quilico has performed internationally and released on a three-CD set by Centrediscs in 2005, Creeks and Rivers marks several decades of musical partnership as well as a longstanding friendship.

Ann and I met 25 years ago, said Petrowska Quilico. She asked if I would record some of her repertoire, and thats how it started. We had a good working relationship from the beginning. She is very open and I am flexible, and together were all about the music.

Since then, weve lived parallel lives, with various traumas and a lot of good times too, and weve become very good friends. The security of our friendship and our mutual trust encourages experimentation in our work together. That freedom is part of the reason I love playing her music.

On this project I think we had the most fun coming up with the titles for the pieces, Petrowska Quilico said. Anns music is deeply inspired by nature, and the names in this cycle describe the pieces so well. There are three creeks, Commotion Creek, Fidget Creek and Fiddle Creek, and there is a Noisy River. I will book-end the recital with Spatial View of Pond 1 and Pond 2.

Petrowska Quilico describes Creeks and Rivers as 90 minutes of virtuosic, introspective music. She gave the world premiere performance of the work this summer at the Sound Symposium in St. Johns NL.

People looked really happy and blissed-out when they left," she said. Its that kind of program its spiritual.

Petrowska Quilico has premiered and recorded numerous Southam compositions.

Southams Glass Houses is one of the Petrowska Quilicos signature pieces, and she has included selections from that suite on three other solo albums: Virtuoso Piano Music of Our Own Time (1992), Northern Sirens (1998) and most recently, Ings, her 20th recording, released this spring by Centrediscs. Reviewers hailed her rendition of Southams music on Ings as hypnotically beautiful (David Olds, Wholenote) and Ķgiven loving treatmentĶ. the intelligence informing the performances [is] generous and warm (J.H. Stape, Review Vancouver).

Prior to her 2005 recording of the entire Rivers series for Centrediscs Ann Southam - Canadian Composers Portrait, Petrowska Quilico featured excerpts of the work on her 1996 CD Mystic Streams.

"Ķ when Christina performed it, I loved the sound and what was happening as her hands interacted, Southam said of her Rivers performance. And I loved the little tunes and motifs that could be heard in the interaction between the hands. It takes a whiz-bang pianist to make those heard. I don't how she does it!"

One of Canadas foremost pianists, Petrowska Quilico is widely recognized as an innovative and adventurous artist and a leading ambassador of the music of our time. She has appeared in solo recitals, chamber settings and with orchestras on four continents. Much in demand as an interpreter of contemporary music, she has premiered more than 100 works by eminent national and international composers. She has been a professor of piano performance and musicology at York since 1987.

Petrowska Quilicos Pond Life is the first of five performances in the Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University. Upcoming concerts will feature drummer Trichy Sankaran (Oct. 27), jazz bassist Al Henderson (Jan. 13), violinist Jacques Israelievitch (Jan. 27) and pianist Dorothy de Val (Feb. 10).


What: Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano: Pond Life
When: Tues. October 7 at 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. [Map]
Admission: single tickets $15, students & seniors $5 | series tickets: three-concert package for $30
Box Office: 416.736.5888 |

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