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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June 6-9, 2019

IAWM and FT&M15 Conference:

Women, Feminists, and Music: Transforming Tomorrow Today

will be held at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, on June 6­-9, 2019.

It will bring together composers, performers, scholars, innovators, and improvisers



June – August 2019

I’m working on a couple of research projects;

Planning a choral work;

Continuing my education in Film Scoring;

Notating a couple of jazz ditties that only exist under my fingers at the moment


November 3-10, 2018 

Festival of New American Music;

with cutting­-edge music, music technology, and innovative scholarship.

May 11, 2019

Recording of Glacier Blue by Parma Recording with Cellist Ovidiu Marinescu

at Futura Productions, Boston, Mass



April 28, 2019

Premiere of The Coast in Winter performed by Winona State University Symphonic Wind Band

175 West Mark Street

Winona MN 55987

2:00 pm


March 13, 2019

Oregon Trail, mvmt 1 – Me-a-pa-te  is performed at the TURN UP

Festival in Tucson AZ – Concert 7:30



March 8, 2019

Cellist David Eby performs Glacier Blue at the Friends of Rain concert

Lewis and Clark, College, Portland, OR 7:30pm



February 20-23, 2019

College Band Directors National Assn. 2019 Conference

Tempe, AZ


November 20, 2018 

Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers (Blue-ray) by Kino Lorber Films 

In conjunction with the Library of Congress, I composed A House Divided for the 1913 silent film of the same name. 


November 9 and 11, 2018 

Premiere of The Mountain Within, Beaverton Symphony Orchestra


November 2, 2018 

Festival of New American Music;

Oregon Trail, Mvmt 1 Me-a-pa-te performed by Citywater

October 27, 2018

Speaking on a panel about Composers and Careers at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, Ireland

Attending the IAWM annual concert at Trinity College Chapel in Dublin Ireland


October 7, 2018

Oregon Trail mvmt 3, Hyas Tyee Temwata, sponsored by Cascadia Composers
October 7, 2:00 pm at The Old Church, Portland, Oregon


October 4, 2018

Oregon Trail mvmt 1, Me-a-pa-te, Michigan Technological University
October 4, 7:30pm at McArdle Theatre, Houghton, MI


September 29, 2018
Premiere of Oregon Trail, Mvmt 3 Hyas Tyee Temwata, performed by the Atlanta Contemporary Ensemble
Saturday, September 29, 7:00pm at the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta, Georgia.


September 25, 2018
Community Discussion for the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails Act and 175th Anniversary of the Oregon Trail.
Tuesday, September 25, 5:300pm at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Oregon City Oregon.


September 23, 2018
Premiere of Oregon Trail, Mvmt 1, Me-a-pa-te, performed by Citywater
Sunday, September 23, 4:00pm at the Empress Theatre in Vallejo, California


July 17-20, 2018

Exploring the Oregon Trail in Nebraska and Wyoming


July 5, 2018

“Widening Inclusion & Visibility Article released on New Music Box,


June 28-July 9, 2018

Oregon Bach Festival, Composer Symposium, premiere of FREE LAND, mvmt 1, Eugene, Oregon


MAY 27, 2018

Tundra Tapestry for Alto Flute, English Horn and Cello, Portland


MAY 17-19, 2018

New Music Gathering, Boston


May, 2018

Widening Inclusion & Visibility, July 2018,

April, 2018

Release of Le Jardin Perdue on Pianist Jeffrey Jacobs 14th CD, Contemporary Eclectic Music for the Piano, Ariel Records,


March 21 – 24, 2018:

CBDNA Conference at Sonoma State University in California


January 27, 2018:

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


Third Angle Buzz- Solo Hikes and Glacier Blue

“Discovering a place as vast and richly diverse as Glacier National Park could be a lifelong endeavor.  Each visit brings new vistas, or a variation on previous experiences. I traveled to Glacier for my solo hikes both in June and September 2017 to vary my experience of the park. I decided to create this piece with three different movements to attempt to capture diverse facets of the park. Everyone thinks of the glaciers, or rather the melting of the glaciers, so I decided to not focus on the climate change impact on the park, but on the physical elements that tie it together – the mountains, sky and water and the color blue. The mountains appear blue on the horizon; the blue sky morphs during the day and night; glacial ice appears blue because the dense compacted ice of the glacier absorbs all the other colors except blue. 

The concerts on April 6th and 7th will be diverse with additional solo hikes from Matt Marble and Brian McWhorter. I’m very excited that cellist Marilyn de Oliveira will be performing Glacier Blue’s premiere. It’ll be fun!”



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. 


Landscape Music, Rivers and Trails Series, November 2018, IAWM Journal, Volume 24, No. 2

Composing the Oregon Trail, September 2018,

Widening Inclusion & Visibility, July 2018,

Widening Inclusion & Visibility Of Women In Music, May 2018,

Composing in the Wilderness, August 2017,

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