Christina Petrowska-Quilico

Christina Petrowska-Quilico (Fine Arts)
[Appeared in YFile on August 14, 2008]

Christina Petrowska Quilico is a leading pianist and interpreter of 20th and 21st century music, and a professor in the Music Department at York. Petrowska Quilico recently returned from performing the world premiere of “Soundstill: Ponds, Creeks and a Noisy River,” a new cycle of piano works written for her by Canadian composer Ann Southam, at the Sound Symposium music festival in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Also at the Sound Symposium, she gave the world premiere of another piece by Southam titled “Simple Forms of Inquiry” with dancer/choreographer Terrill Maguire, who teaches in York’s dance department. The premieres were equally successful, if not more. Petrowska Quilico claimed that she could “hear a pin drop,” which is usually a good sign of an attentive, satisfied audience – an important component in the performance of a new work.

“People looked really happy and blissed-out when they left…” said Petrowska Quilico. “…It’s that kind of program – it’s spiritual. But it’s also complex playing, and especially virtuosic for the left hand.”

Petrowska Quilico will perform “Soundstill” again on October 7th at the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East building. She also enjoys making art in different media. She had a book titled “Opera Illustrated” published in 1994, consisting of drawings of various opera sets and portraits of world-renowned opera tenors including Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and her late husband Louis Quilico, a Canadian-born baritone with whom she toured and recorded. While Petrowska Quilico has performed and recorded a huge amount of repertoire across a variety of musical genres, including those found on her new solo CD Ings (a compilation of CBC-recorded live performances), what she enjoys playing the most is what she grew up with – orchestral and chamber music. She made her concert debut with the Royal Conservatory of Music orchestra at age 10, and her New York City debut with the orchestra at the Town Hall at the age of 14.
“I love playing chamber music and I love performing with orchestra,” she said. “I think my favourite is playing piano concertos. I do love solo work, but it’s a lot more fun to play with somebody else.”

Christina Petrowska Quilico will perform works from Ings as well as a work by Bill Westcott, who is also from York’s music department on August 25th at 12:15pm at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto as part of the Music Mondays series. For more information call (416) 598-4521 x222.

[YORKwrites would like to thank Beverly Chan, Yorkwrites Assistant for 2007 for providing this profile]