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Christina performs Ligeti

Christina performs Grieg

Possessing passion and sensitivity, phenomenal technique and “dazzling virtuosity” (New York Times), pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico is a compelling force, ChristinaQuilicowhether 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 began with the release of Volume One in 2016 on the Fleur de Son label.

In recorded output, few artists can match Petrowska Quilico, particularly in contemporary music.  Among her 40 plus 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 anniversaryof 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 Eclipse (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.

*** Four JUNO nominations ***
Glass Houses Revisited (Music of Ann Southam):
One of The 30-best-Canadian-classical-recordings-ever – CBC Music (on a list with Glenn Gould`s recordings of the Bach Goldberg Variations, and other major classics)

Mozart, Sonatas for violin and piano, Fleur de Son (FDS 58034), 2016
"… the last joint collaboration by the duo of pianist Christina Quilico and the late violinist Jacques Israelievitch.
What a great duo they made indeed! The dynamic and eloquent music created between the two artists and their instruments is something I wish I had experienced live. For those of you who have yet to hear either of these artists, this CD series will be one to collect."
Hye's Musings, Toronto Arts and Culture

Ann Southam: Glass Houses Volume 2 (Centrediscs CMCCD 20114, 2014)
"The music is very compelling: undulating, pulsating, the continuous surface unpredictably dotted with jabs and runs. The harmonic orientation is essentially diatonic, and the rhythmic sense propulsive. This is difficult and nuanced music, and Christina Petrowska Quilico is entirely up to the challenge…. These performances are deeply musical and affecting." – American Record Guide

Tangos Brasileiros: The Music of Ernesto Nazareth (Marquis MAR 81519)
"Touches of salon music and the romanticism of Chopin are evident in these tangos, which are quicker in tempo than their Argentinean relatives. There is so much heartfelt joy in the pianist's performances of 24 of the composers' piano works. In her liner notes titled "My Personal Tango Journey," she attributes her agility in style, musicality and placement of downbeat to her years in the dance studio learning how to dance the tango. I agree completely. – Tiina Kiik, The WholeNote

Visions: The Complete Books of Rhapsodies & Fantasias by Constantine Caravassilis (Centrediscs CMCCD 18613, 2013)

"…112 minutes of timeless-sounding new music for solo piano that offers something for many different kinds of listeners. Not only has composer Constantine Caravassilis…written some great pieces, but pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico has brought each to life with a compelling force. …" – John Terauds, Toronto Star

Tapestries: Concerti by George Fiala and Heather Schmidt (Centrediscs CMCCD 17011, 2011)
"Christina Petrowska Quilico's significant contributions to the recorded contemporary Canadian piano repertoire continue to impress…. Making it sound easier than it is, Quilico's performance ...is coloristic and well-paced, justifying indeed the disc's title Tapestries." – Roger Knox, The WholeNote

Liszt Anniversary Collection (Welspringe WP011, 2011)
"These smaller works dating from Liszt's late period are quietly introspective, and stylistically point to the 20th century. Petrowska Quilico treats them with a wonderful delicacy, adeptly proving that Liszt is not all bravura and showmanship." – Richard Haskell, The WholeNote

Ann Southam: Glass Houses Revisited (Centrediscs CMCCD 16511, 2011) (one of Centrediscs' all-time best-sellers)
"**** This is nothing short of miraculous. Toronto pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico elevates to poetry the complex musical loops created by Ann Southam. …That Petrowska Quilico can perform these nine pieces is an achievement in itself; that it makes for mesmerizing listening is the magic of art." – John Terauds, Toronto Star

INGS (2-CD compilation, Welspringe WEL0008, 2008)

"**** The Ings of Christina Petrowska Quilico's double CD of contemporary music for piano refer to Henry Cowell's wry set of pieces, Six Ings, but the recording at large calls up a plethora of ing-words: shimmering, for the scintillant patterns of Ann Southam's Glass Houses; uncompromising, for Pierre Boulez's modernist Premiere Sonate; dazzling, for the wonders of Art Tatum's right hand, resuscitated in two arrangements; amusing, for Masamitsu Takahashi's bluesy Asian fusion; and blistering, for Frederic Rzewski's tough-husked, soft-centred Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues. Amazing, too, for the amount of virtuosity and variety Petrowska Quilico has squeezed onto a mere two discs." – Elissa Poole, Globe and Mail
ML Review (Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres)

Gems with an Edge (Welspring, 2003)

"Petrowska Quilico is well known in Canada but not in this country, and I hope these two releases will help to remedy the discrepancy. She's an excellent musician, technically skillful and interpretively sound. She knows her way through the thorny thickets of Messiaen, Boulez, and the other contemporary composers, delivering their strange rhythms and discords effectively. I'm particularly taken by hearing the eerie sounds of the Boulez sonata again." – American Record Guide

Romantic Gems (Welspringe 2002)

Delightful Collection a Must Have
"Christina Petrowska Quilico has done music lovers a great service by recording this fascinating collection of twenty-nine 'Romantic Gems', choosing from the neglected works of well-known and little appreciated composers from Franz Liszt to Cyril Scott." – James Wegg, Jamesweggreview.com

Vocal Gems - Live from New York: Louis Quilico, baritone; Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano (Welspringe WEL0006, 2002)

"This CD was recorded in 1998 by Canada's most famous musical couple, during a recital performed at Merkin Hall, New York City...The tenderness between singer and pianist shines through beautifully...The recital ends with passionate Italian repertoire, songs by Tosti and Renato's Eri tu from Verdi's 'Ballo in Maschera'. For those of us who miss this man's exquisite voice, this CD provides a most welcome legacy. Proceeds from the recording will go to the Christina and Louis Quilico Fund at the Ontario Arts Council to help young singer and pianists." – Dianne Wells, Wholenote Magazine

"Petrowska Quilico offers sympathetic support at the piano ... a worthwhile souvenir of a beloved artist."
– Joseph So, Opera Canada
them performing a similar service for 15 pieces by Chopin and Liszt." – William Littler, Toronto Star

More reviews on Christina's website



Classics with a Twist

Ann Southam Remembering Schubert 9:00

Steven Gellman Fantasia on a theme of Schumann 10:20

Peter Paul Koprowski Rhapsody on a theme of Brahms 11:59

John Rea Las Meninas (inspired by Schumann's
Kinderszenen 32:00

Worlds Apart

Ann Southam Stitches in Time 8:58

Patrick Cardy Masks of Astarte 14:24

David Jaeger Quivi Sospiri 10:15 for piano and computer

Diana McIntosh Worlds Apart

Michel-Georges Bregent Geste

Micheline Coulombe Saint Marcoux Assemblages

Ann Southam

Glass Houses #5, #8, #10, #11, #12, #14, #15 73 minutes

Stitches in Time 3 Sonocyles and 8 Soundspinning 12 minutes

Pond Life 20 minutes

RIVERS the complete set of 3 volumes

SLOW, MEDIUM, FAST Rivers 90 minutes

Women Composers

Ilse-Fromm Michaels (Germany) Langsamer Walzer

Elise Schmitz-Gohr (Germany) Elegy for the Left Hand

Lotte Backes (Germany) Slow

Lili Boulanger (France) D'un vieux jardin

Priaulx Rainier (South Africa) Barbaric Dance

Ada Gentile (Italy) Preludio

Peggy Glanville-Hicks (Australia) Prelude for a Pensive Pupil

Germaine Tailleferre (France) Deux Pieces pour piano

Gena Branscombe (Canada) Valse Caprice

Adaline Shepherd (United States) Wireless Rag

Program One: total duration 80 minutes
Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano

Ann Southam, composer

Rivers Fast River no. 2 (6.09)
Rivers Slow River no. 2 (5.00)
Rivers Fast River no. 6 (5:12)
Rivers Slow River no. 5 (5:00)
Rivers Fast River no. 5 (5:14)
Rivers Slow River no. 7 (3:21)
Rivers Fast River no. 8 (11:00)


Glass Houses Glass House #1 (3:27)
Glass Houses Glass House #7 (4:35)
Glass Houses Glass House #9 (7:59)
Glass Houses Glass House #14 (7:19)
Glass Houses Glass House #5 (8:28)
Glass Houses Glass House #12 (7:17)

Program Two: total duration 70 minutes
Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano

Quebec explosive
Michel-Georges Bregent, composer

16 Portraits: Etudes Romantiques

L'Amour inaccessible (5:31)
Les Visionnaires incompris (5:01)
Les Formes de masques (5:01)
La Solitude (6:36)
Le Clochard (4:37)
La Recherche scientifique (6:17)
Le Tigre de metal (6:14)


Las Meninas (Variations on Robert Schumann's Kinderszenen.
John Rea, composer

From foreign lands and people (homage to Jose Evangelista, Alexina Louie, Claude Vivier and Claude Debussy)
Curious Story (for Jean-Jacques Nattiez)
Blindman's –buff (for Peter-Paul Koprowski and Anton Webern)
Pleading Child (for James Hartway)
Perfect Happiness (for Arnold Schoenberg)
Important event (for Conlon Nancarrow and Yvar Mikhashoff)
Reverie (for Morton Feldman, Walter Zimmerman and Rodney Sharman)
By the fireside (for Erik Satie)
Knight of the Rocking Horse (for Luciano Berio)
Almost too serious (for Frederic Chopin)
Boogeyman's coming (for Chopin, and Igor Stravinsky)
Child falling asleep (for Philip Glass)
The poet speaks (for Denis Gougeon)

Program 3: total duration 67 minutes
violin, and Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano

And dark time flowed by her like a river….Gary Kulesha
8' 30"
Drop…… James Rolfe
9' 30"
Duo….. Oskar Morawetz
8' 30"


Fancies and Interludes VI …. Ray Luedeke
39' 43"


Remembering Ann Southam

Christina Petrowska Quilico, pianist

PROGRAM: Selections from Rivers and Glass Houses


3rd set no. 2
2nd set no. 2
3rd set no. 4
2nd set no. 8
3rd set no. 6
2nd set no. 5
3rd set no. 5
2nd set no. 6
3rd set no. 8


Glass House no. 1
Glass House no. 14
Glass House no. 12
Glass House no. 5

Forgotten Gems by Women from Around the World (Global Sirens)

Pianist, Christina Petrowska Quilico

Ilse Fromm-Michaels (1888-1086) Langsamer Walzer

Elise Schmidz-Gohr (1901-1987) Elegie for the left hand

Lotte Backes (1901-1989) Slow

Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) D'un vieux Jardin

Priaulx Rainier (1903-1986) Barbaric Dance

Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912-1990) Prelude for a Pensive Pupil

Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983) Deux Pieces (Larghetto)

Adaline Shepherd (1883-1950) Wireless Rag

Barbara Heller (1936-) Piano Muziek

Susanne Erding (1955-) Chillan

Violeta Dinescu (1953-) Reve

Sofia Gubaidulina (1931-) Toccata-Troncata

Meredith Monk (1942-) Railroad (Travel Song)
Window in 7's
St. Petersburg Waltz

Diana McIntosh (1937-) Dark Journey

Ann Southam (1937-2010) Glass Houses 1,7,14

ChristinaChristina Petrowska Quilico

Hailed by the New York Times for her “promethean talent”, Christina Petrowska Quilico has appeared on the recital stage at such prestigious halls as Carnegie, Alice Tully and Merkin. Concert tours have taken her, as a soloist and with baritone Louis Quilico, across four continents – to Taiwan, the Middle East, France, Germany, Greece and Ukraine, and throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Her orchestral collaborations have ranged from most of Canada’s leading ensembles to the symphony orchestras of Greek Radio and Taipei.


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