Juno-nominated pianist and York music Professor Christina Petrowska Quilico will launch her 24th and 25th CD, Glass Houses Revisited and The Liszt Anniversary Collection, at a concert Thursday at the Glenn Gould Studio.
The CD launch and recital will take place at 7:30pm, March 17, at the Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Building, 250 Front St. W. in Toronto.
Petrowska Quilico will perform recently revised work by the late composer Ann Southam (1937-2010). Glass Houses Revisited is being released by the Canadian Music Centre on its Centrediscs label. The Liszt Anniversary Collection, on the Welspringe label, includes well-known pieces, operatic paraphrases and later works for the Liszt bicentennial. Both CDs were recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio and produced by David Jaeger.
Left: Christina Petrowska Quilico
Southam had revised the 15 pieces of the cycle for Petrowska Quilico, who then chose nine, which she edited and revised. “The score is made up of patterns, numbers and melodies, and I had to make sure they came out right. They are fiendishly difficult, especially at the tempo. You need to count each pattern. Each hand plays a different pattern with a different meter. Ann wrote how she wanted them to end, but I had to work things out to ensure the correct number of repetitions,” says Petrowska Quilico.
Fiendishly difficult “etudes” is how she describes the nine selections that she and the composer chose from Southam’s 1981 Glass Houses. She compares the cycle of fast pieces to the lightning-speed fingering of Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes and the complexity of Bach’s counterpoint, while containing “no indications of dynamics, phrasing, fingering, pedalling, or other directions in the score.”
Southam was a leading composer of minimalist music and a trailblazer amongst Canadian women composers. Glass Houses Revisited marks Petrowska Quilico’s third CD title devoted entirely to Southam’s music. The earlier two – the 2005 three-CD set Rivers and two-CD set Pond Life (2009) – were critically well received. She has also recorded Glass Houses No. 5 on her earlier CDs Ings, as well as other works by Southam on Northern Sirens, Virtuoso Piano Music of Our Own Time and Mystic Streams.
As for the 2011 Juno nomination, Larysa Kuzmenko’s Piano Concerto, written for and performed by Petrowska Quilico on her 3 Concerti CD, has been nominated in the Classical Composition of the Year category. Petrowska Quilico performed it with the Toronto Symphony with Jukka Pekka Saraste conducting. This is her second Juno nomination; her first was for a performance of Glenn Buhr’s piano concerto with the Winnipeg Symphony conducted by Bramwell Tovey. The Juno Awards will be announced from March 21 to 27, when the week will culminate in the live broadcast on CTV.
Tickets for the CD launch and recital cost $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors, and are available from the Roy Thomson Hall box office or by calling 416-872-4255.