The Fourth Symphony was premiered on January 20 and 21 of 2023 by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Peter Oundjian, at Roy Thomson Hall. The premiere was a resounding success, and garnered a standing ovation. Writing in the Toronto Star, Joshua Chong said:
“Canadian composer Gary Kulesha’s scintillating “Fourth Symphony” is a sensory feast for the ears.”
By Joshua Chong Special to the Star
“Before intermission, the TSO performed the world premiere of Gary Kulesha’s “Fourth Symphony.” One of Canada’s foremost composers, Kulesha premiered his first two symphonies at the TSO. His third received its premiere more than 15 years ago courtesy of the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
“This long-awaited “Fourth Symphony,” a TSO commission, is a sensory feast for the ears, packed with dense lyricism, soaring solos and sweeping thematic climaxes. It’s a four-movement symphony but feels like a three-movement work as the first and second sections are seamlessly connected.
“The first movement sizzles with tension, built upon a series of chords performed by the strings. This tension is released in the next section, a spry scherzo that still contains undertones of latent darkness, ending with an unsettling duet between the flute and viola.
“The third movement, perhaps the most successful, contains a resplendent trumpet solo that gently grazes over a string accompaniment. It’s followed by a less successful finale that relies too heavily on climactic moments of release that feel like an ending but give way to more of the same chords.
“On balance, however, this is a commendable work that should be celebrated, as it was on Friday, with Kulesha joining the TSO onstage.
“It should also be noted that it’s exceedingly rare to experience a symphonic world premiere of this magnitude. Most Canadian premieres are slotted into programs as concert overtures, known in some circles as “parking overtures”; put plainly — if a bit harshly — these often unmemorable premieres are placed at the top of the concert, when latecomers are scrambling to find parking in the basement.
“But Kulesha’s new work rightfully earns its billing as the centrepiece of the first half. Hopefully, this symphony, like the ones that have come before it, will continue to be programmed in the years to come.”
The Fourth Symphony was jointly commissioned by the TSO with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, who will perform it in the 2023/24 season. This work follows the stunningly successful Third Symphony of 2006, a work that was performed by more than 10 orchestras in the three years after its premiere. Gary Kulesha is one of the few composers to have had multiple performances of his symphonies, beginning with the First Symphony, which has been performed many times despite the incredible performance demands of a very large orchestra with 2 conductors.
On Nov. 16, 2022, Gary Kulesha’s Oboe Concerto was broadcast on Österreich 1, Austrian public radio, in the performance from Auckland, New Zealand in 2020.
Bede Hanley and the Victoria Symphony, conducted by Giordano Bellincampi, will give the Canadian premiere of Gary Kulesha’s Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra on March 18, 2023, in Victoria B.C. This work had a huge international success at its premiere in New Zealand, with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in October of 2020, and subsequently online.
On November 25, 2022, the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra performed Fireworks and Procession.
On November 23, 2022, Gary Kulesha conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra in a workshop of music from the NACO’s Carrefour programme. Music by Keiko Devaux, Alison Jiang, and John Farah were rehearsed and discussed.
On October 22, 2022, Gary conducted the Toronto Symphony’s Explore the Score concert, with works by 4 emerging composers.
On September 10, 2022, L’Orchestre classique de Montréal performed Serenade for Strings.
Gary Kulesha conducted the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra on June 26, 2022, in a programme of contemporary Canadian music. This concert was part of the orchestra’s Intimate and Immersive series, and has been released on video. During the same week, he conducted reading sessions of works by 4 young composers.
International Recorder superstar Lucie Horsch performed Gary Kulesha’s Concerto for Recorder with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Anne Manson, on June 8 and 9, 2022, in Winnipeg. The video is available beginning June 22.
On May 7, 2022, the Georgian Bay Symphony Orchestra performed Celebration Overture in Owen Sound, Ontario.
On October 16, 2021, Gary Kulesha conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in their “Explore the Score” event, workshopping music by four emerging composers.
Throughout his career, Gary Kulesha has been a mentor to emerging musicians. In 2021, he was involved in two projects where he worked with developing artists. Through the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, he worked with 4 indigenous music creators to help them realize their vision in creating music for a multi-media project entitled “Mistatim”, with Red Sky Performance, that was released early in the Fall of 2021.
Gary Kulesha conducting the Mistatim recordings in May of 2021:
The Mistatim team:
Dawn Ellis-Mobbs, Director of Education and Community Engagement, TSO; Sandra Laronde, Artistic Director, Red Sky Performance; Kathy Morrison, General Manager, Red Sky Performance; Gary Kulesha
Carol Fujino, Violin, TSO; Vanessa Fralick, Associate Principal Trombone, TSO; Darren Hicks, Associate Principal Bassoon, TSO; Joseph Kelly, Assistant Timpani and Section Percussion, TSO;
Chas Elliott, Double Bass, TSO; Stan Louttit, Indigenous Music Creator; James Gardiner, Trumpet, TSO; Bryden Gwiss, Indigenous Music Creator;
Mali Obomsawin, Indigenous Music Creator; Eric Abramovitz, Associate Principal Clarinet, TSO; Lancelot Knight, Indigenous Music Creator
Through the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Memorial University in Newfoundland, he worked with three composers whose works will be workshopped by the NACO’s brass when it becomes possible.
In May of 2021, Gary Kulesha conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in their live-to-air “Explore the Score” event, workshopping four works by Canadian composers.
A MAJOR ORCHESTRAL PREMIERE
The premiere of Gary Kulesha’s Oboe Concerto was a huge success on every level. On Oct. 22, 2020, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, with soloist Bede Hanley and Music Director Giordano Bellincampi, premiered the work to a live audience in Auckland, New Zealand. It was also broadcast live on Radio New Zealand. The audience reaction was rapturous and enthusiastic.
William Dart, writing in The New Zealand Herald, said: “The strength of Gary Kulesha’s new Oboe Concerto must come from it having been written for rellow Canadian Bede Hanley, who relinquished his principal’s desk to undertake soloist duties brilliantly. My ear was immediately wooed and won over by the Middle Eastern tang of the opening melody, an exotic touch subtly extended by the use of microtones. There was a wealth of characterful detail in this highly approachable score, and its thematic voyage was clear and able to be navigated. Its scherzo’s infectiously shifting rhythms were another winning point, along with a coruscating cadenza from the unfazed Hanley.”
The Oboe Concerto is a work of substance, 25 minutes long, in three movements, and is scored for large orchestra. It is already scheduled for repeat performances with soloist Bede Hanley in Victoria, B.C., and Saskatoon, in the coming seasons. The commission was graciously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.
This is an extraordinary event in these challenging times.
Equally amazing is a new commission for Gary Kulesha from a consortium of American Universities. Despite the pressures of life and work in these challenging times, he was commissioned to compose a new work for Trombone Quintet, “Four Motion Studies”, which will first be recorded for commercial release, and eventually performed publicly in multiple location in the U.S.
The Calgary Phliharmonic’s video presentation of “True North” has recently been added to the CPO’s online 2020-21 season. Gary Kulesha conducted the world premiere of 5 works by Canadian composers in this multi-media work.
As well, Gary Kulesha’s work has been featured in several new Toronto Symphony Orchestra digital presentations. The TSO’s online offerings include no fewer than 4 items written and/or arranged by Gary Kulesha. These programmes are available to the public through the TSO’s website.
On April 28, 2020, Gary Kulesha premiered his new work “Barcarolle”, for solo piano, on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page. The programme was live to air, on #TSOatHome. Click on this link for the broadcast and premiere: Barcarolle
On March 8, 2020, the Trio Arkel performed the String Trio in Toronto. Click here for their incredible performance: Trio
On October 17, 2019, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Uri Mayer, repeated Non-Destructive Classical Music, commissioned to celebrate the 100th year of the Faculty of Music.
Also at the Faculty of Music, on February 6, the University of Toronto Wind Symphony, conducted by Gillian MacKay, presented the Canadian premiere of Streets of Fire, with soloists Vanessa Fralick and Gordon Wolfe.
On June 15, 2019, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, NYC, performed Torque under the baton of Maestro Peter Oundjian at the Caramoor Summer Festival in New York State. This remarkable work has been performed every season since it was written in 2009.
On July 11, 2019, soloists Vanessa Fralick and Gordon Wolfe premiered Streets of Fire, a concerto for two trombones with wind orchestra, at the International Trombone Festival in Muncie, Indiana. This work was commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts.
On January 26, 2019, the Unviversity of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Uri Mayer, premiered Non-Destructive Classical Music, a new orchestral work composed for the 100th anniversary of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.
On December 23, 2018, Sabine Brunmayr (organ) and Thomas Brunmayer (tuba) performed Sonata for Tuba and Organ at a festival of new organ works in Hallein, Austria. This duo has performed the Sonata several times over the last three years, with great success, in both Austria and Germany.
Gary Kulesha conducted 3 movements from “Le Marteau sans Maître” by Pierre Boulez in concert at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, on March 16, 2018, with vocalist Krizstina Szabo. This was repeated at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival on August 6, on a programme that also included the “Folksongs” by Luciano Berio.
On October 3 and 4, Gary Kulesha conducted two performances of the Suite from “Adizokan” by Eliot Britton at the Sony Centre in Toronto, as part of the Fall for Dance North festival. The orchestra was the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. The dance troupe was Red Sky Performance, and the featured throat-boxer soloist was Nelson Tagoona.
On October 30 and 31, 2018, and April 30, 2019, Gary conducted the Adizokan Suite with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall, featuring Red Sky Performance dancers and Nelson Tagoona.
On March 7, 2018, at noon, the Candian Opera Company presented the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players in a programme of chamber music by Gary Kulesha. Included were the Sonata for Flute and Piano, the song “Blue Heron Near Old Mill Bridge”, and the String Trio, three works composed between the ages of 16 and 60.
On March 10, 2018, at 7 pm, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players repeated their concert of chamber music by Gary Kulesha as the prelude for the evening concert, which featured the premiere of Gary’s new Double Concerto, with soloists Jonathan Crow and Teng Li, as part of the New Creations Festival. Peter Oundjian conducted. The work met with huge public success.
The 2017/18 season was a very busy one for Gary Kulesha.
On July 21 of 2017, he conducted the premiere of Jordan Pal’s “Carmine Skies” at the Toronto Summer Music Festival.
On July 24, the Canadian Brass, with the Guy Few Brass Ensemble, performed Soundings for Boat, Bay, and Brass at the Festival of the Sound. This is a spatial work that places the Canadian Brass on the bay’s cruise ship and separate brass ensembles on locations on the shore. The two groups interact as the boat passes by.
On July 28, the Toronto Summer Music Festival featured a performance of Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello.
On July 30, Gary conducted Bartok and Johann Strauss Jr. on the “Kubrick Mashup” at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.
On July 31, Gary hosted the new music marathon at the OCMF.
On October 7, he conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the premiere of “Adizokan” by Eliot Britton, in a production created by Sandra Laronde with Red Sky Productions.
On October 28, Gary conducted the Calgary Philharmonic in “True North: Symphonic Ballet”, a striking new project featuring premieres of music by Derek Charke, Dorothy Chang, Maxime McKinley, Dinuk Wijeratne, and Vincent Ho, and choreography by Yukichi Hattori. The programme also featured music by Allan Bell, with soloist Rivka Golani, and Debussy and Tchaikovsky. This programme was a live webcast.
On November 4, the Northdale Concert Band premiered Gary’s Dance Suite, commissioned for their 50th Anniversary. The composer conducted.
On November 23, the second movement of Gary’s Sonata for Trombone and Piano was the required work for the OSM Manulife Competition for Winds and Brass. It received multiple performances.
L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Music Director Kent Nagano, premiered Le Canoe d’Écorce in Montréal on Dec. 19, 20, and 21. This work was a collaboration with renowned writer Michel Tremblay and was broadcast on television.
On January 17 of 2018, Gary conducted Symphony Nova Scotia in music by Scott Good and Nicole Lizée, with very special guest soloists the Kronos Quartet.
On February 9, 2018, the University of Toronto Concert Band presented the second performance of Dance Suite under Jeff Reynolds.
On March 13, Gary conducted members of the U of T New Music ensemble, gamUT, in excerpts from Boulez’ Le Marteau sans Maître.
In June of 2017, Charles Hamann’s CD of Sonata for Oboe and Piano was released.
On March 29 and 30, 2017, Krisztina Szabo premiered From The Diary Of Virginia Woolf for voice and orchestra with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, conducted by Olari Elts. The new work was commissioned by the NACO.
On October 27, 2016, Susan Hoeppner and Lydia Adams performed Sonata for Flute and Piano at a concert launching their new CD with this work on it.
On October 16, 2016, the Elmer Iseler Singers, James Campbell, and Lydia Adams repeated Shaman Songs to open their season.
On the same day, October 16, Amici presented Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello, with Jonathan Crow, Jesse Morrison, and David Hetherington performing.
On Sept. 11, 2016, Yehonatan Berick and Rachel Mercer performed Pro Et Contra as part of the 5 At The First Chamber Music Series in Hamilton Ontario.
On July 22, 2016, Charles Hamann and Frédéric Lacroix premiered Lyric Sonata for Oboe and Piano at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. The duo have recorded the work for CD release.
On July 16, 2016, The Elmer Iseler Singers, James Campbell, and the Penderecki Quartet, under the baton of Lydia Adams, performed Shaman Songs as part of the Festival’s Gala Opening Night.
On January 20 and 21 of 2017, the Calgary Philharmonic performed Torque under the baton of Christoph König.
Gary Kulesha’s works are being performed regularly throughout Europe. In particular, the Sonata for Horn, Tuba, and Piano has been extremely successful, with performances in Paris by members of the Paris Opera, and in Portugal. The Sonata for Tuba and Organ has recently been performed in Germany and Austria. The Bagatelles for Woodwind Quintet are scheduled for performances in London. This follows on the success of a performance of the Third Chamber Concerto in the spring of 2015 by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.
On January 6, 2015, the New Orford Quartet premiered String Quartet at Walter Hall in Toronto. The work was repeated on January 9 in Chicago. The Quartet will be presented in Sault Ste. Marie on September 12, and in Picton on September 18.
Press: “It’s not unusual for composers to delay embracing the string quartet genre, given the intimidating size and quality of the existing repertoire, but Kulesha’s first effort at age 60 sets a new benchmark for procrastination. While the ink is barely dry on this engaging work (the world premiere occurred three days ago in Toronto), the foursome made a strong case for what deserves to be a notable entry in the repertoire.
The work’s division into four movements is but one of many nods to classical traditions, and the composer’s language reflects a kinship to a variety of sources from the early to mid 20th century. Introductory comments by the composer suggested a relationship with the other two quartets on the program, though any direct quotes were hard to discern at first hearing.
The form of the first movement itself also draws on classical precedents, with recognizable and recurring themes and a dramatic, nearly orchestral sweep that hints at the quartets of Brahms and Bartok. Kulesha employs quarter tones on a fairly regular basis, but not at the kind of saturation level that can make conservative audiences squirm. They are used either as an expressive ornament (in the manner of blues or klezmer musicians) or as a way to flesh out chromatic scales. This latter notion becomes something of a signature motive for the quartet as a whole, lending a piquant kick that sets the work apart from its more obvious precedents.
The second movement finds the composer more concerned with color and texture, with mutes and pizzicatos featured prominently and extended solo passages exchanged among the players. The third movement pays homage to the traditional scherzo with pattering ostinatos, often in unison or octaves, while the finale links ideas from the three earlier movements, leading to a pair of unison stabs for the finale gesture.
The quartet took to their task with boundless energy and unflappable commitment, and one can only hope that new commissions continue to play a role in their burgeoning career. Kudos to the festival for nabbing this fine foursome for their opening concert.”
By Michael Cameron, http://chicagoclassicalreview.com/2015/01/new-orford-quartet-opens-winter-chamber-festival-with-impressive-new-music/
On October 20, the New Portuguese Ensemble of Brass and Percussion performed Romance for Brass in Porto, Portugal
In August of 2014, Gary Kulesha accompanied the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to Helsinki and Reykjavik, where his String Trio was performed by Jonathan Crow, Teng Li, and David Hetherington
On August 4 and 5, and Gary Kulesha hosted the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival’s New Music mini-festival. This year, the two day event closed with a concert of Gary Kulesha’s recent chamber music, including the Sonata for Flute and Piano, the world premiere of the Sonata for Trombone and Piano, and the Canadian premiere of the Piano Quartet. The performers include Susan Hoeppner, Gordon Wolfe, David Thies-Thompson, the Gryphon Trio, and the composer.
On June 15, 2014, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra performed the Third Chamber Concerto, with bass clarinet soloist Ulrich Büsing. This was recorded for broadcast on German Radio.
On April 13, the Calgary Civic Symphony performed The Gates of Time, conducted by Rolf Bertsch.
On Feb. 21 and 22, 2014, the Edmonton Symphony, conducted by William Eddins, performed The Gates of Time.
Gary Kulesha conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on March 7, 2014, in Vincent Ho’s City Suite, with soloist Shauna Rolston, as part of the TSO’s New Creations Festival.
On September 12 of 2013, members of the New World Symphony performed “Bagatelles from the Devil’s Dictionary” in Miami, Florida.
Remarkably, the Bagatelles were then performed just weeks later by the Chameleon Arts Ensemble in Boston, on November 2 and 3.
The Third Symphony has enjoyed remarkable success. On November 6 and 7 of 2013, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed this work, conducted by Maestro Peter Oundjian, on a programme that featured Haydn’s “Miracle” Symphony and the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, with soloist Emanuel Ax.
Here is the review by John Terrauds, from musicaltoronto.org.
Press: “Commissioned and premiered by the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 2007, the Third Symphony has to be one of the finest pieces of Canadian symphonic writing ever produced — and that’s not intended as faint praise.
Oundjian knows this; how else could he have programmed it against two Germanic titans of centuries afore?
Kulesha’s three-movement handiwork, structured like a classical symphony, really does stand up to the greats. The slow middle movement is its finest, blending a recognizable melody (impressively rendered by associate principal oboe Keith Atkinson) with harmonies and textures that were familiar yet novel.
Only the final movement lacked a bit of critical mass, perhaps due to the lack of brass. Nonetheless, if there is a piece of early-21st century Canadian symphonic music being played in the distant future, Kulesha’s Symphony has a fighting chance to be it.”
On November 7, at noon, in Walter Hall in Toronto, Gary Kulesha played piano in performances of Mysterium Coniunctionis and Ghosts, with clarinettist James Campbell and bass clarinettist David Bourque.
On March 15 and 16 of 2013, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director William Eddins, presented “Torque”.
On January 29, at Walter Hall in Toronto, flutist Susan Hoeppner and the composer premiered Sonata for Flute and Piano, commissioned through the Ontario Arts Council. They repeated this work in London Ontario on March 14. It has since been performed by Ms. Hoeppner extensively, in Quebec, Ottawa, Beijing, and Chicago.
Sonata for Horn, Tuba, and Piano was recorded by Jeff Nelsen and Sergio Carolino. The performance is available on YouTube.
“Political Implications” was recorded by the U.S.A.F. Band Clarinet Quartet in January.
The Premier United States Air Force Band Clarinet Quartet performed “Political Implications” several times during the 2012 2013 season, in Washington D.C. They will record the work for streaming from the website of the U.S.A.F. Bands.
Piano Quartet was premiered at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival on July 20, 2012, to great acclaim.
“Torque” was performed multiple times by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. On January 14, 18, 19, 21, 22, and 24, 2012, the Israel Philharmonic opened its concerts with “Torque” conducted by Peter Oundjian.
2015, June 13 and 14, Torque, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Peter Oundjian, conductor, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto
2015, January 6, String Quartet, world premiere, New Orford String Quartet, Walter Hall, Toronto
2014, October 30, Romance for Brass, New Portuguese Ensemble of Brass and Percussion, Porto, Portugal
2014, August 23, Trio for Strings, Johnathan Crow, Teng Li, and David Hetherington, Harp Concerto Hall, Rekjavik, Iceland
2014, August 5, Sonata for Flute and Piano, Susan Hoeppner and Gary Kulesha; Sonata for Trombone and Piano (world premiere), Gordon Wolfe, trombone, and Jamie Parker, piano; Quartet for Piano and Strings (Canadian premiere), Gryphon Trio with David Thies-Thompson; Ottawa Chamber Music Festival
2014, June 15, Third Chamber Concerto, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ulrich Büsing, solo bass clarinet; recorded for broadcast on German radio
2014, April 13, The Gates of Time, Calgary Civic Symphony, conducted by Rolf Bertsch, Calgary
March 29, The Greatness of the New-Found Night, U of Toronto Wind Ensemble, conducted by Gillian MacKay, MacMillan Theatre, Toronto
2014, March 14, Flute Sonata, Susan Hoeppner and Gary Kulesha, London, Ontario
2014, February 21/22, The Gates of Time, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, conducted by William Eddins, Edmonton
2014, January, Concerto for Recorder, Andrea Molnar, Budapest, Hungary
2014, January, Political Implications recorded by the United States Air Force Band Clarinet Quartet
2014, January 29, Flute Sonata, premiere, Susan Hoeppner and Gary Kulesha, Walter Hall
2014, December 2, Sonata for Horn, Tuba, and Piano, Conical Brass tRio, FEUP Auditorium, Porto, Portugal (also on YouTube)
2013, November 21, Mysterium Coniunctionis, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Array Space, Toronto
2013, November 15, Northern Lights Overture, Symphony Nova Scotia, Martin MacDonald, conductor, Halifax
2013, November 6 and 7, Third Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Peter Oundjian, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto
2013, November 7, Mysterium Coniunctionis and Ghosts, James Campbell, David Bourque, and Gary Kulesha, Toronto
November 2/3, Bagatelles from the Devil’s Dictionary, Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Boston
2013, September 12, Bagatelles from the Devil’s Dictionary, New World Symphony, Miami, Florida
2013, August 21, Bassoon Sonata, Stephane Levesque and Monique Robitaille, Laterrière, Quebec
2013, April 21, Horn Trio, Hamilton Chamber Music.
2013, April 14, Mysterium Coniunctionis, Recklinghausen, Germany, Kerstin Groetsch, clarinet, Henri Bok, bass clarinet, and Rainer Klaas, piano.
2013, March 15/16, Torque, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra conducted by William Eddins.
2013, March 2, Divertimento, Sherbrooke Symphony conducted by Stéphane Laforest.
2013, Feb. 2, Torque, Georgian Bay Symphony Orchestra.
2012/13 season, Political Implications, Premiere United States Air Force Band Clarinet Quartet, several performances.
2012, November 29, Horn Trio, Edmonton, Alberta
October 22/23/24, Torque, Symphony New Brunswick conducted by Michael Newnham.
2012, October 6, Celebration Overture, Greater Toronto Philharmonic conducted by Jean-Michel Malouf.
2012, September 18/20, Northern Lights Overture, Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Oundjian, Timmins and North Bay.
2012, September 11, Torque, Peterborough Symphony.
2012, July 20, Piano Quartet, Seattle Chamber Music Festival.
2012, June 6, Festival Overture, National Academy Orchestra.
Three important premieres and a rare appearance as a recitalist in July of 2011:
At the prestigious Ottawa Chamber Music Festival in the summer of 2011, Gary Kulesha had three premieres in the space of one week. On July 24, the Gryphon Trio with Robert Pomakov premiered his arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death. On July 25, Stephane Levesque, accompanied by the composer, premiered Sonata for Bassoon and Piano, a Canada Council commission. And on July 30, the Canadian Oboe Trio made their debut with the premiere of Zephyrs for Oboe Trio, an Ontario Arts Council commission. They repeated the work at the Music Niagara Festival on August 1.
On July 24, Gary Kulesha accompanied bassoonist Stephane Levesque in a full recital of Canadian music for bassoon and piano. In addition to the premiere of the new Bassoon Sonata, the duo played the Sonata by Oskar Morawetz, the Lyric Sonatina by Jean Coulthard, and the Elegie by Jacques Hetu. This recital was recorded for broadcast by the National Public Radio system of the US.
On August 1 and 2, Gary Kulesha hosted the six new music events of the Ottawa Chamber Music festival.