Christina Rusnak | Activities
Christina Rusnak is a multifaceted composer whose work reflects a diversity of styles. Actively seeking to integrate geographic and artistic elements into her work, her goal is to compose music that engages the performers as well as the audience.
Christina Rusnak, Composer, Explorer, Music, Outdoors, Exploring with music
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Spring 2018:

Over the next few months, I’m working on several activities simultaneously.

First, I’m updating my site to provide more audio clips of my work.

I’m due to complete Celilo Falls by April, and am working in conjunction with the Landscape Music Composers Network to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Trails Act in 2018. My focus is the Oregon Trail.  A few potential performances in March – May, but nothing firm yet. I’ll update this page when that happens.


MAY 17-19

New Music Gathering, Boston




January 27, 2017:

A House Divided recording session at Dead Aunt Thelma’s


January 4-7, 2018:

Chamber Music America 40th Anniversary Conference, New York City


December 10,  2017:

Glacier Blue

Performed by Andrew Shaud @ McArdle Theater, Michigan Technological University



November 2-8, 2017:

International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) conference – Vancouver, BC


July 2017:

July 12-25, 2017 Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival – Composing in the Wilderness

July 24 & 25, 2017 Tundra Tapestry premiere by CORVUS New Music Ensemble at Denali National Park and in Fairbanks, AK

July 24, 2017 “Commissioning Landscape Music” published on


May 2017:

New Music Gathering in Bowling Green OH

May 17, 2017, NEXT GENERATION, Digital Exchange Webinar on Community Arts

May 20, 2017 “Coal Creek” premiere, Cascadia Composers, Portland


April 2017:

April 6 & 7, 2017 Glacier Blue for solo cello

Premiere by Marilyn de Oliveira and Third Angle New Music Ensemble


October 2016:

Presentation on “New Music and Community” at Art of the Rural Placemaking conference- Iowa City, October 12-14

Intersections” CD relase October 14!

Intertwine Alliance – “The Life of Ashes” performance and presentation, October 18

International Alliance of Women in Music, Annual Concert/meeting October 22nd


September 2016:

September 1, “Landscape Music” published in Oregon Arts Watch

September 2-3 Boise Idaho, Ensemble 208

Glacier MT – research and solo hike for Third Angle commission

September 14-17 – Placemaking – Vancouver BC, Creativity in Public Spaces Leadership Forum


August 2016:

Kickstarter campaign for “Love & Death in Havana – is successful!


May, June, July 2016:

Interview with CULTURE OUT THE BOX July 27, 2016

“Music, Travel, and the New Music Gathering” is published; IAWM JournalVolume 22, No. 1

Glacier MT – research and solo hike for Third Angle commission

July 29 & 30 Britt Festival, Crater Lake National Park


April 2016:

Articles on New Music, Advocacy and Place in April in New Music Box

April 16-24th Traveling to Cuba for the recording of two choral works by Vocal Luna Ensemble in Havana


January 2016:

Completing “Dearly Departed” to be recorded by Vocal Luna Ensemble in April

January 30 “White Rock Morning” Tape piece played at Cascadia Composers’ Concert in Eugene Oregon


November 2015:

11/4/15 “Composing About Landscape” in The Intertwine, Outside Voice

11/13/15 Premiere of The Way Through at Lincoln Hall, PSU Campus, Portland. Presented by Crazy Jane and Cascadia Composers (NACUSA)


July 2015

7/20/15 “Composing Landscape Music” published on

7/25/15 Presenting The Way Through for visitors and park staff at North Cascades National Park

7/28/15 Discussing The Way Through with Stehekin Residents and Seasonal Visitors National Park 


June 2015

6/1/15 “Landscape Music as Advocacy” published on


April 2015:

4/10/15 “Composing about Nature and Wilderness” – Maryhill University


November 2014:

11/11/14 Release of Chat,Chill, Highline CD on Parma Recordings

11/14/14 Premiere of Going Rogue exploring the Rogue River Wilderness as part of the CRAZY JANE concert at Lincoln Hall, Portland State University.

11/18/14 Interview on Chat,Chill, Highline CD at Jimmy Mak’s in Portland


October 2014:

10/4/14 I am continuing my artist residency in North Cascades National Park, exploring, composing and learning about the local culture. On the 4th, as part of the Harvest Festival, I will host an interactive talk with Stehekin residents and visitors on composing about nature, place and culture.

10/6/14 Work with Stehekin school children – great marimba performers, I’m told – on composing about nature.

10/31/14 The recording of Life of Ashes will be played at the Umpqua Valley Arts Association in Roseburg Oregon through December 16th


 September 2014:

9/18 – 10/6/14 I am exploring and composing in North Cascades National Park, as one of two Fall 2014 Artists in Residence.

9/27/14  I am hosting an interactive talk with Stehekin residents and visitors on composing about nature, place and culture.


 August 2014:

8/16 /14 Premiere of CHAT by the Chris Klaxton Band at the Parma Music Festival

8/23/14 Premiere of The Life of Ashes, for Flute, Viola and Percussion commissioned by the Mount Adams Forest Service at the Columbia Arts Center in Hood River Oregon


New Music USA 2015-2016 Year in Review

New Music USA is proud to bring forward the voices of artists in our community. In an essay published on NewMusicBox this past year, Christina Rusnak reflects on how composers and performers are “looking at the diverse landscapes in which we live, with their complex human histories and changing values, as the grounds to examine the intersection of place and people—past and present.”



Winnipeg Free Press, “The close harmonies during a cappella vocal set Dearly Beloved and Dearly Departed shimmers as waves on an ocean…”



For the annual National Take A Hike Day, we are celebrating Christina Rusnak, Stephen Lias, and Sidney Balin, who are all a bit more daring than most.



Cinemusical: “With a series of close harmonic ideas reminiscent of much modern choral music, Rusnak’s music here creates a rather gorgeous series of rich vocal writing blending spoken word ideas as well.”



Landscape Music



…few listeners who do not know Christina Rusnak’s esthetic will want to spend $12.99 for 26 minutes of her music arranged for big band and large jazz ensemble. But this Big Round Records release will be attractive to people who respond to Rusnak’s atmospheric compositional sense and the ways in which she tries to reflect aspects of modern life through instrumentation. Thus, Chat uses instruments to represent intermingling human voices and experiences as found in Internet chat rooms. Chill is intended to showcase “cool jazz,” with jazz’s typical mixture of relaxed sections and livelier ones with a “swing” feeling to them. Highline is designed to represent outdoor spaces and the opportunities they offer in a crowded urban environment for reflection and aimless wandering. The works are pleasant to hear even without knowing their intended topics, and they sound quite good in these arrangements by Dave Richards.



Midwest Record

CHRISTINA RUSNAK/Chat Chill Highline: Very strange. Rusnak has all the trappings of an art chick but her music doesn’t give you the impression that she’d throw it all over for an old guy with a boat and a pocketful of diamonds. Even with museum commissions, Rusnak makes the kind of cogent jazz you’d expect from a young lion trying to maintain his cred while trying to go commercial. Might this might be left leaning, sitting down jazz, it’s also real jazz that uses it’s creative edge for a weapon of good. She’s got something special on the ball and we like what we hear. Check it out. 


Commissioning Landscape Music, July 24, 2017,

A Composer in Cuba, May, 19, 2017, Oregon Arts Watch

A Report from Cuba, November 2016, IAWM Journal, Volume 22, No. 2

Landscape Music,  September 2, 2016, Oregon Arts Watch 

Music, Travel and the New Music Gathering, May 2016, IAWM Journal, Volume 22, No. 1

New Music and Place: Creating Community, April 25, 2016, New Music Box, 

Composing Advocacy: Social Voices, April 19, 2016, New Music Box,

Money, Support and the Voice of New Music, April 13, 2016, New Music Box,

New Music as Advocacy for Place, April 4, 2016, New Music Box,

Cascadia’s Women Composers, Crazy Jane, November 2015, IAWM Journal, Volume 21, #2

Composing Landscape Music, July 2015,

Landscape Music as Advocacy, June 2015,

161 Glass:  Site Specific Music in an Artistic Context, Masters’Thesis; Three movement percussion quartet and the study of site specific music in an urban environment. Commissioned for the Dallas Contemporary’s new art space in 2010

Reconstructing Presence:  Human Geography of Brent Phelps’ “On the Trail of Lewis and Clark”, Wandering Scholars, January 2009

50 @ 50: 50 Hikes @ 50 Places of Culture, Essays exploring the integration of physical    geography and human and artistic culture; August 2010 – Present