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Christina Rusnak

Portland, OR            

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

Coal Creek

Coal Creek was composed for the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve in Alaska. The Piece is inspired by the Gold dredging activities of the mid 20th century and the harsh environment in which people forged their lives.

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Glacier Blue III – Water

Glacier Blue was composed in 2016 for Glacier National Park in commemoration of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. A three movement work titled Mountain, Sky and Water, the attached file explores water as it moves in various states in the park.

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Oregon Trail; Me-a-pa-te

Composed for the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act in 2018, this first movement of the Oregon Trail musically interprets the landscape and how important it was for the Native Americans as well as the settlers who traveled through here.

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NewMusicBox Articles

NewMusicBox July 5 2018 | By Christina Rusnak
Widening Inclusion & Visibility

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.

NewMusicBox April 25 2016 | By Christina Rusnak
New Music and Place: Creating Community

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...

NewMusicBox April 19 2016 | By Christina Rusnak
Composing Advocacy: Social Voices

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...

See more of Christina Rusnak's articles on NewMusicBox.