Larysa Kuzmenko is a Toronto-based composer, pianist, and Juno nominee. Her works have been published by Boosey and Hawkes, commissioned, performed, broadcast, and recorded by many outstanding musicians all over the world. Some prominent ensemble and soloists who have performed her works include: the Toronto Symphony Orchestra directed by Peter Oundjian and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Rune Bergmann, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra directed by Bramwell Tovey, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra directed by Jeffrey Moule, the Gryphon Trio, the Composer's Orchestra directed by Gary Kulesha, the New Hampshire Philharmonic directed by Mark Latham, flutist Susan Hoeppner, pianists Anton Kuerti and Christina Petrowska-Quilico, and cellist Shauna Rolston.

Her works demonstrate a strong affinity towards the mainstream of classical music. She imbues her music with a strong melodic sense, and a firm rooting in traditional, albeit extended tonal processes. She is currently on staff at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, where she teaches composition and piano.

Larysa Kuzmenko's “Tetiana's Journey to a New World”

Experience the World Premiere of "Tetiana's Journey to a New World" - a powerful new composition by Larysa Kuzmenko that depicts a woman's remarkable odyssey from the war-torn landscapes of Ukraine to the welcoming embrace of Canada. This evocative composition takes you on a captivating voyage of resilience, hope, and the universal language of music.
  • Tetiana's Journey to a New World - LARYSA KUZMENKO
  • Quintet - ZDENĚK FIBICH
  • Clarinet Trio - CARL FRÜHLING
  • Preludes for Solo Cello - SOFIA GUBAIDULINA
Larysa Kuzmenko's “Fantasy on a Theme by Beethoven”

Berlioz composed Symphonie fantastique in an attempt to woo a young actress, but it’s not your average love song (or story). This symphony begins with passionate, heartsick daydreams, a grand ball, and scenes in the countryside – only to take a sharp turn to a march to the guillotine and a witch’s Sabbath, thanks to a heavy dose of opium. Storyline aside, the orchestration of this work was so innovative it truly startled 19th-century audiences, convincing them the world of the supernatural was present at the performance.

Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, the most beloved of his four and one of the most popular of all, is performed by soloist Alexei Volodin who galvanized WSO audiences in the last concerts before the pandemic.

Music by JUNO Award Nominee Ukrainian-Canadian composer Larysa Kuzmenko sets the tone for the evening with Fantasy on a Theme by Beethoven, inspired by the composer’s first symphony.
  • Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 - Hector Berlioz
  • Concerto No. 2 in C minor for
      Piano & Orchestra, Op. 18
    - Sergei Rachmaninoff
  • Fantasy on a Theme by Beethoven - Larysa Kuzmenko
Larysa Kuzmenko's “Kurelek’s Gallery”

The VSO Presents A Tribute to Ukraine a concert celebrating Ukrainian music and artistry. Maestro Boris Brott was originally scheduled to conduct the concert, but tragically died on April 5, 2022.

Following the previously stated artistic direction of Maestro Brott, the VSO will continue its presentation of A Tribute to Ukraine, both in support of the people of Ukraine and in memory of Maestro Brott, a Ukrainian-Canadian himself. Net proceeds from the event will be donated to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation Canada-Ukraine Foundation.

If you are unable to attend the concert but still would like to support the Canadian Ukrainian Foundation with a donation, please do so directly through cufoundation.ca
  • Melodiya - M. Skoryk
  • Prayer for Peace - Lysenko Arr Roundtree
  • Kurelek’s Gallery - Larysa Kuzmenko
  • Kieve mee - Lysenko Arr Roundtree
  • Symphony No. 3 - Beethoven
Larysa Kuzmenko's “Kurelek’s Gallery” world premiere

The OCM is proud to present the world premiere of Ukrainian-Canadian composer Larysa Kuzmenko’s work for string orchestra, entitled Kurelek’s Gallery, which was inspired by the paintings by the eponymous Ukrainian-Canadian painter, William Kurelek. Czech composer Dvořák brings both joyful and wistful elements to his Serenade for Strings and celebrated Ukrainian composer, Myroslav Skoryk, who died in 2020, carried the tradition of emotional expression to contemporary times with the evocative Melodiya. Lastly, Canadian trumpeter Karen Donnelly and Ukrainian-Canadian pianist Serhiy Salov will command the stage in Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano and Trumpet in C minor.
  • Melodiya - M. Skoryk
  • Kurelek’s Gallery - Larysa Kuzmenko
  • Serenade for Strings - A. Dvořák
  • Concerto for Piano & Trumpet No. 1, Op. 35 - D. Shostakovich
—— Beethoven 1: Immortal Beloved ——
Larysa Kuzmenko's *newest commission*
inspired by Beethoven’s first symphony

“Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.” Beethoven wrote these words in an intimate letter to his Immortal Beloved, whose identity remains a mystery. His astonishing legacy of masterpieces, however, is no mystery. This Valentine’s Day special launches The Year of Beethoven, CPO’s tribute to the greatest symphonic composer of all time. This concert opens with a new commission by Larysa Kuzmenko inspired by Beethoven’s first symphony.

  • Kuzmenko - * New Commission *
  • Beethoven - Violin Romance No. 1 in G Major, Op. 40
  • Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
  • Beethoven - Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21
—— Mozart & Tchaikovsky  ——
Larysa Kuzmenko's “Skartaris” Duo Concerto world premiere

Sinfonia Toronto will start their 2019-20 Downtown Concerts series with a program titled ’Mozart & Tchaikovsky’. In between gems by these two favous masters, the orchestra will premiere works by two Canadian composers: Toronto composer Larysa Kuzmenko’s ‘Duo Concerto’ for Violin, Piano and Orchestra, and Montreal composer Airat Ichmouratov’s ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman’. Soloists for the 8 pm concert in Glenn Gould Studio are Canadian violin virtuoso Marc Djokic and renowned Toronto pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico. Music Director Nurhan Arman will wrap up the concert with Tchaikovsky’s own favourite among all his works, his popular Serenade.

  • Mozart - Salzburg Symphony K 138
  • Ichmouratov - Letter from an Unknown Woman North American premiere
  • Kuzmenko - "Skartaris" Duo Concerto world premiere
  • Tchaikovsky - Serenade
  • Date: Friday, November 8, 2019 at 8:00pm

  • Location: Glenn Gould Studio
  • Address: 250 Front Street, West, Toronto, ON M5V 3G5

—— Slava! ——
Larysa Kuzmenko's “O Holy God”

The St. Lawrence Choir will be premièring Larysa Kuzmenko's litugical work "O Holy God" at the Saint Sophie Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Montreal.

This concert "Slava!" is to celebrate the music of eastern European composers and Canadian musicians with Slavic heritage.

Rachmaninoff’s majestic Vespers will be joined by works by Hurko and Koshetz, as well as two new commissions by Larysa Kuzmenko and Petros Shoujounian.

  • Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 7:30pm

  • Location: Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of Sainte Sophie
  • Address: 6250 boul. Saint-Michel, Montréal, QC H1Y 2E9

  • —— Tear Down the Walls! ——
    Larysa Kuzmenko's “Trade Song”

    A new TBSO, licensed to thrill! Featuring an international mix of Spanish, Sephardic, French, English, and Indigenous sounds. And that’s just the first half. In the second, we deconstruct and reconstruct the classical symphony, using some of the greatest works of all time! This is an opening concert you won’t want to miss, curated by award-winning Music Director, Paul Haas.

    • Airs d’Espagne - José Evangelista
    • Trade Song - Larysa Kuzmenko
    • Various* Bionic Symphonies no. 1 & 2
    • *Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and more!
    —— WORLDS COLLIDE: Haydn, Ho + Kuzmenko ——
    Larysa Kuzmenko's “Behold the Night”

    Proclaimed the “Father of Symphonies,” Joseph Haydn changed the course of history with his mastery of orchestral writing — power, drama, and élan which we hear in this, his final symphony. It pairs evocatively with JUNO nominated composers Larysa Kuzmenko’s Behold the Night and Vincent Ho’s highly anticipated The Sandman’s Domain: Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra — two enchanting works that journey into the realm of magic!

    • Behold the Night - Larysa Kuzmenko
    • The Sandman’s Domain: Concerto for Trombone & Orchestra - Ho
    • Symphony No. 104 - Haydn
    —— IDENTITIES ——
    Larysa Kuzmenko's “A Golden Harvest”

    Stand united with the Orpheus Choir in this glorious musical tribute to our Canadian values of respect and inclusion with the Ontario premiere of Larysa Kuzmenko’s The Golden Harvest. Commemorating the 125th Anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada and their arduous journey to new beginnings, this dramatic oratorio combines with John Estacio’s deeply moving ode to peace, The Houses Stand Not Far Apart, in a grand choral Sesquicentennial celebration honouring the history of courage and perseverance that has built our diverse Canadian culture.

    To learn more about The Golden Harvest,
    read Sylvia Hunter’s interview with Larysa Kuzmenko.
    • Golden Harvest - Larysa Kuzmenko
    • The Houses Stand Not Far Apart - John Estacio
    • Date: Saturday, May 14, 2017 at 3:30pm

    • Guests: Renowned vocal artists Andriana Chuchman, soprano and James Westman, bass-baritone, the Vesnivka Choir (Kvitka Kondracki, Artistic Director), the Toronto Ukrainian Male Chamber Choir, the Orpheus Choir and the Orpheus Concert Orchestra under the direction of Robert Cooper.

    • Location: Koerner Hall
    • Address: 273 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1V6
    Larysa Kuzmenko's “A Golden Harvest”

    Canadian Larysa Kuzmenko set out to write a new oratorio to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Ukrainian immigration to Canada. The SSO is proud to be one of five orchestras performing this incredible new work that has a deep meaning to the cultural landscape of the prairies. The performance features Saskatoon’s own Kateryna Khartova in her orchestral debut.

    Violinist Carissa Klopoushak grew up playing in the SSO, and we couldn’t be more proud to welcome her for her SSO solo debut. A violinist known for her fearless playing of expressive new music, Carissa will perform a Canadian concerto work for violin and orchestra.

    Ukrainian folk music played a central role in many of Tchaikovsky’s great works, none more poignantly than his second symphony. The work shows his clear love for the people and his Ukrainian family roots.
    • Golden Harvest - Larysa Kuzmenko
    • Unreasonable World - Michael Oesterle
    • Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17 - Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky
    Premièring Larysa Kuzmenko's “Golden Harvest”

    Lovely, lusty and endlessly theatrical, Carmina Burana lifts you out of your seat and never lets you go! An audience favourite, its huge forces hold nothing back mixing medieval-Latin lyrics, Christian piety and earthly delights. Canadian composer Larysa Kuzmenko has been likened to film composers John Williams and Danny Elfman for her vivid imagination. We present her newest work Golden Harvest, an oratorio celebrating the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. Rising international opera star and Winnipeg native Andriana Chuchman is featured in both works.
    • Golden Harvest - Larysa Kuzmenko
    • Carmina Burana - Carl Orff
    “Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting”

    Larysa Kuzmenko's work "Behold the Night" for Children's Choir and Orchestra will be performed by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra with the Mirabitur Children's Chorus conducted by Brian Schembri. This work will be presented at a concert for the Commonwealth Heads of Government, including her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Prince and Duchess, as well as top dignitaries from Commonwealth countries.
    • Earth Cry - Peter Sculthorpe
    • Behold the Night - Larysa Kuzmenko
    • New Idea Symphony - Charles Camilleri
    • Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 7:30pm
    • Conductor: Brian Schembri
    • Featuring: Mirabitur Youth Choir (Simone Attard)
    • Location: St. John’s Cathedral
    • Address: Triq San Gwann, Il-Belt Valletta, Malta
    —— MASTERWORKS 2 ——
    “Hear Us”

    Our youth needs to be heard…and how better else than a concert featuring Shallaway Youth Choir and the NSO with conductor, Marc David.

    Shallaway, widely recognized as being in that small circle of the world’s finest youth choirs, will perform, with the NSO, Vaughan Williams’ Folk Songs of the Four Seasons, Kuzmenko’s Behold the Night, Chilcott’s Can You Hear Me? and more!

    Also on the program are Emerson’s Newfoundland Rhapsody and Debussy’s Nocturnes, L. 91, and Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire. Come celebrate youth…come to the NSO!
    • Newfoundland Rhapsody - Emerson
    • Folk Songs of the Four Seasons - Vaughan Williams
    • Can You Hear Me? - Chilcott
    • Behold the Night - Kuzmenko
    • We Rise Again - Dubinsky/arr. Adams/orch. Duff
    • Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire - Debussy
    • Nocturnes, L.91 - Debussy
    • Date: Friday, November 20, 2015 at 8:00pm
    • Featuring: Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra
    • Location: Arts & Culture Centre
    • Address: 95 Allandale Road, St. John's, NL, Canada

    —— Winnipeg New Music Festival ——
    “Crossing Ground”

    The Canadian symphonic landscape continues to evolve rapidly. This evening takes the temperature of this landscape with works by two of Canada’s most influential women composers – Ann Southam and Violet Archer – and two modern voices of growing importance – Larysa Kuzmenko and Kati Agocs. Matthew Patton’s rendition of ambient music/ multimedia pioneer Brian Eno’s Music from Apollo and Winnipegger Orjan Sandred delivers a new commission from the WSO to complete the program.
    • Date: Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 7:30pm
    • Featuring: Sarah Jo Kirsch, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
    • Location: Centennial Concert Hall
    • Address: 555 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    —— Triumphant: A Tribute to Mississauga ——
    “Hammerson Hall”

    Join us on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 8PM, in celebrating forty years of Mississauga’s triumphant growth. Through the generous support of the City of Mississauga, the MSO is pleased to present the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by Canadian Larysa Kuzmenko. The internationally renowned violinist originally from Mississauga, Stanislav Pronin, performs one of the greatest violin concertos of all time. The enigmatic Russian composter Tchaikovsky brings us the boundless Symphony No. 5 which exemplifies the notion of triumph over conflict.
    • Kuzmenko: A Tribute to Mississauga
    • Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto with Stanislav Pronin, Violin
    • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
    —— Celebrating the music of Canadian women composers ——
    The Toronto Heliconian Club presents
    “ONEs, TWOs, and THREEs”

    On Friday, March 7, 2014 at 8 pm, the Toronto Heliconian Club will showcase solos, duets and trios written by Canadian women, ranging from Juno-nominated works to less familiar, but equally excellent compositions performed by outstanding musicians. This event is being cosponsored by the Association of Canadian Women Composers in recognition of International Women’s Day and marks the third concert of the 5th annual Heliconian Club concert series.

    Internationally acclaimed pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico will open and close the evening with her performances of Larysa Kuzmenko’s In Memoriam: To the Victims of Chernobyl and Ann Southam’s Glass Houses #12 from her next, soon to be released CD. Well-known soprano Barbara Fris will delight our ears with two selections from Elizabeth Raum’s song cycle, Men I Have KnownKristin Mueller-Heaslip will intrigue us with her rendition of Hillary Thomson’s unique art song Deer Kill.  Jane Blackstone and Louise Morley have teamed up to play Emily Doolittle’s piece Sorex for four-handed piano, while soprano Maureen Batt will perform Monica Pearce’s Aunt Helen.

    We will also be treated to a number of world premieres, including Pomegranate by Kye Marshall (libretto by Amanda Hale) featuring soprano Elizabeth Rose Morriss, contralto Gabriella Sundarsingh, and harpist Natalie Hoffmann.  Jana Skarecky’s Will You Dance? for two violins and tambourine will be debuted by Velma Ko and Joyce Lai.  International soprano Janet Catherine Dea will premier a new setting of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer Abwoon d’bwashmaya by composer Joanna Estelle, as well as a new arrangement of  Qu’est-ce que c’est la vie?, written as a tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Several of the featured composers will be present to introduce their work and meet with after the concert.  Recordings by many of the composers and performers will also be available for purchase.

    Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 students/seniors, available online at www.heliconianclub.org or for purchase at the door.

    —— Tribute to Canadian Women Composers ——

    Christina Petrowska Quilico
    Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, one of Canada’s leading interpreters of contemporary music, joins the Koffler Chamber Orchestra and conductor Jacques Israelievitch for Music She Wrote: A Tribute to Canadian Women Composers.

    The concert, featuring two piano concertos and two works for orchestra, takes place Sunday, November 24 at 7 p.m. at The Music Gallery, 197 John Street. Tickets and info are available via www.kofflerarts.org or by phone at 416-638-1881 x4333. Advance Tickets are $20; Students $15. At the door, tickets are $25, students $20.

    For the program, Christina Petrowska Quilico joins the Orchestra and Maestro Israelievitch for piano concerti by two Canadian women composers: Piano Concerto No. 3 for piano and strings by Heather Schmidt; and Divertimento for Piano and Strings by Violet Archer (1913-2000).

    As well, the Koffler Chamber Orchestra also performs two orchestral works: Webster’s Spin by Ann Southam (1937-2010), and A Prayer by Larysa Kuzmenko.

    —— New Commission ——
    Ms. Kuzmenko has recently been commissioned to write a work for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Children's choir through a generous grant from the Ontario Arts Council. This work "Behold the Night" will be based on parts of the text from William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". It will be premièred in Roy Thomson Hall on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7:30pm with additional repeat performance on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 7:30pm.

    Christopher Plummer
    The concert will also feature the work by William Walton "Music for the film Henry V" featuring the narration by the legendary actor Christopher Plummer as he brings Shakespeare's warrior king vibrantly to life, and Tchaikovsky's riveting evocation of the tragic romance between the "star-crossed lovers" of old Verona.
    • Peter Oundjian, conductor
    • Toronto Children's Chorus
    • Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
    • Christopher Plummer, narrator
    —— The Art of Canadian Music ——

    The Portrait Society of Canada presented 'The Art of Canadian Music' on March 8 to April 1, 2011 at the John B. Aird Gallery in celebration with the many tributes to the March 8 Juno awards. More than 35 portraitures were showcased in a variety of contemporary portrait styles, including classical realism, impressionism, primitivism, and photo realism that captured Canadian Composers and performers by professional artists and members of the Portrait Society of Canada — the country's leading group for this art genre.

    The exhibit was organized by Veronica Kvassetskaia-Tsyglan, president and founder of the Portrait Society of Canada, who has worked professionally as a portrait artist for over 25 years. Kvassetskaia-Tsyglan, who paints in the classical tradition (old masters style), contributed three paintings: Tapestry New Opera director Tom Diamond, pianist Lucas Porter, and Juno-nominated composer Larysa Kuzmenko.

    "Painting Kuzmenko"

    Kuzmenko's Portrait
    Humbled by the mystical nature of composition, both musical and literary, Kvassetskaia-Tsyglan wanted to pay homage to the art form, which is why she painted Kuzmenko.

    In the painting, Kuzmenko is seated at the piano, dressed in a long black concert dress, composing. Propped up against the piano is the score for her "Memoriam for the Victims of Chernobyl," a eulogy to the 1986 Ukrainian nuclear disaster.

    Shy, caught up in her world of creativity, the composer does not look up, providing a challenge for the painter.

    "You have to take the music from somewhere," says Kvassetskaia-Tsyglan. "You have to invent something new. It's like being a radio station—you have to accept some radio signal from space. I have the same feeling about composing. That's why I chose a composer."

    — Madalina Hubert (The Epoch Times)
    “Memoriam for the victims of Chornobyl”

    Has recently been published by Plangere Publications and is available through them at www.plangere.com. Plangere is also publishing Fantasy for Solo Cello and "In Search of Eldorado" in versions for mezzo soprano and soprano.

    Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011

    Behold the Night


    Kuzmenko's new work, Behold the Night, is a two-movement setting of a pair of poems from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream: "Over hill, over dale," and "Now the hungry lion roars." Scored for orchestra and children's choir, it's a harmonically conservative work – as charming and colourful as any film score by Danny Elfman or John Williams. 

    — Colin Eatock

    Cellist Vernon Regehr presents previously unrecorded, unaccompanied works of six composers, all written in the past decade. As the title of the album suggests, the works display a highly varied array of expressive and emotional landscapes, utilizing the instrument's broad range of tone colour.
    Kuzmenko's "One Sister Have I in Our House" for Women's chorus and piano was commissioned by the Tapestry Singers in joyful celebration of their sister singer Sandy Quarles, a gentle soul and a lively spirit. Recorded live at St. Matthews Episcopal Church.
    Kuzmenko's JUNO Nominated Piano Concerto on Compact Disc with Pianist "Christina Petrowska Quilico".