Henry Kucharzyk

Kucharzyk, Henry. Composer, performer, b Toronto 6 Aug 1953; BA (Toronto) 1974, B MUS (Toronto) 1977, M MUS (Yale) 1981. His principal teachers were John Weinzweig, John Beckwith, Jacob Druckman, and Morton Subotnick.

Kucharzyk, Henry

Kucharzyk, Henry. Composer, performer, b Toronto 6 Aug 1953; BA (Toronto) 1974, B MUS (Toronto) 1977, M MUS (Yale) 1981. His principal teachers were John Weinzweig, John Beckwith, Jacob Druckman, and Morton Subotnick. His works won recognition in competitions for young composers held by the Bourges International Electroacoustic Festival, CBC radio, and CAPAC.

Kucharzyk has been commissioned by many of Canada's leading performers of new music, including Nexus, NMC, CBC radio, Le Quatuor de saxophones de Montréal, William Beauvais, Joseph Petric, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, and Arraymusic. His Collisions for orchestra was commissioned by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens for Expo 86. He also has extensive experience as a composer for dance and theatre, having collaborated with such companies as Dancemakers (four times), Toronto Dance Theatre, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Danceworks and the Necessary Angel Theatre Company. From 1983 to 1986 he created Personal History, a full evening multi-media performance work. In 1985 he set up Artifact Music, a record label, and produced Walk the Line (ART-001), an LP of his own music, including his works Walk the Line (1982), Play Dot Sam (1981), and Co-oposition (1982).

As a performer, Kucharzyk has been featured as a pianist, synthesist and conductor with ARRAYMUSIC, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, Dancemakers, the Esprit Orchestra, Nexus, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. He plays the synthesizer on a recording of Ann Southam's Broken Symmetry on a Musicworks cassette (No. 46).

Kucharzyk's compositions reflect both his thorough training and his continued interest and involvement in North American vernacular styles. (In his high school and university years he participated in rock and jazz ensembles.) He has worked frequently with electroacoustic media and in particular with real time performance applications, as shown in such works as Beating (1986, recorded by ARRAYMUSIC on Artifact ART-002 CD) and The Art of Mix. (1985)

Kucharzyk was the artistic director 1982-8 of ARRAYMUSIC, with which he has toured Canada, the United Kingdom and Greece and co-produced the compact disc Strange City/Ville Étrange (Artifact ART-002 CD). In 1988 he became artistic director of the INDE biennial festival of new music and dance. He also has worked as a researcher, commentator and host for CBC radio and has served as an arts advisor to many cultural organizations. He is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre, and a member of the CLComp.


Further Reading

  • Beauvais, William. 'Modern dance needs new music,' CanComp, 212, Jun-July1986