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BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Juno nominee Larysa Kuzmenko is a Toronto-based composer and pianist.  Her music has been performed and broadcast throughout the world.  Her works have been commissioned, performed and recorded on CD by many outstanding artists.

Kuzmenko’s works demonstrate a strong affinity towards the mainstream tradition of classical music.   She imbues her music with strong melodic sense, and a firm rooting in traditional, albeit extended tonal processes.  She has appeared as a pianist in several countries, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, the St. Lawrence Centre, Roy Thomson Hall, and Massey Hall, as well as several other venues throughout Canada.

Larysa Kuzmenko is currently on staff at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, where she teaches piano, harmony, and composition.  She is married to Canadian composer Gary Kulesha.


NEWS AND EVENTS
—— Triumphant: A Tribute to Mississauga ——
“Hammerson Hall”

Join us on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 8PM, in celebrating forty years of Mississauga’s triumphant growth. Through the generous support of the City of Mississauga, the MSO is pleased to present the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by Canadian Larysa Kuzmenko. The internationally renowned violinist originally from Mississauga, Stanislav Pronin, performs one of the greatest violin concertos of all time. The enigmatic Russian composter Tchaikovsky brings us the boundless Symphony No. 5 which exemplifies the notion of triumph over conflict.
  • Kuzmenko: A Tribute to Mississauga
  • Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto with Stanislav Pronin, Violin
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5

—— Celebrating the music of Canadian women composers ——
The Toronto Heliconian Club presents
“ONEs, TWOs, and THREEs”

On Friday, March 7, 2014 at 8 pm, the Toronto Heliconian Club will showcase solos, duets and trios written by Canadian women, ranging from Juno-nominated works to less familiar, but equally excellent compositions performed by outstanding musicians. This event is being cosponsored by the Association of Canadian Women Composers in recognition of International Women’s Day and marks the third concert of the 5th annual Heliconian Club concert series.

Internationally acclaimed pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico will open and close the evening with her performances of Larysa Kuzmenko’s In Memoriam: To the Victims of Chernobyl and Ann Southam’s Glass Houses #12 from her next, soon to be released CD. Well-known soprano Barbara Fris will delight our ears with two selections from Elizabeth Raum’s song cycle, Men I Have KnownKristin Mueller-Heaslip will intrigue us with her rendition of Hillary Thomson’s unique art song Deer Kill.  Jane Blackstone and Louise Morley have teamed up to play Emily Doolittle’s piece Sorex for four-handed piano, while soprano Maureen Batt will perform Monica Pearce’s Aunt Helen.

We will also be treated to a number of world premieres, including Pomegranate by Kye Marshall (libretto by Amanda Hale) featuring soprano Elizabeth Rose Morriss, contralto Gabriella Sundarsingh, and harpist Natalie Hoffmann.  Jana Skarecky’s Will You Dance? for two violins and tambourine will be debuted by Velma Ko and Joyce Lai.  International soprano Janet Catherine Dea will premier a new setting of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer Abwoon d’bwashmaya by composer Joanna Estelle, as well as a new arrangement of  Qu’est-ce que c’est la vie?, written as a tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Several of the featured composers will be present to introduce their work and meet with after the concert.  Recordings by many of the composers and performers will also be available for purchase.

Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 students/seniors, available online at www.heliconianclub.org or for purchase at the door.

—— Tribute to Canadian Women Composers ——
PIANIST CHRISTINA PETROWSKA QUILICO PERFORMS WITH
JACQUES ISRAELIEVITCH & THE KOFFLER CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Christina Petrowska Quilico
Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, one of Canada’s leading interpreters of contemporary music, joins the Koffler Chamber Orchestra and conductor Jacques Israelievitch for Music She Wrote: A Tribute to Canadian Women Composers.

The concert, featuring two piano concertos and two works for orchestra, takes place Sunday, November 24 at 7 p.m. at The Music Gallery, 197 John Street. Tickets and info are available via www.kofflerarts.org or by phone at 416-638-1881 x4333. Advance Tickets are $20; Students $15. At the door, tickets are $25, students $20.

For the program, Christina Petrowska Quilico joins the Orchestra and Maestro Israelievitch for piano concerti by two Canadian women composers: Piano Concerto No. 3 for piano and strings by Heather Schmidt; and Divertimento for Piano and Strings by Violet Archer (1913-2000).

As well, the Koffler Chamber Orchestra also performs two orchestral works: Webster’s Spin by Ann Southam (1937-2010), and A Prayer by Larysa Kuzmenko.

—— New Commission ——
Ms. Kuzmenko has recently been commissioned to write a work for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Children's choir through a generous grant from the Ontario Arts Council. This work "Behold the Night" will be based on parts of the text from William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". It will be premièred in Roy Thomson Hall on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7:30pm with additional repeat performance on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 7:30pm.

Christopher Plummer
The concert will also feature the work by William Walton "Music for the film Henry V" featuring the narration by the legendary actor Christopher Plummer as he brings Shakespeare's warrior king vibrantly to life, and Tchaikovsky's riveting evocation of the tragic romance between the "star-crossed lovers" of old Verona.
  • Peter Oundjian, conductor
  • Toronto Children's Chorus
  • Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
  • Christopher Plummer, narrator
—— The Art of Canadian Music ——

The Portrait Society of Canada presented 'The Art of Canadian Music' on March 8 to April 1, 2011 at the John B. Aird Gallery in celebration with the many tributes to the March 8 Juno awards. More than 35 portraitures were showcased in a variety of contemporary portrait styles, including classical realism, impressionism, primitivism, and photo realism that captured Canadian Composers and performers by professional artists and members of the Portrait Society of Canada — the country's leading group for this art genre.

The exhibit was organized by Veronica Kvassetskaia-Tsyglan, president and founder of the Portrait Society of Canada, who has worked professionally as a portrait artist for over 25 years. Kvassetskaia-Tsyglan, who paints in the classical tradition (old masters style), contributed three paintings: Tapestry New Opera director Tom Diamond, pianist Lucas Porter, and Juno-nominated composer Larysa Kuzmenko.


"Painting Kuzmenko"


Kuzmenko's Portrait
Humbled by the mystical nature of composition, both musical and literary, Kvassetskaia-Tsyglan wanted to pay homage to the art form, which is why she painted Kuzmenko.

In the painting, Kuzmenko is seated at the piano, dressed in a long black concert dress, composing. Propped up against the piano is the score for her "Memoriam for the Victims of Chernobyl," a eulogy to the 1986 Ukrainian nuclear disaster.

Shy, caught up in her world of creativity, the composer does not look up, providing a challenge for the painter.

"You have to take the music from somewhere," says Kvassetskaia-Tsyglan. "You have to invent something new. It's like being a radio station—you have to accept some radio signal from space. I have the same feeling about composing. That's why I chose a composer."

— Madalina Hubert (The Epoch Times)
MEMORIAM
“Memoriam for the victims of Chornobyl”

Has recently been published by Plangere Publications and is available through them at www.plangere.com. Plangere is also publishing Fantasy for Solo Cello and "In Search of Eldorado" in versions for mezzo soprano and soprano.

LATEST REVIEWS
Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011

Behold the Night

 

Kuzmenko's new work, Behold the Night, is a two-movement setting of a pair of poems from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream: "Over hill, over dale," and "Now the hungry lion roars." Scored for orchestra and children's choir, it's a harmonically conservative work – as charming and colourful as any film score by Danny Elfman or John Williams. 

— Colin Eatock

LATEST COMPACT DISC RELEASES
Cellist Vernon Regehr presents previously unrecorded, unaccompanied works of six composers, all written in the past decade. As the title of the album suggests, the works display a highly varied array of expressive and emotional landscapes, utilizing the instrument's broad range of tone colour.
 
Kuzmenko's "One Sister Have I in Our House" for Women's chorus and piano was commissioned by the Tapestry Singers in joyful celebration of their sister singer Sandy Quarles, a gentle soul and a lively spirit. Recorded live at St. Matthews Episcopal Church.
 
Kuzmenko's JUNO Nominated Piano Concerto on Compact Disc with Pianist "Christina Petrowska Quilico".
 

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