Gary Kulesha, composer, arranger, conductor, pianist (b at Toronto 22 Aug 1954). Gary Kulesha studied piano, theory and composition with William G. Andrews, Walter Busczynski and Samuel Dolin at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto and composition with John McCabe (London) and John Corigliano (New York).
An eclectic and prolific composer, Kulesha synthesizes compositional techniques ranging from tonal, chromatic, and aleatoric to dodecaphonic as well as disparate styles, from medieval chants to popular music. He seeks clarity, both formally and texturally, and his music often meditates on time and memory.
Kulesha is a very active composer in the Toronto region and has enjoyed a spate of composer-in-residence appointments with such groups as the KITCHENER-WATERLOO SYMPHONY, the CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY, the TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Important compositions include Mysterium Coniunctionis (1980) for clarinet, bass clarinet and piano, four Chamber Concertos (1981, 1982, 1983 and 1988), the overture The Gates of Time (1991), Concerto for Recorder (1993), the opera Red Emma (1995), Symphony for two conductors and orchestra (1998), and Syllables of Unknown Meaning (2002). He was principal conductor of the Stratford Festival's Festival Theatre from 1983 to 1985, and of the Composer's Orchestra from 1987 to 2004. He is a member of the faculty at the University of Toronto, where he has also been Theory and Composition Department coordinator since 2002. His extensive discography, both as composer and performer, is available through the CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE.