Christina Petrowska Quilico

Christina Petrowska Quilico
Region: National
Christina Petrowska Quilico

Profile Type: Performer
I Play: Piano


In her 2018-19 season, Christina Petrowska Quilico continues to be as much in demand as ever – giving proof to the pianist’s versatility and prowess as a solo recitalist, orchestral soloist and recording artist.

After the Canadian Music Centre launches Soundspinning, her latest Centrediscs CD of music by Ann Southam, she will speak about the composer at the London International Piano Symposium. There, she will deliver a lecture/recital on Southam’s virtuosic technique in such fast minimal pieces as in Rivers and Glass Houses, and the use of Mindfulness in her slow music. The Symposium takes place October 27-29 at the Royal Academy of Music,

This fall also sees Fleur de Son release Petrowska Quilico’s Global Sirens, featuring an array of women composers. The same label also put out the second of the five Mozart violin and piano CDs she recorded with Jacques Israelievitch shortly before his passing. (“This is how this music should be played. There is a feeling of freedom and ebullience in these performances that I attribute mainly to the wonderful Quilico, and she is one of the most satisfying pianists I have heard in this music.... Good, full-bodied sound.” – American Record Guide).

Together with pianist Shoshana Telner, Christina Petrowska Quilico formed the ensemble Duo Forte, which made its debut earlier in 2018 at the University of Guelph. They make their Toronto debut at York University’s Tribute Communities Recital Hall on November 15, 7:30 p.m., playing Ravel (La Valse), Barber (Souvenirs), Gershwin (Cuban Overture), and other dance works for piano four hands.

The concert is part of the Faculty Series presented by York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, where Quilico, a full professor, is now in her 31st year of teaching.

2019 sees two performances of the fourth concerto by Canada’s André Mathieu with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra – May 11 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Artists, conducted by Kristian Alexander (; and June 29 at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in downtown Toronto, conducted by Jiří Petrdlík (

On March 2, she performs the Piano Concerto by Larysa Kuzmenko with Ontario’s Pembroke Symphony, conducted by Mehdi Javanfar.

Details will soon be announced about the world premiere of another Canadian concerto written for Christina Petrowska Quilico, violin and string orchestra, with Sinfonia Toronto and conductor Nurhan Arman, to be performed November 8, 2019.

Possessing passion and sensitivity, phenomenal technique and “dazzling virtuosity” (New York Times), Petrowska Quilico is a compelling force, whether 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, 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 2015 CD release of Glass Houses combined 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, began release in 2016 on the Fleur de Son label to enthusiastic reviews. The second is due out shortly (in 2017).

In recorded output, few artists can match Petrowska Quilico, particularly in contemporary music. Among her 47 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 anniversary of 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 (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. Her art is also featured on the cover of her Worlds Apart album.

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 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.

Christina Petrowska Quilico is represented by Dulce Horta, Alfama Arts Management,

For more info, visit

(September 2018)


Christina Petrowska Quilico: Piano Concerti/Premieres and other Performances

André Mathieu: Piano Concerto No. 4, with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra, Kristian Alexander, conductor, May 11, 2019 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts; and June 29, 2019 at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in downtown Toronto, conducted by Jiří Petrdlík

Claude Champagne: Scheduled to be performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as part of the Legacy/Canada Mosaic Concerts on October 21 and 22, 2017 at Roy Thomson Hall, Victor Feldbrill, conductor

Heather Schmidt: Toronto premiere of Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra, Kristian Alexander, conductor, June 25, 2015 Markham, Ontario

Alexina Louie (1949- ) Piano concerto performed by Christina Petrowska Quilico at the National Arts Centre with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Alex Pauk conductor, June 21, 1986. Petrowska Quilico also performed the concerto with the Esprit Orchestra, Alex Pauk, conductor, in Toronto December 7, 1986. 32 minutes

Violet Archer (1913-2000) Piano Concerto performed by Christina Petrowska Quilico with the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, John Eliot Gardiner, conductor on May 1981 for the CBC. 18 minutes
Divertimento for piano and strings performed by Petrowska Quilico with the University of Ottawa string orchestra, David Currie, conductor, September 20, 1986. North American premiere. 17 minutes
Divertimento for piano and strings performed with the Koffler Chamber Orchestra, November 24, 2013 at the Music Gallery, Toronto

Larysa Kuzmenko (1956- ) Piano concerto commissioned by the CBC and written for Christina Petrowska Quilico. World premiere with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor, on January 23, 1996. Performed by Petrowska Quilico in a newer version with the Toronto Symphony, Jukka Pekka Saraste, conductor, October 10, 1996. 21 minutes Nominated for a JUNO, 2010 (3 Concerti Centrediscs CD).

The Alexina Louie, Violet Archer and Larysa Kuzmenko piano concerti were released on a Centrediscs CD in 2009.

Glenn Buhr (1954- ) Piano concerto: world premiere recording, 1993 by Christina Petrowska Quilico and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor, for CBC Records’ Contemporary Piano Concerti. Nominated for a Juno award. 24 minutes

Healey Willan (1880-1968) Piano concerto performed by Christina Petrowska Quilico with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Victor Feldbrill, conductor, in Taipei, Taiwan, December 5, 1998. Recorded for CD (True North Festival, SOCAN) and also featured in a documentary, True North Festival, shown on Bravo TV numerous times. 26 minutes

Heather Schmidt (1974- ) Concerto No. 2, commissioned by the CBC for Petrowska Quilico and given the world premiere by her on May 4, 2001 with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Warren, conductor. 28 minutes. Centrediscs. Nominated for a JUNO
Performed Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Koffler Chamber Orchestra, Jacques Israelievitch, conductor, November 24, 2013, The Music Gallery, Toronto

David Mott (1945- ) Concerto for piano and world music ensemble, written for Christina Petrowska Quilico, who gave the world premiere on March 20, 2006 at the Accolade East Centre, York University, with Mark Chambers, conductor. The CD, named Eclipse on Centrediscs, debuted in outer space on the Shuttle Atlantis with astronaut Steve MacLean. 30 minutes.

Ted Dawson (1951- ) Piano concerto commissioned by the Laidlaw Foundation for pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico and given its world premiere with the Thunder Bay Symphony, Geoffrey Moull, conductor, January 16, 2003.

Steven Gellman (1947- ) Piano concerto written for Christina Petrowska Quilico, commissioned by the Canada Council. World premiere at the National Arts Centre with the Ottawa Symphony, David Currie, conductor, May 4, 1993. 43 minutes

George Fiala (1922- 2017) Concerto for piano and choir written for Christina Petrowska Quilico and given its world premiere at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, November 8, 1987.

Simon Bainbridge (1952- ) Concerto for oboe, piano and orchestra performed by Petrowska Quilico with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Serge Garant, conductor, in Ottawa and Montreal 1985.

George Koumendakis (1959- ) Piano concerto premiered by Christina Petrowska Quilico at the Athens Music Festival with the Array Ensemble, Henry Kucharzyk, conductor, Athens, Greece, July 29, 1989. Broadcast on Greek radio

Claudio Ambrosini (1948- ) North American premiere by Christina Petrowska Quilico with the SMCQ (Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec), Walter Boudreau, conductor, December 9, 1993.

Luis de Pablo (1930- ) Concierto da Camera, North American premiere, Montreal, December 11, 1981 with the SMCQ orchestra, Serge Garant, conductor. Luis de Pablo dedicated his second piano concerto to Christina Petrowska Quilico.

R. Murray Schafer (1933- ) Harpsichord concerto performed by Petrowska Quilico with the CJRT Orchestra, James McKay, conductor, January 27, 1988.

Michael Matthews (1950- ) Christina Petrowska Quilico performed his piano concerto Landscape with the Royal Conservatory of Music Orchestra, Gary Kulesha, conductor, in Toronto July 6, 1991.

Classical Concerti: include over 26 performances of:

Bach D minor concerto, the Brandenburg No. 5
Haydn D major concerto
Mozart piano concerti, notably K. 488
Beethoven, the Emperor
Chopin E minor
Strauss Burleske
Prokofieff Concerti No. 1, 2 and 3
Bartok No. 1 and 3
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

(September 2018)



SOUNDSPINNING (Centrediscs): Ann Southam works, including Remembering Schubert, Altitude Lake, Where and Stitches in Time.

GLOBAL SIRENS A collection of solo piano pieces by women composers from around the world. On Fleur de Son (Naxos)

WORLDS APART (Centrediscs) 2CD set comprising:

CLASSICS WITH A TWIST: Works by John Rea, Steven Gellman and Peter Paul Koprowski

WORLDS APART: Works by David Jaeger, Diana McIntosh, Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux, Patrick Cardy and Michel-Georges Brégent.

MOZART SONATAS FOR PIANO AND VIOLIN: with Jacques Israelievitch, violin – Volumes 1 and 2 on Fleur de Son (Naxos) released 2016 and 2018; volumes 3, 4 and 5 upcoming.

GLASS HOUSES (BOX SET, Volume one and two) On Centrediscs

FANCIES AND INTERLUDES: Centrediscs with Jacques Israelievitch, violin

GLASS HOUSES VOLUME 2 Music by Ann Southam on Centrediscs (Canadian)

TANGOS BRASILEIROS A two CD set of Tangos by Ernesto Nazareth on Marquis Classics.

VISIONS A two CD set of the complete Rhapsodies and Fantasias by Constantine Caravassilis on Centrediscs (Canadian)

TAPESTRIES Piano concerti by Heather Schmidt and George Fiala with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Warren, conductor and the Canadian Ukrainian Opera Chorus, Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, conductor, on Centrediscs (Canadian)

3 CONCERTI Piano concerti by Violet Archer, Larysa Kuzmenko, and Alexina Louie with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor; the Toronto Symphony with Jukka Pekka Saraste, conductor; and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Alex Pauk, conductor, on Centrediscs (Canadian)

CONTEMPORARY PIANO CONCERTI Piano concerto by Glenn Buhr with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor on CBC Records (Canadian)

ECLIPSE Piano concerto by David Mott with the World Chamber Ensemble, Mark Chambers, conductor. Also, solo piano music by David Mott on Centrediscs (Canadian). This CD was debuted in space by astronaut Steve Maclean on the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

TRUE NORTH FESTIVAL Piano concerto by Healey Willan with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Victor Feldbrill, conductor. Recorded on location in Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. on True North Festival Records (Canadian)

GLASS HOUSES REVISITED Solo piano music by Ann Southam featuring 9 revised Glass Houses recorded on Centrediscs (Canadian) One of the all-time best selling CDs for Centrediscs

POND LIFE A 2 CD set of music by Ann Southam recorded for Centrediscs (Canadian)


16 PORTRAITS A 2 CD set of the Romantic Etudes of Michel-Georges Brégent on Centrediscs (Canadian)

INGS A 2 CD set of music by Ann Southam, Alexina Louie, David Jaeger, William Westcott, and Omar Daniel (Canadian); and Gavin Bryars, Pierre Boulez, Toru Takemitsu, Lowell Liebermann, Henry Cowell, David del Tredici, Frederick Rzewski, Masamitsu Takahashi and Art Tatum on Welspringe Records

MYSTIC STREAMS Solo piano music by Steven Gellman, Ann Southam, and Peter Paul Koprowski (Canadian); and Gyorgy Ligeti, Toru Takemitsu, and Frederick Rzewski on Welspringe Records

NORTHERN SIRENS Solo piano music by Ann Southam, Alexina Louie, Larysa Kuzmenko, Heather Schmidt and Diana McIntosh (Canadian) on York Fine Arts Record Label

GEMS WITH AN EDGE Solo piano music by Michel-Georges Brégent and Micheline Coulombe Saint Marcoux (Canadian), and Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez and Mario Davidovsky on Welspringe Records

VIRTUOSO PIANO MUSIC OF OUR OWN TIME Solo piano music by Ann Southam, Alexina Louie (Canadian), and Henry Cowell, Olivier Messiaen, Barbara Heller, Lowell Liebermann, Frederick Rzewski, George Gershwin and Art Tatum on JLH Lasersound. This CD debuted in space with astronaut Steve MacLean.

SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A FUGUE 2 Preludes and Fugues by Kati Agocs and Ana Sokolovic (Canadian) on Centrediscs

CHRIS PAUL HARMAN One major solo piece Globus Hystericus (Canadian) on Centrediscs

CATBIRD SEAT One major solo piece by David Jaeger (Canadian) with the Canadian Electronic Ensemble on Trappist Recordings

GEMS One Trio by Bengt Hambreaus (Canadian) with Joseph Petric on Conaccord Records

THE LISZT ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION Solo piano music by Franz Liszt on Welspringe Records

CHOPIN & LISZT Solo piano music by Chopin and Liszt on Welspringe Records

ROMANTIC GEMS A collection of romantic music by classical composers such as Rachmaninoff, Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, etc. on Welspringe Records

DEBUSSY A collection of solo piano music by Debussy including Book Two of the Preludes on Welspringe Records

VOCAL GEMS A live recital from New York with Louis Quilico, baritone, in a program of Verdi, Duparc, Debussy, Hahn, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Loesser and Italian songs on Welspringe Records

MR. RIGOLETTO: MY LIFE IN MUSIC A compilation with Louis Quilico, baritone on Analekta records

CHANTS FRANCAIS ET RUSSES A recital of French and Russian songs with Louis Quilico, baritone on Welspringe Records

TWO OF A KIND A recital of arias and songs from opera and lieder with Louis Quilico, baritone, on York Fine Arts Label

VOLUMES 2, 3, 4, 5 Mozart violin and piano Sonatas: with Jacques Israelievitch, violin (Fleur de Son, Naxos)

IN PRAISE OF WOMEN A collection of solo piano pieces by women composers from around the world.

REMEMBERING : Ann Southam works, including Remembering Schubert, Altitude Lake, Where, Stitches in Time, Patterns of Nine and Soundings for a New Piano

(September 2018)

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