York professors commemorate composer Peter Zaparinuk

Left: Christina Petrowska Quilico

One of Canada’s foremost pianists, Christina Petrowska Quilico, and dynamic saxophonist David Mott will headline a midday concert at York tomorrow commemorating the late Canadian composer and York graduate Peter Zaparinuk. Both performers are professors in York’s Music Department, Faculty of Fine Arts, and leading lights of the Canadian music scene, recognized nationally for their outstanding artistry as interpreters of new music.

Right: David Mott

The concert, “The Music of Peter Zaparinuk”, is both a commemoration of Zaparinuk and a celebration of contemporary music. The program will feature Zaparinuk’s solo piano piece “Diabolus in Musica”, played by Petrowska Quilico, while Mott will perform “Distances”, a work written for him by Zaparinuk, as well as the premiere of his own composition “For Peter,” dedicated to Zaparinuk and composed for this occasion.

As Zaparinuk’s former instructor, Mott played a pivotal role in his early days as a student at York University. “This concert is a fitting tribute to Peter,” said Mott. “I’m honoured to be part of this event celebrating his legacy.”

Left: Patricia Wait

Also on the program will be one of Zaparinuk’s digital compositions; York faculty member Professor Patricia Wait, performing an excerpt of a solo clarinet piece composed for her by Zaparinuk; and York graduate student, flautist Kim Morris, who teaches in York’s world music program and is a soloist in the Chinese Orchestra, with fourth-year York student, percussionist Michael Davidson, who performs with the Music Department’s percussion ensemble and the York Wind Symphony, playing Zaparinuk’s “Haikai” for flute and vibraphone.

Zaparinuk was an alumnus of York University (BFA ‘87), the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and SUNY Stony Brook in Long Island, NY. His keen interest in the musical avant-garde was reflected in his own electronic compositions, as well as his scholarly research on the work of his mentor, David Tudor.

In keeping with his wishes and to honour his musical legacy, his family endowed the Dr. Peter Zaparinuk Memorial Scholarship at York University, awarding $2,500 each year to an outstanding undergraduate student composer. Zaparinuk’s musical scores and his personal library of CDs and books were also donated to the University.

Left: Petrowska Quilico’s latest CD, Tango Gems

Right: One of Mott’s CDs, The Sky Ringing in an Empty Bell


“The Music of Peter Zaparinuk” memorial concert will take place on Wed. Jan. 21 at 12:30 pm in the McLaughlin Performance Hall, 050 McLaughlin College at York University.

Admission is free. For more information, please contact the music department at ext. 55186.