Passionate about composing about place and the human experience, Christina Rusnakseeks to integrate context into her music from various sources, including landscape, culture, history and art. She strives to compose music that is thought provoking, and engages both the performers and the audience. Rusnak’s work includes chamber, orchestra, wind band and solo pieces as well as jazz, women’s choir, electro-acoustic works, and film.
An avid hiker, she has been commissioned by the U.S. Forest Service, The National Park Service, and Oregon State Parks. Ms. Rusnak has also received commissions and performances from talented ensembles and performers including The Chris Klaxton Band, Corvus, Citywater and Third Angle New Music Ensembls, the Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra, Vocal Luna (in Havana Cuba) and pianist Jeffrey Jacob. Ms. Rusnak scored the silent film, A House Divided, restored by Kino-Lorber Films and most recently completed Wy’am, musically depicting the oldest continuously inhabited place on the North American continent and a reinterpretation of the culturally fraught Oregon Trail. Rusnak’s work has been performed across the country including the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, the Turn UP Festival in Arizona, the Dallas Contemporary Art Museum, among others. In 2009-10 she created a sound art series as composer-in-residence for the Dallas Contemporary Art Museum. Upcoming recording projects include “The Coast in Winter” for elementary wind band, and Glacier Blue for solo cello.
Composing since age nine, Ms. Rusnak earned her graduate degree in composition and arts leadership at the University of North Texas. Ms. Rusnak also works with communities and organizations as an advocate for both New Music and Place. Rusnak’s essays have been published in New Music Box, Oregon Arts Watch, and the Journal of the International Alliance for Women in Music. She serves on the board of IAWM, and on the advisory board of Signal Fire Arts and a member of the Landscape Music Composers Network. Her recordings are available through Amazon and Naxos on Navona, Big Round and Ansonica Records. Her music is published by Rusnak Music Press. For more information, visit http://christinarusnak.com
Articles by Christina Rusnak:
How can we broaden our scope to increase the visibility of the vast amount of music composed by women? At least THREE THOUSAND OF THEM.
Our landscape shapes our perception of the world, and thereby our culture. Music that we create about, for, and with a community can itself act as an advocate for these...
Most of us believe that we possess the power to make positive change in the world. Are we experiencing a resurgence in new music composed to highlight social equity? If...
We have the opportunity to look beyond traditional funding models to keep our music fresh and authentic. How can each of us help to create a supportive community locally?
Composing about place and stories of its cultural, geographic, and human history serves a vital advocatorial role on several levels.