Kulesha, Gary, Canadian composer, conductor, and pianist; b. Toronto, Aug. 22, 1954. He studied composition with Samuel Dolin and piano at the Royal Cons, of Music of Toronto, receiving degrees in piano performance (1973) and composition (1978). He continued private studies in England with John McCabe and in N.Y. with John Corigliano. He returned to Canada in 1982, and from* 1983 to 1985 was principal conductor of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival Theatre (Ontario), for which he provided incidental music. He was co-principal conductor of the Composer’s Orch. of the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshops, where he served as artistic director (from 1987). From 1989 to 1992 he was composer-in-residence of the Kitchener-Waterloo Sym. Orch., and then of the Canadian Opera Co. from 1993 to 1995. His music makes eclectic use of influences as diverse as Prokofiev, Messiaen, musique concrete, jazz, and rock.
orch.:Variations for Winds (1975); Divertimento for Strings (1975); Essay No. 1 (1977), No. 2 (1984; Kitchener, Jan. 18, 1985), and No. 3 (1992); Concerto for Tuba and Orch. or Winds (1978–81); Ensembles for Winds (1979); Chamber Concerto No. 1 for Winds and Percussion (Kitchener, Ontario, Nov. 28, 1981), No. 2 for Trumpet, Piano, and Winds (Toronto, March 28, 1982), No. 3 for Bass Clarinet and Winds (1982-83; Toronto, Jan. 31, 1984), and No. 4 for 10 Winds, String Quintet, and Percussion (Kitchener, April 13, 1988); Celebration Overture (1985); Nocturne for Chamber Orch. (1985); The Gates of Time (Kitchener, Oct. 5, 1991); Recorder Concerto (1992); Viola Concerto (1992). chamber: String Trio (1971); Sonata for Horn, Tuba, and Piano (1975); Sonata for Tuba and Organ (1976); Duo for Bass Clarinet and Piano (1977); Sonata for Trumpet, Tuba, and Piano (1978); Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1979; rev. 1985); Concertante Music for Soprano Saxophone and Wind Quintet (1979); 2 suites for 2 Trumpets (The Grand Canyon, 1979; Pike’s Peak, 1981); Suite for Percussion Quartet (1981); Passacaglia, Cadenzas, and Finale for Trumpet, Tuba, and Piano (1981); Nocturne and Toccata for Piano and 3 Percussionists (1981); Mysterium Coniunctionis for Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, and Piano (1980); Secrets for Flute and Piano (1980); Attitudes for Clarinet and Piano (1980); Canticles for Brass Quintet and Organ (1982); Pentagram for 5 Trumpets (1982); Angels for Marimba and Tape (1983); ]azz Music for Brass Quintet, Marimba, and Piano (1985); Complex for Electric Bass Guitar and Tape (1986); Cello Sonata (1986–87); Demons for Tuba and Tape (1988); Political Implications for Clarinet Quartet (1988).p i a n o: 3 sonatinas (1969–71); 3 sonatas (1970; 1980, rev. 1984; 1986); Sonata for 2 Pianos (1970–72); Aphorisms (1978); Monument for Piano, 4-Hands (1978); Mythologies for 2 Pianos (1987). other: Incidental music; Lifesongs for Contralto and Strings (Markham, Ontario, Nov. 18, 1985); songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire